A Thanksgiving Feast For Your Eyes

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heritage turkey

I admit it, I'm one of those people that loves taking photos of their food as much as they love eating it. Sometimes this will bring a sigh of impatience from my husband as he waits for me to snap the perfect shot of our dinner before we can dig in. But I can't help it; it's a compulsion of mine as an amateur food pornographer to take pictures of my meals. (I take comfort in the fact that other folks share my affliction hobby.)

This past Thanksgiving, we joined four friends in San Francisco for a wonderful potluck dinner. Here's a collection of images from our sumptuous holiday feast.

The centerpiece of our celebration was a free-range, heritage turkey from Mary's. Our hosts, Trevor and Camille, kept the prep simple and marinated it overnight with olive oil and herbs. We arrived just as they were about to carve up the bird to serve the tender breast meat first; the dark meat went back into the oven to finish cooking.

heritage turkey breast close-up


My husband Shawn made two loaves of tasty no-knead bread -- based on Jim Lahey's recipe -- flavored with flecks of aged Gouda cheese and scallions.

homemade no-knead bread

I dug up one of Nigella Lawson's recipes from the New York Times archives for the appetizer: a colorful, seasonal beet-and-ginger soup. (I made it with roasted beets and sweet potatoes.)

beet and ginger soup

I also sauteed kale with garlic, red pepper flakes and lemon juice as a side dish.


Our friends Yuko and Marc made a wide array of accompaniments: a big bowl of roasted radishes; Brussels sprouts with bacon, baked polenta with Parmigiano-Reggiano; and mashed potatoes with scallions, butter and more cheese. Camille also went the extra mile in the kitchen and prepared cranberry sauce from scratch; Trevor joked she should have molded it into a cylinder and added indentations so that it looked like it came out of a can, just like "Mom used to 'make'". The final touch was a rich homemade turkey giblet gravy.

For dessert, we ate a pumpkin-persimmon pie with fresh whipped cream that Camille had baked earlier that day. I completely forgot to take a photo of it as I was too distracted by its airy texture and sweetness. I suppose that's proof -- albeit invisible -- of how delicious it was!