Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

šťastný díkůvzdání everyone!

We will be hosting 4 colleagues (since our table is small and chairs are limited!) this evening for a festive feast. Then we're off to Prague for our Thanksgiving meetings with our Fulbright colleagues.

Here's what we'll be serving tonight. Watch for pictures and posts of the recipes later!
It's going to be a Traditional American Feast along with many Czech twists.

Cranberry Quince Relish (Neil's sister Wanda's recipe): wild Czech cranberries (brusinka), aged balsamic vinegar, Port wine, orange zest, Czech honey, Czech Pears AND Czech Quince! We'll post several stories about the quince!!  Just wait until you see what you can make from them!

Chaenomeles ×superba 'Champignon' (Quince or kdoule)

Pickles/Olives Our earlier recipe for Czech Bread and Butter pickles (August posting) will be served, along with Beet Pickles (again, ones we made....a very simple recipe that we'll share in a future post) and Italian olives we've been saving for this occasion.

Casear Salad Just to keep things lighter but tasty, Romaine lettuce, with slivers of Parmesano Reggiano cheese (saved from our trip to Italy), salty Czech cheese, anchovies (again from Italy), and a twist...our own homemade dressing (Rose Ascher's recipe from Wisconsin).

Junge Punte or Roast Turkey We hunted and hunted for a whole turkey. Some Expats have theirs shipped in (so we've heard); we also learned one could get them from Belgium. Interestingly enough, you can purchase turkey in the Czech Republic in every market but it is only in pieces.  Alas, no whole ones. day when we were shopping in Alberts, at IGY Shopping Center, downtown Ceske Budejovice, what should we spy but whole turkeys from Germany!  So, we will have small, young roast turkeys....they're small, so we'll cook two (heavens, we wouldn't want anyone to go away hungry!). The turkeys will be roasted with rosemary (fresh from our's still alive), garlic, and sage.  We'll make a delicious gravy, of course, from the drippings...

Stuffing with Rye Bread (chleb) and Roasted Chesnuts  We couldn't locate dried, premade bread cubes anywhere (we looked just for fun!), so as always we reverted to making our own. We purchased one of those fantastic rye bread loaves, fresh from the market. It got cubed up and quickly dried in the convection oven. To this we will add butter, celery, onions, garlic, fresh sage (dried our own, of course), and....roasted chestnuts. The chestnuts started coming to the markets a couple of weeks ago....they're so tasty when roasted.  (What a great snack!)

Mashed potatoes  Fresh Czech potatoes, primarily the yellow types preferred here (like Yukon Gold only much smaller and far tastier!), boiled with the jackets (skins) on with roasted garlic. Mashed with butter, salt, pepper, and a secret ingredient to make them really creamy (more on that later).

Fresh, mini peas Who can resist those?  We don't have access the Neil's Dad's tasty, tasty peas from his garden in Vermont, so we'll have some from the Czech Republic maybe with a hint of fresh mint added in.

Drinks will include a chilled red berry mix juice (cranberries, raspberries, cherries, pomegranate) which one can have alone or with Czech Seco (sparkling wine...some of the best 'Champagne' ever!) from old Plzen, choices of white or red wine from our friend Cyril's wine cellar in Moravia (we'll post all about that on a future blog....a fascinating story!).

Desserts will include Amarula Pumpkin Pie, Czech Apple Tart, and Quince Tart Frangipani. The pumpkin pie is from pumpkins that we cooked down last month, heirloom types for Central Europe, along with dark brown Czech cukor (sugar), eggs, condensed milk, cinnamon, cloves, and Amarula--the famous creamy liquor from South Africa (the fruit of which makes elephants drunk!).  Czech Apple Tart is made with 'Bohemia' apples and a few other hybrids from our farmers at the local market, spiced with lemon zest, fresh grated nutmeg, cinnamon, and a bit of sugar and flour. More on the Quince Tart Frangipani in a future blog about Quince. Mark, of course, made all of the crusts this morning when Neil was at work.

Whipped cream will top everything off spiced with Lemoncello liquor for flavor. Perhaps you'd like some fresh coffee along with that?

Have a festive, happy day everyone from the boys in the Czech Republic!  We are so thankful for the goodness of the earth and to be enjoying Thanksgiving in the Czech Republic!
(on a cold winter's day outside of a Medieval Castle)

Disclaimer: This blog is not an official University of Minnesota or Fulbright Program blog. The views expressed are my own and not those of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations, or the University of Minnesota.

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