Monday, December 10, 2012

Thanksgiving Triple Treat, #3: Rancho Winslow

Rancho Winslow was the site of my ultimate, third Thanksgiving fete, on Thanksgiving Day. This year we were going to be roasting the turkey using my pre-salted method, as detailed on my previous webpost, and the victim was a gorgeous 12-pound beauty. Here’s a link to the previous post and a shot of the bird post salting and air-drying....

There was some nice wine. Robert brought a Maclaren Vale Stump Jump combo of shiraz-grenache-mourvèdre, and a Marlborough sauvignon blanc, and I had a bottle of Apothic Red, to go with the rest of the wines.

Jules faithfully basted every 30 minutes, as prescribed in the recipe….

There was a plentiful fresh fruit tray and a honey-yogurt dip to nosh on….

Jules had made a delectable maple-spice cake for later…..

Jules and Princessa Di, basting and rotating the bird….

Di baked a finger-licking good clove-studded, cross-hatched ham…..

The bird resting before vivisection by me and Robert…..

A duo of cranberries: the classic canned and a cranberry-orange relish….

A gorgeous walnut-dried cranberry-spinach-field greens salad provided great flavor and some much needed roughage……

Delicious sweet spuds with a pecan topping gave that veggie-centric sweet tooth something to consider…..

The classic green bean casserole made with tender haricots verts (what I call green bean veal), for Havelah’s pleasure (she loves this dish and HAS to have it every year)……

A toothsome dish full of savory stuffing, a must, and the perfect vehicle for the rich turkey gravy gleaned from the browned bits under the bird….

Yummy Brussels sprouts braised with butter, a little chicken stock, and orange zest…..

White and dark meat. I have to say, this may have been the moistiest turkey we have ever done on Turkey Day. Everyone loved it and the pre-salting method has new converts…..

Robert stayed up all night and worked his fingers to the bone shelling each and every pecan, which he personally gathered from his neighbor’s trees while doing hand-to-hand with the squirrels, all to make this excellent pecan pie. For once, a pecan pie that wasn’t treacley sweet yet managed to taste magnificent! Well played sir!

To outdo himself, Robert also baked a superb apple pie with fresh apples that was loved by all…..

…and if the maple spice cake, the pecan pie, and the apple pie weren’t enough, Avelyn brought a cheese cake, and someone picked up a huge pumpkin pie from HEB (we nibbled on those later on, after the first few rounds had time to settle).

Once again, Rancho Winslow was the scene of a truly spectacular Thanksgiving feast; we gorged on the bounty of the fall harvest, loved every bite we took (and we took a lot), and gave thanks for our great friendship. Meal management was spot-on, with no food-related crises to deal with. It was the scene of wretched excess and gluttony, but what else are Turkey Day's for? The evening ended with belly rubs and goodbye hugs. Like Brave Combo sings at the end of the Hokey Pokey, “.and that’s what it’s all about!”

Mick Vann ©

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