After the tragedy of No Thanksgiving 2009, I got to go to two feasts this year; one in October (Canadian) and one this past weekend (American). I was invited over to my friends' Mark & Jennifer's place to partake in a potluck supper. They provided the bird, while we guests brought sides and desserts.
The bird was my very first encounter with turducken. I have to confess the whole idea of this American speciality gives me the willies. I usually love one food stuffed into another, but the thought of a whole animal crammed into another and then jamming that into yet another animal... *shudder*.
Jennifer cooked it using the Martha Stewart Turkey 101 method, which is a great technique for roasting any bird, so it turned out quite tasty. To go with it there was stuffing, salad, cranberry sauce from scratch (the canned stuff was used as decoration and a nod to US tradition), mashed potatoes and cornbread. I supplied the creamed spinach.
Now, I'd never made creamed spinach before. Nor had I ever even tasted it, so I was really flying blind. I read through a lot of different recipes before settling on this one, and according to Jennifer, it tasted the way it was supposed to. So, yay!
Since this was a completely unknown dish for me, I stuck to the recipe below. I think if I make this again, I'd use this as the base, but add some grated parmesan, which I saw in a few different recipes. Maybe some bacon too. It would be interesting to see how different it would be using fresh vs. frozen spinach too. I say this because I found I had to add quite a lot of salt to give the dish any depth of flavour.
What's your favourite traditional Thanksgiving dish?
Quick Creamy Spinach
- 16 ounces chopped frozen spinach
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon minced dried or dehydrated onion
- ⅓ to ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a saucepan, combine spinach, butter, water, and onion. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for a few minutes. Remove cover and continue to simmer. Drain off excess water. Add cream, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Continue simmering for a few more minutes to reduce the cream slightly. Serves 4.