There’s absolutely nothing like the first holiday of the winter season. In many ways, Thanksgiving is the best of the winter holidays. You bring yourself. You bring something to share. It’s an entire day devoted to three of our favorite things: family, food and wine. And this year, we’re lucky to have two Thanksgivings in a row.
Our first Thanksgiving began with a sunny but bone chillingly brisk walk to induce appetite and prepare for 48-hours of feasting. Our contribution to the first Thanksgiving dinner, a 13-person meal, was a loaf of turkey-shaped bread from La Farm Bakery and a fresh green bean dish.
Fresh Green Bean Recipe
3 pounds (48 oz) fresh green beans
1 medium onion
1/4 cup almonds
3 cloves of garlic
1-2 tablespoons salted butter
sprinkle of pepper and salt to taste
This dish is pretty simple. In fact, the most labor-intensive part of the process is the washing and snapping of 3 pounds of green beans to start. Once washed and snapped, steam the beans in a steamer or boil them in a bath of boiling water with a pad of butter (1 tablespoon or more to taste) until “just right,” which for us means the green beans are soft enough to eat but still have a bit of fresh snap to them. To achieve this happy medium and bright green color, steam or boil for roughly 18 minutes. Slice the onion into halves, then into strips and add to the steamer or pot of boiling water when adding the green beans.
While the green beans and onions are steaming, add a little butter or olive oil to a pan. When hot, add the freshly squished and chopped garlic and lightly brown for 2-3 minutes. Add the almonds to pan and toast until golden, then remove from heat.
When the green beans and onions are cooked to perfection, drain the water and place the veggies in a casserole dish. Add the garlic and toasted almonds as a decorative topper. Bon appetit!
And of course, a Thanksgiving meal for us wouldn’t be complete without working our way through a few bottles of wine.
We started with a 2011 Domaine Duffour, a white wine from the Cotes de Gascogne in France. This herbaceous and citrusy wine was made by winemaker Michel Duffour who took over the domaine estate from his father in the 1980s.
He replanted many of the vines, but he kept those that his father had planted to produce Armagnac, which is made from Colombard and Ugni Blanc grapes. Michel continues to make Armagnac, but he also produces dry table wines, such as this bright and fresh Côtes de Gascogne.
The beauty of the collaborative Thanksgiving is that everyone else brought something splendid to the table too. Here’s some of what we got to sink our teeth into:
We are ever so thankful for the families we have, and the food and wine we get to share with them. Tonight, we rest and gear up for more food and wine at Thanksgiving dinner #2, tomorrow!
- Remembering an International Thanksgiving in France…
- Thanksgiving 2013 — Dinner #2 with Mexican Turkey Mole