Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. It’s full of family, friends, and lots of amazing food – all of which I’m incredibly thankful for. So often, we take for granted how many things we have to be thankful for, so I genuinely look forward to being reminded at this time of year. Over the years I’ve claimed Thanksgiving as my own. I’ve started the tradition of Friendsgiving among my group of friends, the weekend before the holiday. I make the turkey, stuffing, and gravy, and they each pick a side to bring. It’s a great way to celebrate and gets everyone involved.
At this point, you’re probably thinking that Friendsgiving sounds like a great idea, but are also realizing that you may have missed the chance to plan one this year. Or, maybe you’re realizing that you were assigned a part of your own Thanksgiving meal, and have no idea what to make. Or maybe, you’ve made the same side dishes for 20 years, and are looking for some new recipes and techniques to make this Thanksgiving your best yet. Well, you’re in luck, The Chopping Block is hosting Taste of Thanksgiving this Saturday, November 19th, from 12pm-3pm.
Our Merchandise Mart location will be transformed in a Thanksgiving paradise! All of our kitchens will have demonstration and tasting stations led by our talented chefs. You’ll have the opportunity to learn new techniques, ask questions, sample every part of the Thanksgiving meal from soup and salad to dessert (14 dishes!), and taste 8 different wines (some from our new Reserve list) so that you can be prepared with the perfect bottle for the holiday.
We’ll be showcasing the benefits of brining and whole roasting a turkey and demonstrating how to carve it, while also making a delicious Roulade with Red Wine-Mushroom Sauce for those that prefer turkey breast. We’ll have two different stuffings – Owner/Chef Shelley Young’s own Sage Stuffing, as well a Cornbread Oyster Stuffing. We’re making the well-loved garlic mashed potatoes, but think you all might also want to give our Sweet Potato and Gruyere Cheese Gratin a try this year. We’re got the veggies covered too. Once you try our Brussel Sprouts with Maple Mustard Glaze, and Glazed Root Vegetables, you may think twice about the typical Green Bean Casserole. If you’re tired of traditional Cranberry Sauce, try ours! We’re making one with tangerine, and also making a Cranberry-Apple Relish for something a little less traditional, but just as tasty.
Our homemade Dinner Rolls and famous Apple Pie are among my favorite Chopping Block recipes. We’ll be demonstrating (and tasting) those too. Chances are you’ll fall in love with our cast iron Apple Pie, and when you do, you can sign up on the spot to buy one for pick up before the holiday. We were just featured in the Tribune’s best Thanksgiving pies!
Our friends at Isola are coming by to taste out Cream of Balsamic. We’ll be featuring it on Bacon Wrapped Dates, which is sure to be your go-to appetizer for years to come. It’s so easy and everyone loves them! They also make a really good snack for Football Sundays, so here’s the recipe in case you can’t wait:
Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Cream of Balsamic
Yield: 6-8 servings
Active time: 10 minutes
Start to finish: 25 minutes
24 dates, pitted
8 strips of bacon, cut into thirds
Cream of Balsamic
3 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
- Preheat the oven to 375º.
- Wrap a piece of bacon around one date, making sure to overlap the ends of the bacon. Use a toothpick to secure. Continue until all dates are wrapped.
- Place on a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is crisp.
- Transfer to a platter and drizzle with cream of balsamic. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve.
Journeyman Distillery will be back and tasting out the Old Country Goodness, Apple Cider Liquer, that was such a hit at our recent Apple Fest and Customer Appreciation Days. The OCG is delicious cold or warm, and is my new fall favorite. My Thanksgiving table will definitely have a bottle or two to go around!
All this delicious food is sure to inspire some cooking, so we’ll be raffling off Le Creuset cookware as well!
I don’t know about you, but I’m happy and full just thinking about this feast. I can’t wait to taste all of the delicious food, ask my last minute questions, and find some new recipes to incorporate into my own holiday this year. Make sure you get your ticket for this great event today!