Robin White with a welcome addition from Sara Foster
I was raised in Hull, a very small town on the South Shore of Massachusetts which was established in 1621. My father’s relatives came over on the Mayflower and I’ve always kept family traditions alive at Thanksgiving, including making family dishes that I’ve researched or that have been passed down through our family over time. This year I am adding a new one. I’m creating a fresh salad with ingredients from everywhere I have ever called home. I have lived all over this great country of ours and Thanksgiving is not just a Pilgrim tradition anymore, it is a celebration of our lives.
I would like to welcome Sara Foster to this Thanksgiving post. Sara, of Fosters Market in Durham, has just published her 25th Anniversary Cookbook and if you want to create the ultimate Southern Thanksgiving menu, grab yourself a copy of her new book. Her recipes are all about good home cooking and are easy to prepare. We share a common philosophy about spending more time with guests and less time in the kitchen without sacrificing good food. Sara shares her recipe for Winter Couscous with Curry-Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas from her new book with us. Go to the heading and click to view the video or you can find the recipe it in her new book.
I have a few very special people to thank for making my second career as a chef the best part of my life. Ruth White, my Mom, for your many hours of rolling dough and showing me the basics of all things good in the kitchen. It has been a honor caring for you for the last 9 years. Peeling pounds of apples even at 93, she makes the best apple pie ever. I cherish each moment I have with you. Julia Child for giving me the strength and the courage to change careers and follow my passion. Your many hours of TV and cookbooks made me say yes to this journey, but working with you in the mid 90’s was the highlight of my life. It brings me joy every time I hold a knife in my hand to see your hands in mine. There are really no words to describe that pure joy.
One place in particular I moved back to 6 times in California is where I learned that the family farm mattered and still does. Living among farmers and winemakers alike and learning from such people such as Robert Mondavi (you are missed), Peggy Ryan, Grant Long, Jr., Kirk Venge, Elizabeth Vianna and Cynthia Cosco has been an honor. Amelia and Pedro Ceja taught me how to respect the land and the glory that grows from it. Amelia you’ve shared your vast knowledge of Mexican food and culture and embraced Andrea and I into your loving family, that has has been priceless. I love being American Indian, British and now Latina, 1000 Abrazos y besos.
As we settle into our new Hillsborough, North Carolina home, a charming town introduced to us by our dear friends, Frances and Ed Mayes, I have rediscovered the South, so full of traditions that have always enticed my senses. The respect for the earth is similar here as it was in Sonoma, the welcome we have received has me wonder why we waited so long to make this move. Frances, your guidance and suggestions have been a enormous influence. You have taught me entertaining is easier than I once thought and that extra handful of pasta works every time. Your Tuscan Sun light has shinned on us and lit the path to this fantastic place. Mille grazie.
To Jim Dodge, I am not a baker by any stretch, having you at the touch of a phone to talk me down from a coconut cake makes me believe I can bake anything. I am blessed to have you back in my life. We will never loose touch again.
Last but not least to Cynthia Bogart of this amazing online lifestyle magazine. You believed I had something special and now I do to. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Living in the South has brought out my southern food drawl – here you go y’all!
On Turkey Day we tend to over carb ourselves, I would like to freshen it up with flavors from everywhere I’ve lived in a new tradition – a Thanksgiving Salad.
- 1 pound butternut squash or your favorite squash
- 4 cups black baby kale
- 4 cups baby mustard greens
- 2 cups frisee
- 2 cups watercress
- 4 slices applewood smoked of bacon crumbled
- 3 medium size red or pink beets, roasted and cleaned, cut into wedges
- 1 cup candied pecans (make your own or buy them at any good cheese counter)
- 1 cup Point Reyes blue cheese, crumbled and added just before serving
- 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds toasted
- 1/4 dried cranberries to add that Thanksgiving touch
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot, minced fine
- up to 2 tbsp real maple syrup, make with 1 then taste to adjust maple flavor
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- assemble the salad in a bowl or big platter and serve with Maple dressing on the side,
- add everything in a blender or food processor and blend real well.