Monday, November 28, 2011

A Very Bide-A-Wee Thanksgiving

Martha took most of these excellent photos at the first Bide-A-Wee Thanksgiving gathering.  She and Tom were among the small group of pilgrims who travelled through the Wisconsin countryside resonating with rifle reports as the firearm deer season continued.  Also joining us were Jean-Louis and Nina, and their dog Georgia.  We started with Tom's delicious turkey paté and a relish tray that helped me thin the inventory in my pickle museum--spicy snow peas, soy sauce flat beans, asparagus, sweet gherkins, and cornichons. Then we feasted on confit of turkey legs and wings (salted and spiced then slow roasted in duck fat), maple-herb cured turkey breast cooked on the Bide-A-Wee fire with red wine-port sauce (none dare call it gravy!); pommes boulangère courtesy of Jean-Louis, chestnut-sausage stuffing, rutabaga remoulade (both mine), Tom's fresh cranberry-orange relish, and brioche nanterre au levain.  Then after a walk around the hilltop as dusk was coming down, we finished up with Martha's luscious pumpkin pie (recipe on the Libby's pumpkin filling can, she claims), and a beautiful apple tart on homemade puff pastry by (who else?) Jean-Louis. 

The turkey was a broad-breasted bronze, raised just down the road by our neighbors Mandy and Jeremy Berg. And even this turkey non-enthusiast must admit that it was a damned tasty bird.

By the end of the day we were sated, glowing, grateful, and exhausted as our guests started homeward under a sky full of stars as brilliant as any we've seen at Bide-A-Wee.  We hope your Thanksgiving feast was equally enjoyable.

The pilgrims:

Jean-Louis and Nina.

Mary with a better shot of J-L.

Tom holds forth.

Fearless fotog Martha; blurry but the best I got of her.

The pitmaster.

Groovy reflection shot with most of us.

Canine contingent:

Georgia, Nina, and Lily.

Annabel in standard dozing mode.

Lily, the great hunter.

A little local color.

The feast:
Tom has been working on perfecting his turkey paté for three years; I'd say he's just about there.

Country loaf, levain brioche.

The maple-herb-cured breast on the grill. It was grilled & smoke-roasted.

Rutabaga remoulade, with apple, sorrel, a mayo, sour cream, cider vinegar dressing.

Confit turkey legs and wings and chestnut dressing warm on the Haggis.

Cutting up the confit...

...and the breast.

Tom's cranberry orange relish.

Diverse libations enlivened the day.

A flavorful plate.

And another.

We forgot to take pictures of dessert.


A delicious and memorable day.


el said...

Looks like a wonderful day! (I may have to try your remoulade: I have some football sized ones out there yet...thx for the suggestion.)

Sharon Parker said...

What a lovely day you had! Thanks for all the photos, it was fun to see.

Tom said...

Makes me hungry all over again!

Nancy @ rivertreekitchen said...

Now that's my idea of Thanksgiving! It all looks (and sounds) delectable. Is the remoulade recipe in the cookbook? I can't remember, and my copy's in the hands of the book festival director right now.

Trout Caviar said...

El & Nancy, re rutabaga remoulade (or slaw if you don't want to be fancy...). The recipe's not exactly in the book, but the celery root watercress remoulade will get you real close. As I say, I added some sorrel and slivered apple to this one. I salted, then rinsed the rutabaga shreds (did them on the Benriner) to remove some of the strong odor; but then I added fresh grated horseradish to the dressing, which smelled just like the rutabaga did pre-rinsing, so.... Use your judgment re the potency of your root.

Hi Sharon: Don't know why we didn't do Thanksgiving at Bide-A-Wee sooner. Hope to make it a tradition.

Tom, me too! Also, your paté, what was in it, generally? Obviously some liver, but was there turkey meat as well? If you don't mind sharing a few of your secrets....

And Nancy again, the Waupaca book festival, I'm really looking forward to it! Thoughts of summer along that beloved river, which I haven't fished in far too long. July, is it?

Cheers, all~ Brett

Trout Caviar said...

Re that paté, here's Tom's disquisition on the topic from a couple years ago:

Sylvie in Rappahannock said...

Looks.... perfect. A like minded group of friends celebrating with a home-made feast... (like the idea of sorrel in the remoulade too)

Fred said...

Yikes. And Yeow! How fantastic. Thank you for sharing.