My family almost always celebrates Thanksgiving at my childhood home in Zionsville with my momma's side of the family. It's a hilariously jam packed day of Nintendo with the cousins, all the moms in the kitchen yapping away like the sisters they are, the dads sitting comfortably on the sofas with their beers (minus my own dad, allergies yo). After an hour of finishing touches, the dishes are finally on the kitchen island - a turkey for American tradition, flanked on each side by Korean bulgogi and pork stir fry. Surrounding them is much of the same theme - a random "traditional" American dish here and there, but overwhelmed by the more enticing Asian dishes, with their chopsticks sticking in wherever they can fit. Plates with scoops of rice are passed around, everyone takes a turn grabbing a spoonful of this and that. You almost inevitably need a second plate to make sure you've tried everything.
The holidays take on a different meaning at 25 compared to 15. My teenage self focused on the flashy sales and gifts, the desserts, and making sure I got the breast meat of the turkey (my stance on white meat has dramatically changed since, thank god). I was concerned about my food and how much I could get before feeling sick to my stomach. A battle of quantity, most certainly.
Ten years later, the tangible things have faded into the background. In its place, warm thoughts and feelings of family, kindness, generosity, love. Food is still a key player in all of this, but more so as a means to highlight these enduring sentiments of the holiday season. I understand now that the meal goes so much more beyond the food. It is the act of passing dishes to the ones next to you. It is the smiles all around, the gratitude of each guest. It is the laughter shared in between bites.
Going into Thanksgiving this year, I want to keep my mind aware of this beautiful celebration, of food but more so of relationships and love.
November has provided Indy with unseasonably warm weather, and with it gives the opportunity to really embrace autumn's beauty with hikes and picnics. We are incredibly lucky to have a gorgeous state park only 20 minutes away from the city, and so I decided that the picnics didn't have to end when summer did. Andrew and I packed a spread of steak salads, snackable veggies, donuts, and these rosemary parmesan scones. To go with the scones, we toasted to fall with an easy cranberry champagne cocktail, using DRY Sparkling cranberry soda. The cranberry highlighted the rosemary of the scone, and the sweetness of the champagne balanced out the salty parmesan. Andrew described the scones as "stuffing in a biscuit form," so I imagine it would be a deliciously carb-y addition to your Thanksgiving table.
To encourage the holiday feels, DRY Sparkling has paired with a group of bloggers thanks to Amber to share other sparkly drinks and tasty snacks to go with them! Each recipe will include either a cocktail using one of their limited edition cranberry or ginger sodas or a holiday food pairing for said sodas. Head over to Amber's blog to see the full roundup of recipes, all of which make me even more excited for the merriment to come in the next few months.
DRY Sparkling also wants to spread the cheer! I'm giving away a package of these special limited edition flavors - ginger and cranberry - along with a few other goodies like a beanie, shirt, flutes, and socks to keep your feet toasty warm when winter comes. To enter, simply comment to this post by November 30th, and be sure to add an email associated with it! Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
Rosemary parmesan scones, adapted from King Arthur Flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and super cold (I keep in the freezer until ready to use!)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg yolk, with egg white reserved for brushing on top
- 1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- Finishing salt, either sea salt or flaky salt
- In a large bowl, whisk the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chopped rosemary until combined.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg yolk and buttermilk until combined, then set aside.
- Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture and either with your fingers quickly or with a pastry blender, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it is in small pebbles distributed throughout.
- Add the wet ingredients and mix a little, then add the parmesan cheese and continue to mix until just combined. You may need to add 1-2 more tablespoons of buttermilk if it seems too dry. Turn out onto a floured surface.
- Use your hands to form a circle of dough, about 1 1/2 inches tall. Try not to overmix the dough, just pat it gently to form the shape. Brush the scones with the egg white wash and cover with more cheese shavings and salt. Place the scones in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the scones in the oven and let bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the sides of each scone appear completely cooked. Remove from the oven and let cool so you don't burn your fingers. The minute you can handle them, enjoy! These were great for the picnic, and Andrew will tell you they remind him of breakfast sausage (?) so enjoy in the morning if that's more up your alley.
Have a great holiday season everyone, complete with full bellies and, more importantly, full hearts.