The plan shaped up, and by day-of the head count had risen to 20 guests. Achievable? You bet!
In fact, I'm certain it will go down as one of the most memorable Turkey days ever. But every success has a starting place. Ours was with these two crucial elements:
1. Some very generous, flexible, and incredible hosts
2. A Table
The "kids table"... Outside. (Brrr!)
large batch pleasers! This improvised batch went quick, an effervescent concoction of Sofia Blanc de Blancs, Lambrusco, and fresh cranberries.
Banana Wonder and gussied up a plain ol' baked brie with pistachios and golden fig preserves.
recipe), minted pea purée, Knedliky (Czech raised bread dumplings, recipe below), an autumn salad with edible flowers...
Koehler Santa Ynez Riesling, the meal was just perfection.
recipe here) and a decadent Texas pecan & chocolate pie (recipe here).
New Orleans with a fistful of rum pralines to put to good use.
Rum Praline Ice Cream
makes 1 quart of ice cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
4 rum pralines, crumbled (from Laura's Candies in New Orleans' French Quarter - they ship!)
If using an automatic ice cream maker, make sure bowl is completely frozen before starting. Whisk the chilled milk and cream with sugars until completely dissolved. Stir in the vanilla and rum. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions (should churn for about 25 minutes). Crumble pralines into the ice cream during the last minute. Set in freezer for at least two hours before serving.
Czech It! the Prague Blog) made them come out absolutely perfect.
Note: This made 3 medium sized loaves... About 12-15 servings. The cooked loaves freeze beautifully too!
Raised Dumplings (Knedliky)
1 pkg dry yeast
1 cup milk
½ tsp sugar
1 ½ cups Wondra flour (in the blue can)
2 - 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp baking powder
3-4 slices country white bread
1 tbsp butter
Slice the bread into small cubes (removing the crust if desired).
In a dry non-stick pan, sauté the cubes over medium to med-high heat till they get somewhat toasty. Add pat of butter to the pan and toss with the cubes as it melts. Set aside to cool.
Heat the milk just barely to warm (too hot and the yeast will die) and then add the yeast and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve.
Mix together all ingredients except bread cubes, adding flour gradually until you have a heavier dough. Then add the toasted bread cubes and knead gently with floured hands (or in stand mixer) until combined.
Divide into 3 oblong loaves (each loaf must fit across pot of boiling water, with room to expand). Set on a floured surface, cover with plastic wrap and/or a tea towel and allow to rise for 45 min-1 hour.
Take out dumpling loaves and place on cutting board. Pierce with fork or knife to let steam out. Roll over and pierce again. Cool a bit and slice using bread knife - or, as one recipe suggested, with a piano wire!
*If you make ahead: Boil loaves and let cool…then wrap well in plastic wrap and store in fridge. Day of, slice dumplings and steam to re-warm.
Drown with gravy and enjoy!