Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Thanksgiving: Pickled Watermelon Rind and Herbes de Provence

Thanksgiving brings the tantalizing aroma of down-home cooking: the woodsy blend of sage and thyme in the bread stuffing, the sweet scent of cinnamon and nutmeg in the pumpkin pie and the I-can't-wait mouth watering smell of a roasting turkey.

The no fuss, tried-and-true menu creates a traditional hit and this year was no exception. My sister-in-law brought sinful sweet potato casserole and pecan pie, along with fabulous yeast rolls made by her neighbor in Huntsville, Alabama. My ninety-year-old Mom made the cranberry chutney and green bean casserole. Since I purchased herbes de Provence in France, I used them to flavor the stuffing and sprinkle on the outside of the bird.

One of my family's favorites is found in the relish tray-- pickled watermelon rind. Yes, everyone agrees it is a perfect addition to turkey dinner.  I've never attempted to make it, why would you when the store-bought bottle is so terrific? Take my word on this one -- just try it and savor the yummy flavor.

My three-tiered server was stacked  with pecan, pumpkin and apple pies.  I hadn't made apple pie in quite a while and will claim a blue ribbon.  I think the mix of granny smith and gala apples did the trick.

Earlier in the week I made another annual dish, my grandmother's mushroom soup, featured in an earlier blog here. We lunched on it for a few days and now I am working on the turkey noodle soup.  Once again my house smells like Thanksgiving Day.  And that is a welcome thing.

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