Turkey Day 2009 proved to once again to be a day filled with family, friends, food, and fun. Eric and Dana, my brother and sister, went to my cousin Philip and his wife Lisa's house for Thanksgiving dinner. The family generational gap made its presence as Granny made it to dinner with a lot of her grand children but none of her kids (our parents) were present. They all seemed to be out of town and feasting somewhere else in the country. Oh well, more bites and boozes for me!
Cousin Travis attended the Thanksgiving dinner with his lady friend, Lauren. He prepared a fantastic pumpkin and pecan bread which we devoured like we hadn't eaten breakfast. Oh yeah, I didn't eat breakfast. I was saving room for dinner!!
Travis's Pumpkin and Pecan Bread
Travis also came to the gathering with some home-vinted vino. He brought a bottle of Pinot Noir made from a home-fermented Pinot concentrate. The wine was surprisingly good! I expected it to be pretty good because I have never really known Travis to make anything bad, but this wine actually had some character to it. It was a refreshing red wine that was fairly light on the palate and I'd say a little less complex and fruity than a typical Pinot, but still extremely drinkable, delightful, and cheap!
Home-Vinted Pinot Noir
Thanksgiving is not just an occasion for wine though. It is also a holiday that calls for really good beer. I started my pre-dinner beer drinking with a homebrewed porter. This porter, which was crafted by Phil, Travis, and Eric, I believe, came out strong, rich, and spicy. I could taste the dark-malted brew on my lips and tongue while the liquid went down my throat and into my extremely satisfied belly.
Homebrewed Porter and Stone Brewery's IPA in Frosty Third Row Mugs
Stone's IPA is a terrific, hoppy bear that went down so well after Thanksgiving dinner. It is a beer drinker's beer for sure, and those that don't like robust hops need not give it a taste. I, however, love strong hoppy flavors and found the Stone IPA to be a great beer for a holiday dinner. Now, on to the meal!
Thanksgiving Dinner Plate at Phil and Lisa's House
Thanksgiving dinner was served with a marvelous spread of food that covered the entire kitchen at Phil and Lisa's house. Granny made her signature cornbread dressing which was the only thing that I HAD to have on Thanksgiving. There was also mashed potatoes and gravy, Dana's green bean casserole, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and, of course, turkey and cranberry sauce. Philip smoked the turkey this year and it came out very nicely. The bird was flavorful, moist, and tender with a smoky flavor that made the turkey extra special. I can't say that I'd mind eating food like that all the time!
For dessert Travis and Lauren brought over an assortment of pumpkin and apple pies. I had a slice of each, adding a hefty scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla to the apple pie. Man, that was a treat! I wanted to eat it so badly that I apparently forgot to take a picture! After hours of chatting, playing some UNO with the kids, and talking about beer and wine, it was time to leave Phil and Lisa's home. No worries though! The next stop happened to be Sara's house for more dessert!
Cranberry-White Chocolate-Ginger Cheesecake
I had the pleasure of swinging by Sara's house with Eric and Dana to meet Sara, Lauren, Lizzie, and Mitch for some hanging out and extra dessert. Lizzie is a pastry chef in Minnesota and whipped up this cranberry-white chocolate-ginger cheesecake for us! Have I said how much I love cheesecake? This dessert knocked my socks off! What a great way to use cranberries during the holidays! Everything about this cheesecake made me happy, and now writing about it I want more! If there is one thing I need to learn how to make, it is cheesecake!