Hello my lovelies!
To my American friends who might not be in the know – Canadians have a Thanksgiving too – and it’s not in November. It’s this coming Monday – I am not sure why, though it has been speculated by my mother that it tends to get colder faster in Canada, and maybe that’s why we have a fall holiday earlier. Whatever the reason – it was always very welcome, considering The Boy and I were long-distance romantic partners for so many years, and a 3-day weekend meant we’d get to see each other just a month after going into classes!
Canadian Thanksgiving is much the same spirit of its American counterpart – the joining up of families to eat and drink and be toasty warm while snow likely falls outside and a fire warms the hearth. You know, without all that Black Friday madness …
As a child, Thanksgiving was not that big of a deal in some ways – we were very Portuguese-Canadian … so Turkey dinners with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and wild rice wasn’t so much a thing. There was … lamb. Or chicken for my sisters and I. Sometimes some sort of fish dish. But the rest was accurate – our whole family would get up to the cottage, crowd inside of it so that everyone was tripping over everyone else to get at the good seats, closest to the fireplace, and the good food.
So, what I am saying is, I like this Thanksgiving thing.
And then I met the Boy and that thing that happens to all couples that have family of their own happens – you have to start choosing where to spend your holidays, and more importantly, with whom. Both of us come from pretty tight-knit families who take their holidays pretty seriously, and so it was always a bit of a juggling match of how much time to spend at each house, with which family and which year. Complicated, of course, but worth the compromise since no matter where we ended up we’d be with people we loved (and those people who make super yummy food).
For reasons I won’t get into today, the Boy and I are on our own for Canadian Thanksgiving this year – a fact that at first made us sad, but now that we’ve decided to make the best of us – kind of excites me!
What this means is that a ten-pound turkey is so not on the menu. It also means that our traditions of leaf-catching contests and family hikes are non-contenders this year.
But we’re adapting.
Starting with making our own food – and not missing a grain of wild rice!
Firstly, we have turkey to consider:
I went online and found a couple of variations to consider, but think that I will ultimately go with this one for two reasons – I love turkey breast and I have never tried a stuffed breast recipe on my own – and well, there’s no time like the present!
Then we’ll have to have some mashed potatoes – and my favourite recipe for that is an adaptation of Ree Drummond’s mashed potatoes on the Pioneer Woman. Potatoes + Butter + Cream Cheese! OMG, yes!
Something I particularly like is wild rice and cranberry sauce – yum yum. I like this recipe here for the wild rice, and follow the how-to my Mom does for the cranberries (or if I am really rushed for time *cough* last Christmas, I get it pre-made at the grocers).
Then I add a few steamed beans and some honey dinner rolls and serve it in anticipation of the final course: Dessert.
I love dessert. I can’t help it, it’s just too good not to love best. And so when it comes to dessert, I tend to go all out.
I have previously made pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin nainamo bars for Thanksgiving, all with great success. This year, I thought we would try something with less pumpkin (saving that for Halloween!):
I am thinking of making a pecan pumpkin pie … a maple or slightly chocolate version of the one found at Pioneer Woman here. Or maybe even the caramel apple cronuts I spied over at Half Baked Harvest. And I will add some balsamic-honey baked fruit – maybe some pears and figs, with some creamy goat cheese and toasted nuts!
And some good mulled cider to wash it all down with. Then we can put on our mitts and boots and watch the star come out with hot chocolate warm in our mugs.
What are your plans for Thanksgiving?