Thursday, November 3, 2011

a letter of thanks for a dinner to be thankful for

Lately i have been right obsessed with Thanksgiving. Nevermind that the Canadian holiday was three weeks ago and that tomorrow is a whole different holiday entirely (and i get pretty into that one too; pumpkin ale and molasses candies ready and waiting, black and orange dinner planned), i am but halfway from the next one. Yes, i love Thanksgiving so much that i even celebrate with our neighbors to the south. I may even go creamed-corn, full on traditional this year; normally i celebrate American tg, in Canada, with a dinner inspired by somewhere else in the world (think chicken tagine instead of turkey, pumpkin halva rather than pie) . I have a month to decide, however, though it seems that until then i am thoroughly preoccupied with that style of dinner: a main dish surrounded by sides, dessert(s). This may be custom rather than a once-a-year way of feasting (simply feeding, rather), but for me and my tendency toward something in one pot and a big ol salad, maybe some olives while i cook, its quite a change--though i must say it is helping deal with the "harvest" in my refridgerator.
And i am quite enjoying it. So much so, that i had to give thanks via email to someone who inspired such a dinner on such a weekend that was no such of a holiday, but full of good eating anyways. Thought i would share this letter and extend the invitation to have a dinner to truly be thankful for, even if it is only, say, wednesday.
jon--i have to tell you about my dinner: honestly, i wasnt too stoked about hali cheeks this morning (ive been loving and craving oilier fish, something fatty for the cold seasons; halibut means summer to me, and i had a summer full of it, and salmon too, but i dont think i will ever tire of salmon--how patriotic of me--, and cannot wait much longer for its fall/winter stand-ins: char and trout; god i love trout. this bracket is turning into quite the tangent. back on track now...), but i thought, if Jon says theyre top drawer, than they are top drawer and you better just damn well get some. and they were top drawer. or top notch as we say far to often at the restaurant. another story, another time; not another tangent.
First i slow roasted thick slices of some of the last glut of the farms heirloom tomatos with garlic, onions, and saffron--oh, and some little little potatoes that were dug up with big big potatoes. When they were bubbling away and beginning to look all caramelly and smelling like seduction (sorry, food gets me going...), i put them into a warmed bowl and reduced the juices to a thick sauce. Hot sear on the cheeks, on top of the tomatoes, sauce. This was the center of a sicilian inspired dinner with a shaved fennel and chickpea salad, and some thin leeks (also the last of the farms; also of which i have a glut, do you like leeks?) cooked slowly in oil with artichokes and tossed in the last hot second with mint and parsely.
im pretty happy with those cheeks.
Thanks. tiff

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