Friday Foodstuffs 11.20.09: Where Are the Turkey Day Events?

For those of you who read our blog regularly, and to you we say thank you, you know that I love to put together lists of events. Small lists, big lists, monochromatic and multicolored lists…I like my lists. So, some of you may be wondering: Gee, John, where is your fancy list of places to go for Thanksgiving?

And my answer is…I don’t have one.

There’s a reason for this, and it’s not laziness (I heard you thinking that – cut it out).

Personally, I think Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday – maybe my most favorite one. And it’s a holiday that should be spent with one’s family…at home. Now, don’t get me wrong; there will be lots of restaurants putting on great turkey and stuffing spreads on that yummiest of Thursdays in November. But, to me, the fact that Thanksgiving has been able to resist being overly commercial due to its simple nature – being grateful for what you have – lends itself to a more genuine connection with family and friends, and this kind of connection is best suited for the home.

But again, this is just my feeling on the subject. Other folks have their own ideas, and that’s fine. I will still stand by my belief that the best Thanksgiving meals will be served at home.

Now…having said all this…

If you really want to break with tradition and have a restaurant make your Turkey Day meal, why not go all out? Heck, why not skip the turkey altogether?

Coriander in Voorhees is offering special holiday spreads for 10 or 20 people, and you can choose between a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian menu. Check out these spreads (and you must order by Monday):

Non-Vegetarian: $185 for 10, $300 for 20
– spiced butternut squash soup

– tandoori chicken or chicken tikka makhani

– lamb roganjosh
– gobi aloo mattar
– saffron pulao
– assorted bread basket
– walnut mandarin orange salad (w/ reduced orange dressing)

– gulab jamun or masala chai ice cream

Vegetarian: $170 for 10, $280 for 20
– spiced butternut squash soup

– paneer pepper masala or paneer lababdar

– vegetable kofta curry
– gobi aloo mattar
– saffron pulao
– assorted bread basket
– walnut mandarin orange salad (w/ reduced orange dressing)

– gulab jamun or masala chai ice cream

Indian for Thanksgiving? That might just make me change by whole belief system.

On the third Thursday in November every year, the newest of the Beaujolais are shipped from, well, Beaujolais out the thirsty world. It’s tradition – everyone knows this, right? Sure. I guess. Well…kinda. I dunno…why you asking me?

Well, it is, so there.

We here in America have a similar tradition. By the third Thursday in November every year, it is determined that the Detroit Lions are eliminated from playoff contention. Thank you thank you…good night folks!

But I kid, Detroit Lions fans.

Let’s get back to the Beaujolais nouveau, shall we?

If you’re keen on celebrating the arrival of the Beaujolais (y’know, if you type it enough times, you get the hang of spelling ‘beaujolais’ without even thinking…oops, off on another tangent), the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College (y’know, if you type that enough times, your carpal tunnel will really start to kick in…dang, tangent-ing again) will be having its annual celebration tonight at 6:30PM. Renault Winery will also be celebrating the Beaujolais tonight with a Celebration Dinner Party, with cocktails starting at 6:30.

If that isn’t enough wine-ing for you, I’ve got plenty more!

Next weekend will be another installment of the Garden State Wine Growers Association’s Wine Trail Weekends, and this is the holiday edition. Wineries throughout South Jersey will be having special tastings are other events from the 27th to the 29th. Here’s what you can find:

Auburn Road Vineyard & Winery will have a special $10 pairing of their wines with gourmet food items, and with Sunday brunch you get a free glass of their Sangria.

Bellview Winery in Landisville is offering, for a $5 fee, a tour, a tasting, appetizers, music and a complimentary glass.

Cape May Winery in Cape May will have local specialty products, including Organic Raw Chocolate, Chef Walter J’s Spices and Seaside Cheese Co.

Cedarvale Winery in Logan Township will be offering tastings and special gift baskets.

Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery in Rio Grande will have their Eat Local – Drink Local dinner on Friday with food from Copper Fish in Cape May, a cooking demo in Saturday, and tastings with chocolate and cheese on Sunday.

