Greetings! It’s your friendly neighbourhood Brit harpist, Rosy here with a post about my favourite adopted holiday, Thanksgiving! Truly, it is the greatest holiday ever invented: food, wine, good company, and no stressing about Christmas gifts for another couple of weeks!
This year will be my 7th Thanksgiving in ROC. Normally, I spend Thanksgiving sticking around for gigs and teaching (alas, not with RPO this week, but check out our Nutcracker this week on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday!). This week always provides a great couple of days to get together with a bunch of friends for an obscene amount of food and joy. And anyone who knows me, knows that I love baking and cooking!
Without further ado, here is a general rundown of what I get up to on a typical Friendsgiving day:
As with every day, I am rudely awoken by my two monstrous cats, Muni and Sushi as they demand their breakfast by 7am each morning. Yes, they’re cute, but incredibly spoiled! Following this, I have a bucket of tea and start to think about cooking for the day. I don’t host Friendsgiving, so I don’t have to worry about getting the turkey in on time and finding extra chairs for guests to sit on. Instead, I am always tasked with making some of the smaller, less traditional items to bring to the table.
My go-to requests are: Guinness Gingerbread, Mulled Wine, Lemon Crunch Pie and The Moore Family Secret Sausage Roll Recipe (ssssh…the recipe is down below, don’t tell anyone!). The sausage rolls take the most time and most people request them, my kitchen becomes sausage roll assembly station with multiple bowls of stuffing, sausage meat (always with a veggie alternative) and puff pastry defrosting on multiple surfaces. Then comes the baked goods and cleaning up both myself and the kitchen!
After many careful trips to the car with all the treats – we’re off! On arrival, it’s Mulled Wine time! Pro-tip! Always keep your hosts glass full, so they can focus on the turkey!
Mid-afternoon brings the feast! Chatting, saying what makes us thankful, laughing and being excited at having so many people who you adore in the same room at the same time prevails. Following this, there are games and general frivolity. Depending on who’s hosting, this could be watching a film, singing around the piano, video games or a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity or Cyanide and Happiness. There’s something for everyone!
As the evening winds down, and the hosts desperately try to pawn off some of their leftovers so that they don’t have turkey until Christmas, everyone heads home for a laid back evening of Netflix (Midsomer Murders is always a personal favourite!), turkey sandwiches and a little Black Friday online perusing…especially of Irregular Choice shoes!
I don’t know about you all – but I can’t wait until Thursday!
A very Happy Thanksgiving from Your RPO!
Rosy x x x
PS Here come the recipes….
Spiced/ Warming Mulled Wine – Jamie Oliver
- 2 clementines
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 200 g caster sugar
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
- 1 vanilla pod
- 2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine
- 2 star anise
- Peel large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime using a speed-peeler.
- Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.
- Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
- Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.
- When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into heatproof glasses and serve.
Nigella’s Guinness Ginbread
- 1 1/4 sticks 10 (tablespoons) butter, plus some for greasing
- 1 cup golden syrup (such as Lyle’s)
- 1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 rectangular aluminium foil pan or cake pan, approximately 13 by 9 by 2-inches
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line your cake pan with aluminium foil and grease it, or grease your foil tray.
- Put the butter, syrup, dark brown sugar, stout, ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves into a pan and melt gently over a low heat.
- Take off the heat and whisk in the flour and baking soda. You will need to be patient and whisk thoroughly to get rid of any lumps.
- Whisk the sour cream and eggs together in a measuring jug and then beat into the gingerbread mixture, whisking again to get a smooth batter.
- Pour this into your cake/foil pan, and bake for about 45 minutes; when it’s ready it will be gleamingly risen at the centre, and coming away from the pan at the sides.
- Let the gingerbread cool before cutting into slices or squares.
The Moore Family’s Secret Sausage Roll Recipe
- Frozen puff pastry, or flaky pastry
- Good quality pork sausage meat (or veggie sausage meat!)
- Sage and Onion Stuffing
- 1 egg
Hydrate stuffing according to packet instructions. Mix with Sausage/ veggie meat in a bowl and season to taste (I use salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes and Worcheshire sauce). Flour your board and roll out the pastry. Place long sausage on pastry, wrap pastry over and use egg wash to stick pastry together. Use fork to score edge and egg wash top . Cut to size and cook at recommended temperature on pastry packet.