An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Thanksgiving Morning Festivities

This year for Thanksgiving morning, my friends M and K invited me to join their yearly tradition of cooking together in the morning.  I was so honored to be invited!  We started off the day with a yoga class taught by M, following by a glass clinking with mimosas...and then we turned on the oven.

The plan for cooking was to triple each of our recipes, so that we could share our food, and then in the afternoon, when we'd go our separate ways, we would have three things to bring. 

M and K made a savory cranberry chutney and pumpkin cheesecake.  I made a quinoa, orzo and sweet potato salad.  With all three recipes cooking, the kitchen had many layers of holiday goodness. 

A few of the ingredients

Sliced sweet potatoes getting ready for the boiling pot

Quinoa, orzo and sweet potato salad
K brought over the new addition to her house, Penny, who got a special spoonful of the pumpkin cheesecake batter.  She and M's two little cats were also participants of the morning yoga class.

I have a few notes on the cranberry chutney recipe.  We didn't have crystalized ginger, and substituted fresh ginger, which I actually liked better.  But either would do.  If you want a fully sweet, more traditional cranberry sauce, omit the onion.  But it does add a different dimension to the chutney.  As M said, it is interesting to have one bite with ginger and pear, and then the next bite has onion and cranberry.  Also, it is an open-ended recipe.  You can add oranges, or lemon zest, or any type of apple or pear.  You can add regular raisins, or dried cherries or dried apricots.  The options are pretty endless! 

Cranberry Chutney Recipe
from Marian's cookbook called The Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan

4 cups whole fresh cranberries
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup water
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp salt
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled cored and diced
2 Bosc/Anjou pears, peeled, cored and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup crystalized ginger or 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed and halved (or crushed)

In a 6 quart saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, water, cloves, cinnamon sticks and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.  Cook until cranberries pop, about 10-12 minutes.  Bring to a simmer.  (This is a good time to toast the hazelnuts)  Stir in apples, pears, onion, raisins and ginger.   Continue to cook, stirring frequently until thick, 10-15 minutes longer.

Remove from heat, stir in hazelnuts and cool to room temperature.  Discard the cinnamon stick and cloves, if you can find them!  Refrigerate in sealed containers.  Serve with Thanksgiving dinner, as a spread on a sandwich, or on French toast.

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