by Caroline

Like Lisa, I had a Thanksgiving without cooking, but my younger son and I were both too sick for me to be thankful for it. Instead, I was thankful for my sister’s oven repairman, and her own ability to produce several dozen of my mom’s wheat germ rolls, two pies, a pumpkin-ginger cheesecake, roasted vegetables, sweet potato casserole, sweet potatoes Anna, apple-chestnut stuffing, two kinds of cranberry sauce (including one with grapes, almonds and whipped cream that is surprisingly delicious), brussels sprouts with maple-glazed hickory nuts (nuts gathered and shelled by my dad) and, of course, a turkey. My husband made his family’s stuffing (recipe below) and all I did was ask for a couple bunches of fresh kale, which my husband chopped for me to turn into kale salad. It turned out to be a nice foil for the rich sweetness of the rest of the delicious meal, and I think it’ll become a regular part of the ever-expanding Thanksgiving menu.

The stuffing, a recipe from Tony’s grandmother, couldn’t be simpler, so I offer it as Tony dictated it to me:

Of course, it is an entirely eyeballed “recipe” …

several cups breadcrumbs
2-3 bunches, Italian Parsley, washed and chopped coarsely
zest of 2-3 lemons

Mix thoroughly while dry.

Add boiling hot vegetable stock to moisten thoroughly. Cover or serve immediately.

The kale salad is based on this recipe, but I tinker with it (reducing the number of ingredients and the steps involved), so here’s my version:

Combine in a large salad bowl:
2 bunches Tuscan kale (about a pound), center ribs and stems removed, leaves sliced thinly crosswise
2 handfuls dried cranberries
2 handfuls toasted sliced almonds

Mix together dressing ingredients:
2 T balsamic, red wine, or raspberry vinegar
1 T unseasoned rice vinegar
1 T honey
1 T olive oil
salt to taste

Toss the salad with the dressing, and let marinate for 20 minutes or so before serving.