[Photo: Clifford A. Wright]
Thanksgiving is a big joyous occasion in our house and even more so now that the kids are grown and actually do the cooking or a lot of it anyway. We have a set menu and recipes printed out in a looseleaf folder that we use every year. The menu is heavily weighted towards New England mostly because we lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts for 14 years and the kids were raised there. We like everything traditional and the food is fantastic. The turkey is moist and tender and slices like butter. We have gravy made with homemade turkey stock and a little cognac. Our stuffing is typical New England bread stuffing, with homemade bread, sausage, chestnuts
and herbs. We add dishes to the repertoire but never take away. For example, for some years we made pumpkin puree but then switched over for about a decade making pumpkin flapjacks. Brussels sprouts are traditional on the New England Thanksgiving table and finally I came up with a winning Brussels sprouts dish that people love. Hash of Brussels Sprouts with Maple-cured Bacon and Hazelnuts is a winner. You start by pan-searing the split Brussels sprouts in a large cast-iron pan until golden brown. Remove them and cook the bacon until crispy, then everything is chopped up like a hash together with the hazelnuts and there you have a wonderful side dish. I'm sure you've never seen people take seconds of Brussels sprouts but they do with this one.