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Hey, that's my drumstick!

Spacer issue seven, volume nine  

Turkey w/Pumpkins

I don't know what your traditional entree is at Thanksgiving, but I'm going to guess it's a Turkey. TurkeysI'm thinking most Americans celebrate with a bird (sorry vegans, just the facts) and that means some carving is going to have to be done. But who will do it? In some families it is an honorary position given to a guest or automatically given to "the head of the table" no matter their skill. Over the years we have given the honor to someone of dubious skill several times to disastrous results. Have your ever tried to Filled Itemsbuild a sandwich out of large turkey cubes? No, always go with skill over ceremony. These days Tracy is the only one allowed in the kitchen when it comes time to carve. When I was growing up, the job always fell to my father. My father in fact carved everything. He was a dentist by trade and while I can't be certain, when he went to Dental School in the '50's I think he did a required semester of domestic roast and fowl carving. His turkey slices would make you weep, but where he really shone was lamb. SquirrelsHis favorite meal in the world was a lamb roast and particularly its leftovers the next day. As he sliced the roast for my sisters and me, he knew that each of us would be served a certain number of slices and so if he controlled the thickness there would be more for him tomorrow. The slices we were served were beautiful, complete from end to end, and practically see-through! Oh, alright, they weren't transparent, but man, that guy could carve. You have to reward that sort of skill.
We would suggest rewarding carving skills with chocolate. Create a gorgeous table and fill a bowl generously with Woodhouse chocolates. Of course we are here to help in any way we can. From our special filled Walnuts, which are only available for this season, to our various sizes of Turkeys, Pumpkins, Grapes, Squirrels and our Thanksgiving Basket, we have what you want and need. Happy Thanksgiving!

John and Tracy Wood Anderson

Redmon Logo

This was to be a column about a wonderful Grenache that Tracy and I both enjoy, but as we were having lunch yesterday with dear friends, they suggested we join them for a wine tour and meet some friends of their's. Well, we go on wine tours about...never, but we said sure. Strangely the winery is down Dowdell Lane, one of St. Helena's few semi-industrial streets, and is located across from were we buy our tires. Don't let any of that stop you. Once you pull into their gravel drive, industry falls away and you have entered another, beautiful world. We were met by Scott Mangelson, who, with his wife Lisa, has transformed an old ghost winery into a 3.5 acre compound of several cottages and a picturesque old barn. Redmon is her maiden name, and together this hands-on couple produce fewer than 1,000 cases total of chardonnay and three cabernets. The wines are wonderful as is their genuine hospitality and passion for winemaking. We joined a tour in progress that was conducted entirely by Scott, the owner, and ended with a sit down tasting of all of their wines! This is what Napa Valley used to be, what the valley should be. Of the wines we tried yesterday, our favorite to try with our chocolate was the estate: Redmon 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Redmon Vineyard, St. Helena, Napa Valley ($79). The aromas of the wine are redolent of dark cherry, blackberry and some chocolate, while the palate answers with a velvety vanilla and toast from the barrels as well as firm black cherry and boysenberry. A really beautifully made wine that was extremely chocolate friendly. Try it with our Thai Ginger (brings out the spiciness of the ginger and the fruit of the wine), Honey (round sweet/fruit character), Quatre Epices (mulled wine), Caramel Mousse, Cinnamon, Champagne Truffle and Rum Raisin.
Redmon is available direct from the winery at their website or by calling (707) 235-0282. People always ask us where to go for tasting in the valley? Redmon must be on your list.

Filled Walnuts


serves 4

I love Thanksgiving. What I love most however, is not the main event, even though it is hard to beat stuffing and mashed potatoes slathered in rich turkey gravy. No, what I look forward to most is the left-over meal the next day - specifically the sandwich. Everyone builds their own in a specific way - some putting stuffing in it, some using mustard and/or cranberry sauce, some going rogue with pickles. I have done something a little different here, using even more unusual ingredients.
So here's the thing. I have made this sort of umami paste using a combination of cocoa, soy and garlic. I know it sounds weird, but really, it packs a whole lot of savory yumminess in a small amount. I didn't know what to call it, though. Cocoa Soy Garlic paste didn't seem to sell it properly, so I asked John what he thought I should call it, and without skipping a beat, he blurted out "Steve". I laughed that one off, but he insisted and made me shake hands on it. So, Steve it is. I have thrown Brussels sprouts into this sandwich, which might also sound strange, but trust me, it works.
Many of you will not like the way I have written this recipe, because I am not giving you specific quantities and times. It is more free-form than that. But it is just a grilled sandwich of left-overs. I know you can handle it.

For the Steve:
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 cloves roasted garlic (if you don't know how to roast garlic, call me.)

Combine the cocoa powder and soy sauce. Smash the garlic into a paste (I do this on a cutting board with a small off-set spatula). Add to the cocoa soy paste. Done.


For the Brussels sprouts:
Thinly slice some cooked Brussels sprouts (about 1/4 cup per sandwich)
Toss in some seasoned rice wine vinegar (about 2 Tablespoons per 1/4 cup of Brussels sprouts). Done.

For the Sandwich:
Sourdough Bread
Sliced cheese- I used Smoked Fontina
Sliced Turkey
Cranberry Sauce
Marinated Brussels Sprouts

So, all you do is spread a very thin layer of Steve on each slice of bread (a little goes a long way, so be sure to make it a THIN layer). Put a slice of cheese on one piece of bread, then a slice of turkey. Slather some cranberry sauce on the turkey and place another slice of turkey on that. Pile some Brussels sprouts on the turkey, cover that with another slice of cheese, then the second piece of bread, Steve side down. Spread some butter on the top slice of bread. Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat. Put some butter in the pan and after it has melted out, put the sandwich, unbuttered side down in the pan. Grill until golden brown, carefully turn over - everything will want to fall out, so I usually pick the sandwich up with a spatula, hold the top down with my hand and flip it over onto my hand, then place it back in the pan. Then wipe the butter off of my hand. Grill until the other side is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Be patient and make sure your heat is low enough to get the inside of the sandwich warm and melty without burning the bread. You can finish it off in the oven if necessary. Dig in!

Write-on Turkeys

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