Continuing onward with our epic (well actually reasonable and created in order to be manageable and worthwhile) meal, we come to all the other side dishes.
First, Jan made the truly amazing and unforgettable lemon cake – perhaps the best one she has made yet. Our guests (Dot in this case) brought a wonderful homemade sweet potatoe pie that dot had made – light and fluffy and bursting with rich earthy sweet potato flavor and with a wonderful crust. I hand whipped a pint of cream to go with it! For the rest of the meal we had all the usual necessaries. Mashed potatoes were a compromise between the granular, mealy, potato earthy richness of the British mash and the fluffy, light, liquid richness of the Southern kind. The result was pretty durn good…
Gravy was pan drippings with turkey giblet broth and thickened after a couple of minutes boiling with cornstarch – really a very good gravy this time.
We had a very nice three green side dish made by sauteeing applewood smoked bacon, then cooking cabbage, swiss chard and spinach in with the bacon, squeeze a meyer lemon on top and then stir in some previously cooked and drained bacon crumbles.
But the special remaining side was
Secret Ingredient Cranberry Sauce
Put a medium saucepan on medium high heat and melt a tablespon of butter, then squeeze in the juice of two fresh organic valencia oranges and toss the squeezed orange pieces into the pot. Stir in two pounds of fresh cranberries and lower the heat. Stir in a tablespoon of decorticated whole cardamom and a large three inch piece of cinnamon stick. Let it all cook on low for an hour, stirring occasionally. Fish out the orange pieces and cinammon stick. Stir in 2/3 of a cup of sugar or to taste. Stir in one heaped tablespoon of dark, unsweetened cocoa powder – that’s the secret ingredient. Let cool and serve on the side.