Friday, November 13, 2009

A Speical Thanksgiving Recipe & Giveaway - closed

Congrats to lucky winner - Amy!

The School of Essential Ingredients at A Book Blogger's DiaryEarlier this year I'd reviewed a wonderful novel by Erica Bauermeister called The School of Essential Ingredients which follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian’s Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. I found this story to be "lyrical, magical and poignant" and it made me hungry for the flavorful dishes concocted through the length of the novel!

That's why I was happy to accept when Erica got in touch with regarding doing a Thanksgiving recipe post and a giveaway of this book exclusively for readers of this book!

Author Erica Bauermeister at A Book Blogger's DiaryBut first a little background : Inundated with requests from readers for the recipes mentioned in the book, Erica has spent the last six months putting them up as guest posts on blogs once a month or so, then compiling them on her website (under the tab called "Side Dishes"). She had one in mind for November, featuring the Thanksgiving turkey recipe from Antonia's chapter and chose this blog to feature it in!

Also, to support and promote the concept of Buy Books for the Holidays, Erica has offered 2 books for a Giveaway (that way the winner gets one to keep and has one to give away).
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On Thanksgiving and Turkeys

Our second year in Italy, we decided to have a Thanksgiving feast and invite our Italian friends so they could experience an American holiday. We knew it wouldn’t be completely traditional; we’d have to use chutney instead of cranberry sauce and get a turkey from our American friend who had access to the store at the local U.S. military base – but it could be done.

The day of Thanksgiving dawned. In honor of our guests I had decided to polish the wood floors of our apartment. But as the polish spread across the floor and the wood began to glisten I noticed a horrifying smell rising up. Think pink. Think your grandmother’s floral perfume mixed with that thick, gritty pink bathroom soap that used to come out of public dispensers.

My husband ran out to buy scented candles, which we lit, to no avail.

Our friend arrived with our Butterball turkey, which landed plump and steroid-filled on our kitchen counter. We shoved it in our tiny oven and soon the smell of roasting turkey wafted out to the living room, where it was met with a wall of pink scent. You could almost see the battle lines.

But the Italians were sweet, carrying flowers as they arrived, and we sat down at the table, filled from stem to stern with mashed potatoes and turkey and stuffing and chutney and salad and vegetables and…

And suddenly, I saw it all through their eyes. Our table looked like the playing field after the ending whistle of the Super Bowl. Nothing like the five-hour lunches we had experienced at their houses, where one dish followed the next, each given attention and admiration, their flavors finding their way, slowly and luxuriously, into your soul.

But the Italians were polite; they were lovely, in fact. Maurizio especially loved the chutney that he said, with utter delight, reminded him of the sweet and sour sauce at McDonald’s. And at the end of the evening, when the last guest was gone and the last dish was dried, I sat in the lingering pink scent of my living room and realized that perhaps I was the one who had learned about tradition that evening.

Antonia’s chapter in The School of Essential Ingredients, and its different approach to Thanksgiving, grew out of that experience and out of all the interesting things we see and learn when we look at ourselves through the perspective of a different culture.

Stuffed Turkey Breast
  • 1 whole turkey breast
  • 4 slices of pancetta
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 T rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • sherry (enough to cover cranberries)
  • olive oil

Soak cranberries in sherry (15 minutes), drain.

Butterfly turkey breast -- lay open.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, garlic, rosemary, and cranberries. Drizzle with olive oil. Add pancetta slices.

Roll up turkey, season outside with rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Tie with string. Wrap in foil. Cook at 400 degrees for 40-55 minutes (internal temp 140 degrees).

Want to learn more about The School of Essential Ingredients? Check out Erica’s website at www.ericabauermeister.com.
Looks easy and delicious, doesn't it?! And now for the giveaway. I'll running this for only 3 weeks, instead of the usual 4, so the winner can get their copies in time for the Holidays!

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GIVEAWAY

The Prize

Two copies of this book will go to one lucky reader!

To Enter
  • You can do one or all of these things to enter :


    1. Describe a Thanksgiving tradition in your family.
    2. A Thanksgiving recipe
    3. Due to the economy, will you be doing something different this Thanksgiving?
    4. Tips to make Thanksgiving easier


  • Please list your email address within your comment so that you can be notified should you be chosen as a winner.
For Extra Entries

Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.

Deadline   Midnight CST of November 30, 2009.

Eligibility  US only.

Please read the Disclaimer. Good luck!

