This was my first Thanksgiving in California since 2003. Many things have changed. Most notably, my mom and aunt are no longer with us. The adults no longer cook; the dinner is entirely driven by the kids (30-40 year old kids). I finally had time to do a 5 mile Turkey Trot through Golden Gate Park.
My contributions were John Besh’s oyster dressing and sausage potato puffs. The oyster dressing was inspired by Joel’s grandma who makes a (still delicious but) more midwestern version–white sandwich bread, less briny and not as spicy. When I came across John Besh’s version I knew I had to make it myself since we wouldn’t be with Joel’s family for Thanksgiving. I followed the recipe almost exactly–just added a few bonus oysters. It was a hit and there wasn’t much left over for the following day. I did buy too many oysters (the oysters I got from Costco were much larger than the variety found in New Orleans so I didn’t need anywhere near 4 dozen) so this week I’ll make either kaki fry or po’boys.
I’ve made the sausage potato puffs many times before though I tend to use pancetta rather than sausage. I think my jalapeno sausage chunks were too big this time so the puffs didn’t stay together very well. I also made them in standard-sized muffin tins because I was running behind schedule and we needed to make the drive down the peninsula. They’re not the smartest items to bring to a potluck because they’re best fresh out of the oven, but they were still well received. I made them for Mother’s Day in Indiana last year and for a crabfest I hosted four years ago here in SF.
The day after Thanksgiving, we went over to my dad’s for Crabsgiving. Crabs steamed in beer, garlic noodles and Sierra Nevada Autumn brew.
Our last Thanksgiving of the weekend was Friendsgiving, a tradition that I’ve always been out of town for. I was tired of cooking so my contributions were beer, corn pudding, oatmeal peanut butter cookies and gingersnaps. The real revelation was Alison’s butternut squash lasagna…we totally stole the leftovers and will be making this soon.