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Archive for November, 2009

Fall fruit is still at its ripest here.  When I was at the store the other day I couldn’t resist buying some of the most photogenic pears I had seen in a long time.

I also bought a pomegranate.

The persimmons were a gift.

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This year we decided to make our Thanksgiving dinner vegetarian, a choice that required a little bit of thought.  I wanted to come up with a main dish that was both hearty and elegant and that paired well with some of my favorite side dishes.

Taking advantage of the amazing local pear crop, we started the meal with a sweetly savory pumpkin, pear and fennel soup.

For the entree, we finally settled on another dish that took advantage of local products: wild mushroom and hazelnut strudel served with a choice of port wine or reduced balsamic sauce.  Even before it was baked the strudel looked delicious;

once it was done it looked even better.

For side dishes we chose Brussels sprouts, tossed with olive oil and roasted slowly in the oven,

sweet potatoes, roasted and then smashed with minced, crystallized ginger and topped with toasted pecans,

and a refreshing fennel and orange salad dressed with orange-Dijon vinaigrette.

Of course we also had my favorite buttermilk rolls

and cranberry chutney.

For dessert I made a cranberry – walnut tart

and our friend brought a collection of exquisite pastries from the Sweet Life Patisserie in Eugene.

I feel so fortunate to have been able to make and share this meal with friends.

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Thanksgiving dinner, preview

Thanksgiving dinner at our house was a full day of cooking, baking and conviviality.  We had friends visiting from Maine who kept us company (and helped) as we made dinner.

Of course, everything really started on Wednesday, with a trip to the grocery store for supplies

and the preparation of cranberry chutney

and some toasted pecans.

More details tomorrow!

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