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73 comments :

  1. Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. My family always serves the full cornucopia of holiday delights. The roast turkey with cornbread dressing and pan gravy. Mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, macaroni salad, potato salad, a pickle and olive platter, homade rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Everything is prepared following handed-down family recipes. The leftover turkey makes yummy turkey salad!

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  5. My tip for Thanksgiving as well as for other entertaining is to gather all necessary serving pieces and utensils in advance so you are prepared. If you realize something is missing you can purchase or borrow it before the holiday.

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  9. Thanksgiving for us is always about the food and company. We start around noon. We have turkey and stuffing w/gravy,mashes patatoes,sweet patatoes w/marshmello sauce baked in oven, green beans,corn pudding, califlowerw/cheese sauce, and roast ham. Lots of desserts too. we sit and eat most of the day then sit and watch a xmas movie to bring in the holidays. Corn pudding recipe to follow. thanks
    heidi
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  18. Last year I made this pie for Thanksgiving, and my boyfriend thought that it was the best he'd ever had:

    Frozen deep-dish pie crust
    1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
    1 2/3 cup whipping cream
    3 large eggs, beaten to blend
    1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 tsp salt

    In large bowl, whisk all ingredients until smooth.

    Pour mixture into frozen pie crust. Bake 15 mins at 425 degrees. Then turn down temp to 350 degrees. Bake another 45 mins, until center barely jiggles when shaken. (Check crust 25-30 mins into it. If brown, lay foil over edges to shield.)

    Let cool to room temp on wire rack, at least 2 hours.

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  22. I have you on my blog roll right bar

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  25. Blogged:
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  26. My tip to make Thanksgiving easier. Ask all participants in the dinner to bring wine or dessert. Make as much of the measl as you can beforehand.

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  29. We always spend Thanksgiving with my hubby's ex-sister-in-law. She dumped his brother but kept us! That's our Thanksgiving tradition!

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  58. For Thanksgiving instead of having pumpkin pie we have pumpkin crispt. It is like a pumpkin bar but with some strusel topping on it. This has been requested for the last 10 year in both my family and on my husband's side of the family.

    msgb245 at gmail dot com

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  59. Email follower, and a Thanksgiving tradition we enjoy is holding hands around the table and sharing what we are thankful for. We have the usual Thanksgiving fare, but always have to make my Aunt Flora's cornbread dressing!

    Blessings,
    Sandee

    Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

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  60. My husband and I started volunteering at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving a couple of years after we met. Usually we help out preparing the food and packaging take home meals for the next day and then in the morning on Thanksgiving we help to give out the food and present each person with a meal wrapped up to take with them for later on in the day.
    It's really a wonderful way to spend part of the day with each other and with people who are a little less fortunate than us in some ways...but not all.

    Thank you for this wonderful giveaway! I have wanted to read this book ever since I found out about it during BBAW!

    Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

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  65. Comment #4 on Barbara Knovoba's post!

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  67. justpeachy36@yahoo.com

    If you are looking for an alternative to Pumpkin Pie than this is the recipe for you...

    Pumpkin Trifle

    Ingredients:

    One 14-ounce package gingerbread mix
    One 5.1-ounce package cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
    One 30-ounce can pumpkin pie filling
    ½ cup packed brown sugar
    1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom
    One 12-ounce carton Cool Whip
    ½ cup gingersnaps (optional)

    Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely.
    Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding.
    Crumble half batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, clear bowl.
    Pour ½ of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped cream.
    Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps if desired. Refrigerate overnight.
    Can be layered in a punch bowl.

    Yield: 20 servings
    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 30 minutes
    Ease of preparation: Easy

    Enjoy!

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  68. justpeachy36@yahoo.com

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  69. I blogged about this giveaway here:
    http://homeofaimala.blogspot.com/2009/11/big-list-ogiveaways.html

    Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

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  70. Comment #2 on the post about Barbara Knovoba


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  71. Book blogger's Diary is on my blog roll!


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  72. My mother, now gone from us, got a linen tablecloth and had everyone in the family sign it and then embroidered all the signatures. Her sister now has it and keeps up the tradition, having new family members sign. This year, a long-time boyfriend of one of my cousin's girls signed it. He was immediately besieged with comments such as "When is the wedding?","Oh, there's no leaving now!", etc.

    winelover19 at gmail dot com

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  73. Congrats to the winner who has been notified. Thank you all for stopping by!

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