No Garbage Thanksgiving Dinner

Last weekend was Thanksgiving, and I want to share a bit about what we were able to cook and what we learned.

We cooked two sort-of traditional Thanksgiving dinners. I say sort-of traditional because we were only feeding a few people at a time, so instead of cooking a whole turkey, we cooked a complete leg each time, and we only had three side dishes plus cranberry sauce for the turkey, so everything was scaled down a bit from the huge Thanksgiving dinners that we have cooked in the past.

Turkey legs are also easier to get without any packaging. While I’m sure it is possible to buy a whole turkey that isn’t wrapped in plastic and put it in a huge container, (like a rubbermaid storage container), when buying legs I just needed a big tupperware-type container, which is easier to carry and looks much less ridiculous at the butcher, (I went back to the butcher of Les Fermes Saint-Vincent). The vegetables, (squash, brussels sprouts, and potatoes), were relatively easy to get between our CSA basket and Jean-Talon market. Cranberries are also in season right now so we got some fresh cranberries at the market and turned them into sauce for the turkey.

Dessert, however, was a different story. We had apple crumble, which is a totally fine Thanksgiving dessert, but missed having pumpkin pie. The problem with pumpkin pie is that it takes lard to make the pastry. I have discovered that is is possible and probably quite easy to make my own lard by melting down some pork fat and letting it harden, but getting pork fat is a bit of a lottery. They don’t always have it in stock at the butcher, and when they do I have to get there before they put it in a plastic bag and freeze it or melt it down themselves then put it into little plastic tubs to be sold.

So we’ve learned that when cooking large meals for special events it pays to start getting all of our ingredients together ahead of time.

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