Sunday, November 25, 2007

We've had a couple of fabulous meals here lately with family and friends sharing the cooking responsibilities. Alas, I don't think either made it particularly close to the 90% local goal. I keep planning things to cook that I think I might be able to manage within the 200 mile radius and then finding that California is the closest I can get for many of the ingredients. When it's not a traditional meal like Thanksgiving, I think I need to start by going to the store or the coop first, see what's available and take it from there. We had local yams, cranberries, pumpkin and cherries for pies, chard, leeks and chanterelles. But, the featured guest came from Diestel Farms in California. Not to be confused with my friend here.

We enjoyed no less than 4 cranberry dishes. My personal favorite, and that of several others (it was gone by Friday), was the Bourbon Cranberry Sauce. This recipe was kindly shared on the Farm to Philly blog. I will copy it in below since I still haven't mastered the skill of inserting links.

Last night, we had a belated celebration of my birthday. So, I was off the hook completely for planning or cooking. Grady and Aileen took care of all that and I got to relax. Their menu included cedar plank-grilled salmon, risotto with mushrooms, onions and tomme de savoie cheese, salad garnished with pomegranate seeds, and Moosewood's poppyseed cake. Kris created a variety of cocktails out of what he could find in the kitchen.

Most valuable about both meals, however, was not the food, but rather the company and the conversation. It was a lively time with good friends on both evenings around our big old dining room table. And that is what I am most thankful for. I'll see if I can get my photographer son to give me some of his pictures from both evenings to post later.
Back on the Dark Days Challenge wagon this week.

Bourbon Cranberry Sauce
From Far to Philly blog

1 lb. cranberries
1-1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. bourbon

Mix the cranberries, cinnamon, and sugar together and bake, covered in foil, for one hour at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and give it all a good stir; pour in the bourbon. Refrigerate overnight and serve chilled.

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