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Sudden, huge, gorgeous

Hi, guys.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is only three days away. I don’t know how the heck that happened. I had a dream last night that the ocean was in our backyard, and that I was standing at the window, looking out at it. Above the water, the sky was overcast, thick with clouds. As I stood there watching, all of a sudden, one of the clouds shook loose and fell, just like that, dropping fast and heavy, straight out of the sky. It landed in the water with a huge, gorgeous splash, like Paul Bunyan doing a cannonball in the neighborhood swimming pool, like some exotic flower breaking into bloom. This year, Thanksgiving feels a little like that, I think. Like it fell out of the sky. It’s sudden, huge, gorgeous.

Tomorrow we fly to Oklahoma, and I can’t wait. I had wanted to give you a new recipe today, something fitting to the occasion, but here we are, and uh, I don’t have one. I do, however, have a manuscript that’s really coming along, and it has lots of recipes, and in only three weeks, it will be done. I hope that counts for something. To me, it feels like everything.

So I hope you’ll understand if I’m a little quieter than usual right now. You don’t need me, anyway. You’ve got lots of cooking and baking and eating to do. There are birds to be roasted and dishes to be filled. So hop to it.

But in case you need any last-minute nudges, any ideas in these last 72 hours, I’ve dredged up a few. What follows is a list of some of my cool-weather favorites. Any of them would be right at home on a holiday table, and some, come Thursday, will most certainly be on mine.

Sweet potato biscuits
Touch-of-Grace biscuits

Cheddar crisps
Cranberry chutney with crystallized ginger and dried cherries

Apple and butternut squash soup
Butternut squash soup with pear, cider, and vanilla bean
Puree of celery root soup

Ginger-pear upside-down cake
Roasted pears
Tarte Tatin

Braised fennel
Braised green cabbage with onions and carrots
Braised red cabbage with apples and caraway seeds
Butternut puree with maple syrup
Cream-braised Brussels sprouts
Hashed Brussels sprouts with poppy seeds and lemon
Radicchio and radish salad with pear and parmesan
Vinegar-roasted shallots

Vegetarian main dishes
Braised winter greens with chickpeas, onion, and garlic
Dreamy white beans
Warm butternut and chickpea salad with tahini

Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you, and you, and you, for everything.


Blogger Stephanie said...

i am SO excited to try the touch-of-grace biscuits for thanksgiving!

12:17 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger Victoria said...

Have a safe trip and a glorious Thanksgiving. I'm going to try your cramberry chutney - especially since someone called it "Cranberry Crack!." Happy, happy.

12:26 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger Cat said...

I too will be serving up the touch-of-grace biscuits at Thanksgiving this year. Just a little bit of Southern love for my family... Can't wait! Have a wonderful trip Molly, and good luck with the rest of the manuscript. Just think, next year we'll all be pulling out our Orangette cookbooks come Thanksgiving!

12:29 PM, November 19, 2007  
Anonymous trisha said...

Oooh, you are too thoughtful! Compiling the links of these recipes on this post for us was the perfect thing to do. I am a relative newcomer to Orangette (you had me at "I have learned not to worry" and I've been devouring your archives and new posts ever since). Thank you, thank you, for your engaging prose and your stunning, thoughtful photography.

12:40 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger Holly Dart said...

I can't wait for the cookbook! a

1:36 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger la fourchette said...

Happy Thanksgiving...Happy Trails...to you both! Just dipped in to say hello and catch up...and looks as though all goes swimmingly...in the ocean outside your window! (Lovely dream...lovely image.) Thanksgiving "fell" upon me like that as well.

I'll be joining a few other ex-pats to create a celebration where one does not exist...good to hold onto days set aside for gratitude.

Felicitations for the great progress on the manuscript. Look forward to the book! Leslie

1:42 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger cchang said...

Happy Thanksgiving...we're roasting duck this year instead of doing the turkey thing, but that cranberry chutney goes well with duck!
Safe Travels. :) You make my life happier, Molly!

