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Thanksgiving Feast

November 25, 2007 | Chuck
Thanksgiving Dinner Plate

Another Thanksgiving, another feast in San Francisco. All of us SNDsters are transplants from the East coast or Midwest and we avoid traveling during Thanksgiving. Instead, we celebrate Turkey Day by hanging out and cooking at Jane and Mark's place. It's typically an eclectic pot luck with friends who also don't have family in the Bay Area.

This year there were 14 of us and the food was more traditional and less of an East meets West affair. Dinner consisted of...

Savory Dishes

  • Deep-Fried Turkey - brined, dry rubbed and fried (Garry/Chuck)
  • Gravy - made from pan drippings and turkey stock from a roasted turkey wing (Jane/Chuck)
  • Uncooked Cranberry and Orange Relish - chopped raw cranberries and oranges (Stacy)
  • Spicy Artichoke Dip - jalapeno, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and other heart clogging ingredients (Stacy)
  • Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips - potatoes, parsnips and chives mashed using a potato ricer - (Jane)
  • Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage - sage, thyme, fresh corn, buttermilk cornbread and hot Italian sausage (Chuck)
  • Brussels Sprouts Lardons - brussels sprouts and bacon (Stacy)
  • Chinese Sticky Rice - sticky rice, Chinese sausage and BBQ pork, shiitakes, oyster sauce, green onions and cilantro (Hungry Bear)
  • Spanish Seafood Salad - shrimp, squid, chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes and butter beans on frisée (Garry)
  • Three-Seed Dinner Rolls - poppy seeds, fennel seeds and coarse sea salt (Karen)


  • Fruit Salad - cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwis, persimmons and mandarin oranges (Hungry Bear)
  • Yogurt - fresh homemade (Sukhchander)
  • Apple Pie - deep dish pie with pink lady apples (Stacy)
  • Pecan Pie - from Bakesale Betty in Oakland (Ajita)
  • Pumpkin Pie - from Bakesale Betty (Ajita)
  • Chocolate Bouchons - small chocolate brownies (Chuck)

Hungry Bear and I did the majority of our cooking at home. It's more fun cooking together at Jane's place, but it's also more difficult with only one stove top and oven. When we arrived at Jane's, there was a buzz of activity in the kitchen as Stacy, Jane, Garry and Karen were prepping and cooking.

Garry brined and dried the 12 lb turkey and I added a dry rub to the bird before dunking it into the electric deep fryer. As the turkey was frying, we snacked on a warm, spicy artichoke dip with pita chips. It was so good I couldn't stop eating it and overfilled myself with chips and dip. Thankfully, the turkey only took 45 minutes to cook, otherwise I would have eaten even more dip.

The deep-fried turkey was moist and fantastic as usual. This year we tried a brined turkey for the first time and we really like the extra flavor it added. The gravy was the best we ever made because of the pan drippings and homemade turkey stock. We normally forget about the gravy and scramble at the last minute to make it, or send Howie out to pick up a jar. I'm very happy that Stacy and Jane had the foresight to roast a turkey wing and make stock!

We really enjoyed the brussels sprouts dish. I love all things cabbage and it's even better with crispy bacon. Ina Garten's brussels sprouts lardons recipe calls for golden raisins, but Stacy didn't add them. I'm glad no raisins were used, as I'm not a fan of sweet and savory dishes. The brussels sprouts were delicious with just bacon... imagine that.

The seafood salad and Chinese sticky rice were the only non-traditional items we had this Thanksgiving. The seafood salad was very unique with jumbo shrimp, squid, chorizo and a butter bean vinaigrette. The salad was a great change of pace from the normal, heavy Turkey Day fixings.


After one big plate of food, I was completely stuffed. I usually go for seconds, but couldn't do it this year. Dessert started with fruit salad. Hungry Bear's giant fruit salad is always a big hit at Thanksgiving because it's light and refreshing. We should have ended dinner with just fruit, but we had three pies and chocolate bouchons to try.

It was a complete struggle to eat the sampler pie plate that Karen doled out. On each plate, there was a small slice of apple, pecan and pumpkin pie. Jane, Hungry Bear and I shared a sampler plate and we were at our food limit. The pecan pie from Bakesale Betty's and Stacy's apple pie were extremely good. Last week, we had Betty's sticky date pudding cake and it was amazing. It was so good we asked Ajita to pickup a pecan pie from Betty's. Somehow, a pumpkin pie also made the trek across the bay for dinner. There was entirely too much pie at Thanksgiving, but I loved every bite of it.

Once again, our Turkey Day meal was delicious. It was fun cooking and sharing great food with old and new friends. There was an overabundance food at dinner and I could go on forever. I'll end this post now, but I'll follow up with new posts/recipes on the cornbread stuffing, Chinese sticky rice, chocolate bouchons and fruit salad.

I hope you also had a great Thanksgiving and were able to hang out with friends and family!

SNDsters: Chris, Winnie, Chetana, Isabel, Polly, Sukhchander, Ajita, Stacy, Karen, Garry, Mark, Jane, Hungry Bear, Chuck

[tags]thanksgiving, turkey, deep fried, pies, stuffing, holiday, brussels sprouts, bakesale betty[/tags]

2 Comments on “Thanksgiving Feast”

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  1. Judy said:

    MMmmmm, I like the look of that sticky rice. Some form of rice at Thanksgiving dinner is very traditional in my Chinese-American family. My Aunty always made a pot of rice (using half glutinous rice and half long grain rice) mixed with lop chong, shitake mushrooms, ground pork, and bamboo shoots. Hungry Bear’s rice looks very similar. Aunty made hers in a rice cooker, but I’m not sure what proportions she used, and alas she is no longer available to learn from. I would love to see Hungry Bear’s recipe/technique for making sticky rice in a future column if she is willing to share.

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  3. hungry bear said:

    yes…for me, thanksgiving isn’t complete without sticky rice. the recipe and details will be in a post soon. but i like that your aunty added bamboo shoots to hers. i’ll try that next time!

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