Rosemary Satsuma Sidecar:

satsumas, brandy, fresh rosemary, ice cubes

Sometimes it’s because I’ve been forced onto a wobbly ladder and thrust up into the boughs of my grandmother’s orange tree. Sometimes it’s because I’ve been mailed a box from Louisiana. But always, ALWAYS, my Thanksgivings have involved homegrown citrus, and this year could be no different. The Rosemary Satsuma Sidecar is simple. Fresh squeezed satsuma juice, Cognac (or the nicest brandy you can afford), a sprig of fresh rosemary, and an ice cube or two. (A splash of Cointreau would make things more official, and more delicious, but we didn’t have any).

Honey Garlic Brined Turkey Breast:

1 cup honey, garlic, 1 cup salt, 3/4 can chicken broth, allspice, rosemary, enough cold water to cover turkey completely

This was my first turkey, so I gobbled up all the advice I could, and it led me to this conclusion: turkeys are terrifying. Also, brining is the way to go, and the whole bird is overrated. So I bought a breast, soaked it in a concoction of cold water, chicken broth, salt, honey, garlic cloves, onion, rosemary, allspice, and lemon wedges for two days. (Yes, two whole days and I do not regret it). Then I patted it dry, brushed melted butter on it, and stuck it in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. After that, I covered it loosely with foil, reduced the heat to 300 degrees, and cooked it until the internal temperature reached 150 degrees. Crackly brown skin perfection.

Celery Root Parsnip Mash:

1/2 celery root, 4 parsnips, 1/2 can coconut milk, 1/2 can chicken broth, garlic, onion, salt and pepper

Celery root has got to be the ugliest vegetable in the history of vegetables, but it makes for a fantastic mashed potato substitute. (Potatoes don’t really taste like anything to me, so I’m always looking for these substitutes). I peeled and chopped half a celery root, four parsnips we picked up from the farmer’s market, some onion, and some garlic and threw it in a pot of salted chicken broth and coconut milk. Brought to a boil, lowered to medium heat, and cooked it until everything was soft enough to mash. (Andrew did this with a wooden spoon, and it turned out great, but a real potato masher would probably be a lot easier). Garnished with a rosemary sprig, and voila! (This Thanksgiving was all about the rosemary).

Roasted Brussels with Turkey Bacon:

Brussels with Bacon

brussels (ends cut off and outside leaves peeled away), olive oil, onion, garlic, turkey bacon, pine nuts, salt

We chopped the brussels really fine (normally I would just half them, but come on. Thanksgiving is the time to put in some extra effort) and threw them in a bowl with olive oil, a little chopped onion, salt, and pepper. Roasted at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, then added two strips of crispy turkey bacon (crumbled into bits) and some pine nuts that had been toasted on the stove.

Brandy Maple Cranberry Relish:


1 bag fresh cranberries, dried cranberries, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1 cup water, splash of brandy

Cranberries are my favorite part of Thanksgiving, and now that I know how easy it is to make cranberry sauce, I’ll probably be making it all the time. All I did was throw a bag of fresh cranberries, a cup of water, a generous splash of maple syrup, and a small splash of brandy into a pot. Brought to a boil, then continued to cook until almost all of the liquid evaporated. At the end I stirred in some dried cranberries, which soaked up the extra juice and left our relish nice and relishy. YUM.

Sweet Potato Apple Cakes:

Two sweet potatoes (shredded), one apple (chopped fine), three eggs, cinnamon

I’m always looking for ways to remind myself and other people of my Jewish heritage, and this Thanksgiving I did it accidentally by making something very close to latkes. I mixed all the ingredients together, then scooped rounds onto a cookie sheet, flattened them, and baked on each side for about 9 minutes at 375 degrees, until done. Most people say make them in the skillet, but mine stayed together better when I baked them. Served with maple syrup and the cranberry relish.