Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We decided to celebrate Thanksgiving today (Labor Thanksgiving Day) because the kids were off school and it is fun to keep some connection to the traditions of home. It was a blast! Everyone chipped in and we played games while waiting for things to cook. We couldn't really do turkey unless we wanted to take a trip to Costco or get it through Foreign Buyers Club or the Flying Pig or something. Plus most people in the family aren't that keen on turkey anyway. (I like it but didn't think it worth the effort.) This is what we had:

Peppered pork tenderloin in a wine sauce.
Chestnut stuffing
Roasted sweet potatoes
Mashed potatoes
Green beans
and of course pumpkin (kabocha) pie
The chestnut stuffing was the most complicated because of the spices, but we found what we needed at Yamaya.

Here are a few recipes:
Chestnut stuffing:
1 1/2 loaves of standard 6 slice Japanese bread left overnight with crusts off
400g of chestnuts
1 celery stalk
1 onion
loads of parsley
sage (from Yamaya- unfortunately all they had was ground)
salt and pepper
100g of melted butter
1 egg beaten
mix thoroughly in that order (more or less) and season to taste.
bake for about 50 min at 170C mixing constantly (we used a metal mixing bowl)

Pumpkin (Kabocha) pie
2 c. Kabocha
(We used 2 half cuts of cooked kabocha: we boiled one and baked one- perhaps boiling worked best. Empty the seeds before cooking and scrape out the insides once it is soft.)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (we couldn't find evaporated milk- but condensed milk is readily available.)
2 large eggs
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t clove

Use your favorite crust recipe- butter flour and water can be easily found
Prebake the crust 250c (15-2o min) then pour the filling in.
Bake at 250c for 15 minutes then 180c for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
We did one pie without spices and the other with- hard to say which was better...
This was possibly the best pumpkin pie I have ever eaten (sorry mom).

For the roasted sweet potatoes (absolutely fabulous)
parboil 2 cm thick slices of sweet potato rounds
preheat olive oil in a tray to 250c
add the potatoes in a single layer
cook for 10 minutes on each side

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