On Thanksgiving Day, Jason invited us to have an early Thanksgiving Dinner with his family. I was excited the night before as this was my 1st real traditional Thanksgiving experience. ;)
It was absolutely a fantastic Turkey meal!
We reached there around 1.20pm.
The dining table was nicely set.
The Chef of the Day - Jason was busy getting the appetizers ready.
Tralala~~~ splendid choices for appetizers.
We had a plate of crackers with 2 kinds of cheeses ( Neufchâtel-like soft cheese and Parmesan cheese) and chopped liver (front plate), a plate of salami (3 flavours) and Gouda cheese (middle plate) and veggie sticks with ranch dressing (back plate). Also, we were served pretzel and potato chips. We had selection of red and white wines, beer, juices and water for refreshment.
I love the chopped liver so much. It was absolutely a great pate to eat with crunchy wheat crackers. It was prepared by Jason's mom and she told us it is a traditional Jewish food. I have got the recipe from her and I would absolutely want to make one in near future. ;)
We were greeted by this sweetie lovely smile. She is like a doll, super cute!!!
Her name is Stella, Jason's youngest daughter. Going to turn one very soon, 2 weeks older than my niece.
Gosh... she made me miss my niece soooo much.
Stella with her mom and grandma. Such a beautiful scene. They reminded me so much of my family at that moment. I miss them!! (Which explained why I was calling mom day and night these 2 days. LOL)
Stella's dad and grandpa were doing men's talk in the kitchen.
While Jason's brother was enjoying a nice mug of beer with his friend. ^_^
Haha... busy eating ladies would always be sensitive on camera. ;)
It was quite a hectic moment for Jason's wife when her elder daughter woke up too. Stella was getting jealous with her sister grabbing her mom from her. She was protesting!!
"Jason, could you help me? I can't handle the two at the same time!"
If only the two girls would let strangers like us have a touch on them. They would just scream when you tried to even put a finger on them. -_-"""
Oh, the daddy had to stop his work at the kitchen for a while to give his sweetie a hug.
See how sweet her smile was? Nothing could compare to a priceless hug by daddy that time. *Yeah! I won*
The daddy was giving a piece of cracker to Stella. Then, Corina saw that and came over to interrupt the one to one relationship. She wanted the attention from daddy too.
"Oh gosh~~~" Jason was shaking his head, just like how he usually did when he described how his 2 sweeties would turn evil at the same time. However, you can see, the smile told you he is a happy man. ;)
Everybody was busy with chatting, eating and drinking...
...except for little Junior and his dad were busy playing toys at the other corner. LOL
Soon, 2 hrs past and it was almost time for our dinner to start. Half of the time, I was learning a lot of skills from Jason, who had real culinary experience in world of restaurants, while he was preparing the meal. It was truly a very meaningful moment for me as I really learnt so much in that short 2 hrs. Thanks Jason sensei! ^_^
After 3 hrs of grilling, the turkey was finally out of the oven. It was a grilled turkey with Jamaican jerk rub that Jason just learnt from his trip to Jamaica a few days ago.
Cut, cut, cut the turkey with an electric knife.
Oolala~~~ such a delicious looking plate of Turkey.
He really made the right choice.
The taste? It was a few folds tastier than its look. The meat was as tender as a perfectly cooked moisture chicken, but with stronger savoury taste and more texture to chew with. The spiciness from the rub played the magic in accentuating the great taste of this 13 lbs fresh Turkey.
It was so good that even eating that alone was an awesome experience.
However, that was not the only fun part.
We even could eat the Turkey with this truly mouthwatering mushroom gravy. The fresh Shitake mushroom and Sherry wine-rehydrated Morel mushroom gave the intensed umami taste of glutamate to the whole gravy. We absolutely love it so much.
Besides this savoury gravy to spoil us...
... we also had a Cranberry sauce that was so beautifully decorated. Good look, fabulous taste. I have never really had a normal Cranberry sauce actually, but this version definitely defeated me. The unique texture of Jell-o played so well with the nutty flavour of walnut chunks that was burried inside the sauce. By the time we finished the meal, there was only 1/4 of this Cranberry sauce remained.