1:48 PM, November 19, 2007  
Anonymous swirlingnotions said...

Have a great time in Oklahoma, and many congrats on the book. I can't wait to read the words, "it's FINISHED!" up here in the next few weeks!

2:48 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger Katie said...

Long time reader... first time commenter. Your suggested lineup fare will certainly be improving my day-after-Thanksgiving-cook-a-thon that I'll be doing with the in-laws this year. Can't wait. And thanks for all the veg ideas... perfect!

Also wanted to say good luck with the book!

Since you started off this post with a odd-ball dream, and since I have my own odd-ball dreams on a regular basis, I thought it wouldn't sound too crazy to tell you that just last week your book made it into my dreams. The Orangette cookbook was a raging success, so much so that it was made into movie. You were played by the gal who plays Meredith's sister on Grey's Anatomy http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0500200/ and I was the kooky neighbor that you were trying out all your new recipes on. All I remember is that you had this watermelon + balsamic + spinach topping for ice cream that you wanted me to try. Hmmmmm... not too sure about that one.

Crazy dreams aside... I'm looking forward to the book. I'm sure it'll be a hit!

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for the great tips. Travel safe.

2:51 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger Jules said...

Happy first Thanksgiving as a married couple! Also, I'm totally making those roasted pears over the weekend.
House of Jules

4:24 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger shari said...

glad to hear the manuscript is almost finished. pears are roasting in the oven right this minute. we have no heat so i'm hoping they'll warm us right up. happy thanksgiving to you and brandon. hugs!

4:38 PM, November 19, 2007  
Anonymous EB said...

Have a wonderful trip and fantastic Thanksgiving!

4:40 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger shari said...

ps: love the title of this post. :) you always make me smile molly. xo

4:40 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger Alice Q. said...

Happy Thanksgiving Molly! Happy travels and congrats/good luck on finishing the manuscript. I'm so looking forward to it!

7:09 PM, November 19, 2007  
Anonymous Leah said...

Uh oh... I think may have started something with the "cranberry crack" moniker. I hope you don't mind, dear Molly. It's just so addictive! Happy, happy Thanksgiving. xo

8:03 PM, November 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm hoping to get an opinion on this recipe before I attempt it on Thanksgiving. I've been looking for something along these lines, after hearing about roasting sprouts.. I'd just like to see if anyone might have any advice, especially on the cooking time/temp? I've roasted asparagus and other veg before.. but asparagus.. it feels bit more complicated.. or am I just making a bigger deal out of it than I should?

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts

2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, rinsed and trimmed of tough outer leaves and base
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
Coarse salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a good sized bowl, combine the olive oil and maple syrup with a wisk. Cut the sprouts in half lengthwise and add to the bowl. Toss sprouts in mixture til they are well coated. Place sprouts on a
baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the sprouts are just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

I'm also looking to try out the Touch of Grace biscuits.

Happy Thanksgiving!


10:02 PM, November 19, 2007  
Blogger Flo Bretzel said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

12:01 AM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Kara Lewis said...

Okay, because I am totally a lazy cook . . . would it be possible to make the sweet potato biscuits with pumpkin puree. I am inundated with that stuff at my house.

Love your blog, by the way!

6:38 AM, November 20, 2007  
Anonymous Caroline in DC said...

Anonymous, I made roasted brussels a few weeks ago and that's the technique I used, except I roasted them for about 40 minutes. So I would double the expected baking time if I were you.

I tossed them in olive oil, salt, and lemon juice (which gave the sprouts a delicious tanginess, but maple syrup sounds like it would be great, too). They were so good!

6:38 AM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Mindy said...

Happy Thanksgiving Molly, Have a safe trip! (And the book so soon- whoa ho! I'm excited for you- and for it!)

