We all know how much I love to host, and that I jump at any opportunity to fill my home with those I cherish most. So needless to say I wrangled 15 of my nearest and dearest to come celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with us. Since moving to NYC I have only gotten more patriotic so naturally I love showcasing some of our Canadian culture (even if Canadian thanksgiving is merely a carbon copy of the American version save for the pilgrims and Plymouth rock). This year we were so, so fortunate to have two very exceptional Canadians in town visiting, bringing the Canadian representation up to five speculator people. We love guests, and getting a chance to connect with Rachel and Courtney was a real treat (thanks guys for playing with us!)
We had an amazing time eating ourselves into a turkey coma while savoring the exceptional company. Now undertaking an entire turkey feast is always a touch daunting because I have spent every Thanksgivings at an my aunt’s home. So this year not only was I longing to be there to snuggle all the new babies, but I was very rightfully concerned that my meal just wouldn’t be up to snuff. That woman knows how to host something fierce, and so the bar of excellence has been set high.
However, I managed to pull out a meal that was lauded by everyone. Not only was everyone angling for seconds (the highest form of praise) but is was a super healthy supper that met all the varying dietary needs of our beautiful guests. As such, most of the dishes were either vegan, paleo or gluten free. I will be be sharing a bunch of these recipes over the course of the next few days and weeks (some Americans you can steal them for your approaching Thanksgiving feasts). Furthermore, I would also like to give myself some self praise in that this was the first time I tackled homemade bread and cheese cake without my Kitchenaid mixer (which is safely stowed in storage back home) which is no easy feat. This whole meal was prepared from scratch the tech-free, old school way. So needless to say I got my upper body workout in. Overall the meal was a success, but by far the brightest part of the evening was being surround by our New York family. Although it didn’t completely erase my homesickness for those back home, at least my heart and home was filled with so much love nevertheless.
Our Thanksgiving Menu:
Served 15 with tons of leftovers to spare
- Pomegranate-Blueberry Glazed Roast Turkey
- Agave-Dijon Roast Brussels Sprouts
- Mushroom-Leek Gluten Free stuffing
- Curried Coconut Yam Casserole
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pear
- Homemade mushroom gravy
- Roast Vegetables
- Spinach Salad
- Homemade, slow cooked buns
- Curried Hummus with pita chips
- Cheese Plate (with vegan cheese)
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Pear
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 bag of frozen or fresh cranberries (about 12 oz)
- 1 pear
- 1 tbsp of fresh ginger root
- 1/4 cup of agave nectar
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- Add the cranberries to a small sauce pot
- Dice the pear into small pieces (I leave the skin on) and add to the cranberries
- Grate the ginger root into the pot
- Add the water, agave nectar and lemon juice and bring to a boil over medium-high heat
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cranberries break down, apples soften and mixture thickens. Make sure to stir regularly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
- Remove from the heat and chill. Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Serve and enjoy!