On top of that, we had a 3rd sauce to indulge with the Turkey. The apple and pear sauce. It was a very simple step to prepare this. Simply cooked the peeled apple and pear wedges inside boiling water until turned really soft, then just mashed the whole thing, add in some sugar and cinnamon powder. Voila!! A good companion to flavour up your other dishes. ;)
Ok, enough for the gravy and sauces. Next...
Stuffing!! What would be a real Thanksgiving meal without a good stuffing.
I love this version. Jason made these croutons from the bread he bought and mixed with sausage chunks and other ingredients. The croutons absorbed the water from the other ingredient and turn into great softness that gave a good contrast on the peppery sausage that have a great bouncy texture when bitten on it. The juice that oozed out from the sausage, just too temptating that I decided to get a 2nd portion on that. *slurp*
Actually, we started with this great colour soup, the pumpkin soup. I never really like raw onion leaves because the smell and taste tend to be too pungent for me when consumed raw, but it was different for using the chopped chives. The slight pungency with freshly ground nutmeg and heavy cream led the pumpkin soup to a new kind of taste. It really warmed us up and boosted our appetite before the more heavy meal. Truly refreshing, which was quite uncommon especially after consuming a thick soup.
I had mashed potatoes countless time, but this version was something luxurious.
It was not just a mashed potatoes, but with a lot of hidden ingredients inside. One of them, the Black Truffle Butter! Then, Jason just simply add milk, fresh cream, chopped chives and salt.
Oolala~~~ when the butter melted into the hot mashed potatoes and the earthy mushroom smell of the diamond of the kitchen started to penetrate into the whole thing, the mashed potatoes simply turned into something exotic.
Man~~~ if it was not a Thanksgiving meal with so much other good foods around, I was really sure I would serve myself another huge portion of it. The granule of the mashed potatoes was fine and smoothen by the milk and fresh cream that blended it.
This dish, Jason especially prepared for his beloved dad. It was sweet potato casserole with marshmallow on top. His dad was delighted *eyes blink blink* when he saw this dish.
Jason cooked the sweet potatoes before topped with a whole pack of big marshmallow and baked for about 7 min. Before the baking, I was sceptical about this dish.
See how pretty these marshmallows turned? I never really enjoy sweet + sweet combination, neither do I attracted to marshmallow, but I was totally blew away by these marshmallows.
The slightly burnt part was caramelized to enhance the sweetness of the marshmallow and the surface crispy texture was addictive. At the same time, the core of the marshmallow still remain the unmodified fluffly cotton texture. Plus, the bottom part of the marshmallows had direct contact with the hot sweet potatoes and giving a sticky sweet texture.
Imagine three such different texture on one single ingredient, totally a great fun when indulging it.
The rucola salad was something we absolutely need with the high protein high carbohydrate dishes. The young rucola leaves, gosh~~~ I missed them so much. I used to eat these in Japan but I had no chance for that ever since I went back to Kuching.
Love the freshness of the rucola. However, rucola would be a one-man-show only if without other fabulous co-actors. By adding in thinly sliced crunchy fresh Fuji apple, honey glazed crusty walnut, soft milky strong bleu cheese and chopped dried apricot... with a final touch of homemade mustard vinaigrette... it was an irresistible bowl of delicious and yet healthy great combination
I finished a whole plate of mine. Definitely would try to make one in the future.
By the time we finished the meal, it was almost 4.30pm.
Little Stella woke up from her sweet nap. She was ready to get active after drank a whole bottle of warm milk fed by her daddy.
Oh... looked how anxious she was. She had a coat as cute as her on already.
Nothing beat a good walk... pushed by papa. LOL
Lovely neighbourhood! I really like this place.
The 20 min walk gave our stomach some extra space for stuffing some sweet desserts.
What a surprise for me... we even have fresh figs!!
I am a big fan on fig, be it fresh or dried, though I prefer fresh more though. ^_^
I had a little tasting on every dessert but I ate a whole fig. :P
*BURP~~~* Oops!!! I was totally bloated for the whole night.
Jason, thank you so much! It was such a warm and priceless Thanksgiving meal for me. Thanks for all the effort in making this such a wonderful moment. *HUG*
It was not a Traditional Thanksgiving Meal, it was more than a Marvelous Traditional Thanksgiving Meal!! ;)