**on an unrelated tangent, just tried a recipe I dug out from your archives-
the rancho la puerta whole wheat bread- from your post- about- among other things- spandex and pilates

Oh my Goodness- It is wonderful- we ate 3/4 of the loaf in one day- and it was so easy! I almost thought I had totally messed it up- but no- not so it seemed-

It is going to become a staple- I can feel it- BUt ohhhh- I used about 4 Tbps maple syrup instead of the honey- It was great- I am curious to try the honey however.

9:15 AM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Mary, I love roasting Brussels sprouts! It's hard to mess them up, really, and your recipe looks perfectly good. To make sure they're done, I usually poke mine with a small, thin knife, like a paring knife: when it slides in easily, they're ready. I usually do mine with only olive oil and salt, and they're wonderful.

And Kara, you know, I think pumpkin puree would work just fine. I don't know why it wouldn't! I'd just make sure that it isn't sweetened or spiced - you just want basic pureed pumpkin.

Hope that helps!

9:40 AM, November 20, 2007  
Blogger Wicked Good Dinner said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

5:20 PM, November 20, 2007  
Anonymous Juree said...

Yes, how did Thanksgiving come up so quickly? I feel like a deer in the headlights! Have a great time in Oklahoma and know how eagerly we are anticipating your first book...

And I second the love of roasted brussel sprouts, though I toss mine with lemon and parmesan when they are finished, and maybe even some crispy pancetta when I am feeling decadent!

5:59 PM, November 20, 2007  
Anonymous Ann said...

What a lovely dream... and what a thoughtful post. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

7:35 AM, November 21, 2007  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

hi--long time fan. i just wanted to say that I have loved LOVED your photography latetly. it gets better all the time.

(plus also, every recipe of yours that i try comes out great! thanks!)

9:45 AM, November 21, 2007  
Anonymous Andy said...

made the butternut puree today after finding the recipe yesterday.

Had to quickly put it in the fridge before it could be devoured!

Have a nice Thanksgiving!

11:58 AM, November 21, 2007  
Blogger aubrey said...

yum. happy thanksgiving! enjoy your time with family and hooray on the almost finished manuscript!

2:55 PM, November 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Molly,

No, thank you!

I have been reading here awhile now, but never got around to commenting. But this week I've been doing lots of cooking for visiting family, without even having started on tomorrow's dinner, and I keep finding myself saying "I bet Orangette has a good recipe for...." And you do! Brownies, pumpkin bread, pie crust, brussels sprouts. You are a rad lady. Happy thanksgiving to you and Brandon!

6:59 PM, November 21, 2007  
Blogger christine said...

Congratulations on the manuscript you're working on! Just wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Have fun in Oklahoma and enjoy your time with family. :)

10:10 PM, November 21, 2007  
Anonymous laura said...

I love that dish and the red berries! It's a gorgeous picture.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(my word for the word verification is
"chump" Yikes!)

11:15 PM, November 21, 2007  
Anonymous sunny said...

new to your blog. (found you through the sweetpaul blog)

love these photos!

7:10 PM, November 23, 2007  
Blogger Natalie said...

I just have to tell you that over this holiday, I made my usual fare, and then used 2 of your recipes to wow the crowd. And wow them isn't even the tip of the iceberg.

I had to make the Cranberry Chutney a day ahead because I just couldn't stand it anymore, and I'm glad I did. I'm having on toast with goat cheese for breakfast.

The roasted pears impressed everyone, especially when served warm and spooned over vanilla frozen yogurt.

Thanks for the recipes. You are a constant source of inspiration.

6:36 AM, November 26, 2007  
Anonymous emiglia said...

I'm currently slowly and meticulously making my way through your archives... a feat in and of itself, but I had to stop by and tell you how much I adore your writing (and your recipes!) I'm a new loyal fan.

12:25 PM, November 26, 2007  
Blogger Linda said...

i'm in love with that dish!

4:28 PM, November 27, 2007  
OpenID lukeluke74 said...


10:22 AM, January 11, 2008  
Anonymous Zebracadebra said...

Love the sweet potato biscuits..Yummy!!

5:50 PM, January 12, 2008  

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