Monday, November 23, 2015

Trendy Monday and More: Turketta at Mock Thanksgiving

Is any other holiday as beige as Thanksgiving? So unphotogenic...but so, so delicious.

Every Thanksgiving season, there seems to be a new turkey trend...because apparently regular old roast turkey isn't enough. We fry, we brine with crazy stuff, we smoke, we stuff with chickens and ducks.

Fortunately, with the rise of "Friendsgiving" as a legit holiday, we have an opportunity to be trendy the week before Thanksgiving, reserving the actual day to enjoy the exact menu our moms have been cooking for us since we were little. (Side note: at my house, Friendsgiving is called Mock Thanksgiving and we have been doing it since 2002. Because Cooper and I are thought leaders in the realm of fake holiday celebrations.)

This year, as far as I can tell, the big turkey trend is turketta - porchetta-spiced turkey. I've seen a bunch of recipes for versions of the dish. Since we love porchetta - and since I was desperate for a turkey idea earlier this week - we made a couple turkettas for dinner with our friends last night.

We used this Bon Appetit recipe...and it was awesome. Moist, tons of flavor, not that difficult to make. It was just complicated enough that I felt like a culinary rockstar when I finished prepping it...but not so hard that I couldn't actually do it. That is a sweet spot.

With the turketta, we had these gorgeous mashed potatoes, roast sweet potatoes, fennel and carrots, sauerkraut from Hex Ferments, and cranberries I bought pre-made from Eddie's. Alicia made pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream, the kids ate a bunch of mac and cheese and we drank a silly amount of wine for a Sunday night.

Mock Thanksgiving started as a small dinner, with just a couple friends, back when I was first learning how to cook. Over the past few years, it's evolved into a much bigger party.

This year, we felt the need to quiet it down a little. So, no big party, just a small dinner with a few friends + kids. The big parties are consistently fun and crazy and hilarious...but there's just nothing like a special dinner with a handful of close friends.

At our house, we are always, always so busy that it's very easy to focus more on what's worrying and stressing us vs. what makes us happy.  After dinner last night, we sat around the table, with all the dirty dishes still piled on it, listening to music and drinking wine and talking and laughing. So much laughing - from the adults and the kids. I can't think of a better way to kick off a season dedicated to gratitude.

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