As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m struck by the seemingly overwhelming challenges we face in this big, complex, interconnected world–and how so many are suffering. At the same time, I’m taking stock of all that there is to be thankful for. I am incredibly thankful for my amazing family, my beautiful circle of friends, my loving husband, our good health, and the happy home we share. I’m so looking forward to welcoming dear friends and neighbors to sit around our table this Thanksgiving–we shall be toasting to all the joys of the season and to the sheer pleasure of being together!
We’ll start Thanksgiving festivities with bubbles (procured from our friend Christine, owner of Grace Under Pressure, importer of The Special Club champagnes…) and then move on to pinot noir—all served in Gabriel-Glas. Then we’ll enjoy the cornucopia of this year’s harvest—we’re making a haul at the fabulous Napa farmers market to stock up on fresh fruit and produce for side dishes. Our turkey is being sourced from our favorite butcher, The Fatted Calf. And thinking back on my favorite Thanksgiving dishes, I reached out to my dear college friend Betsy (one of the most sublime cooks I know), and asked her to share recipes for some of her special seasonal treats:
Besty’s Aunt Sue’s Best Ever Cranberry Chutney
Betsy’s Cranberry Chutney is just simply the best! (Note this is Chutney NOT Relish!)
½ cup cider vinegar
2 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 lemons, peel grated, pith discarded, and fruit cut into sections
2 oranges, prepared as lemons
1 apple, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cups cranberries, divided
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup chopped dried apricots
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- In a large pot combine the vinegar, sugar, ginger, dried spices and 1 ½ cups water. Bring liquid to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
- Add lemon and orange sections and apple and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
- Add half of the cranberries, raisins and apricots and simmer until slightly thickened (30 – 40 minutes.)
- Stir in citrus zest and remaining cranberries and simmer, stirring for 10 minutes.
- Add walnuts (if used) and simmer 15 more minutes. Add more water if chutney thickens too quickly.
- Cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
And to top off the meal, how about…
Betsy’s Pumpkin Pie
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup whole milk
¼ cup Steen’s cane syrup
2 Tbs. bourbon
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground allspice
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 premade pie crust (Betsy says it’s ok to cheat in this way…)
Whipped cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- I use Trader Joe’s premade pie crust: Fit the dough into a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan or plate. Refrigerate the pie shell for at least 30 minutes before proceeding…
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the above ingredients. Mix until well blended. Pour into the chilled pastry shell. Bake until the custard is set and the crust is lightly golden 50 to 60 minutes. Let the pie cool completely before serving.
- Serve with whipped cream and dust with cinnamon.
- I suggest accompanying dessert with our friend Andrew Quady’s Essensia, made from the orange muscat grape. This delightful dessert wine exhibits aromas of orange blossoms, pears, honey, and apricots. It is best served slightly chilled in Gabriel-Glas!
Enjoy these special treats and the bounty of the harvest — and give thanks this year with family and friends!