Heritage Vineyards in Richwood is offering $8 wine and cheese tastings along with live music and a small food menu.

Laurita Winery in New Egypt will have live music along with their tastings and yummy gourmet cheeses and sandwiches. Check the special discounts for cases.

Natali Vineyards in Cape May Courthouse will have domestic and imported cheese to taste along with their wines.

Plagido’s Winery in Hammonton will be offering tastings and light fare for $5 as well as special discounts for cases of wine.

Sharrott Winery in Blue Anchor will have special treats, such as a chocolate fondue, to go with your tastings. You can also sample their Mulled Spice Chambourcin.

Swansea Vineyards in Shiloh will be pairing cheeses with their wines and a special gift for the first 50 folks who attend.

Valenzano Winery in Shamong is having 50% off second cases of wine along with food and live music. Try their Cranberry and Blueberry sparking wines, Shamong Reserve Red and Jersey Devil port.

And I’ve got one more for you. Ready?

Balic Winery will be having its annual Holiday Gala Extravaganza this weekend AND next weekend. Sample the wines and enjoy the music and Mediterranean cuisine.

A special holiday version of the Festivals of Food should be posted early next week, God willing. Prayers are always appreciated.

Wine is definitely a strong theme in the special dining events this weekend. Cape May will be the place tonight, with The Mad Batter in Cape May having its Holiday Preview Weekend Wine Tasting Dinner and Peter Shields Inn having its own Wine Pairing Dinner. The Golden Inn Resort in Avalon is hosting an International Tour of Wines & Food Escape Weekend this weekend, which sounds like fun.

If you’d like to switch over to beer, High Street Grill in Mount Holly is having a special Beer Lunch on Sunday.

And, The Robin’s Nest, also in Mount Holly, is wrapping up its Vegetarian Week on Saturday.

In the cooking classrooms, the next installment of the Cape May Wine School will be happening on Sunday at The Washington Inn. Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown will be taken over by the kids on Sunday with two Kids in the Kitchen classes: Tantalize Your Taste Buds and Kosher-Style Cooking – Chanukah Delight.

In addition, there will be a special Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration presented by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of New Jersey (now THAT’S a society name!) on Sunday at the Peachfield location in Westampton.

Blogging Out Hunger

The Boy Scouts will be participating in Scouting For Food this weekend. Read about their efforts here and here.

And in the news this week…

James Beard Award-winning Mustache Bill’s Diner in Barnegat Light briefly had to close due to an electrical fire.

The Courier-Post is running its annual Holiday Cooking Contest.

Congrats, Part I: Our friends at The Sweet Life Bakery in Vineland are being recognized by the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers with a Success Award!

Congrats, Part II: Chef James Malaby of blueplate in Mullica Hill was listed as one of the 40 Chefs Under 40 on Mother Nature Network!

And…Congrats, Parts III and IV: Michael Bray of Passion Vines in Somers Point will opening his second location in Egg Harbor Township tomorrow AND he and his wife Kimberly were blessed with the birth of their first child! What a week, Michael!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

– John

3 thoughts on “Friday Foodstuffs 11.20.09: Where Are the Turkey Day Events?

  1. thanks for posting on places to eat on thanksgiving.yes, we should be with family but, we are one of those couples, that goes out to eat.we don't do turkey…so we'll find some quirky little place and try their goodies instead.:-)

  2. I will politely disagree, as there are those of us who are by ourselves and won't or can't be meeting with family for Thanksgiving.There was one such Thanksgiving for me about 10 years ago that I spent with the housemates I was living with at the time that pretty much turned out to be a disaster. I decided I'd be happier to go to bleeping Denny's for Thanksgiving dinner than to spend it in the company of strange fools.Happily, I'll be able to make it to Mom's this year, although we're heading out to relatives for dinner. And knowing these relatives, maybe it's time to make reservations at Denny's. šŸ™‚

  3. jelly – If you guys have your own tradition fo going out, and it makes you happy, that's all that really matters. That spread from Coriander sounds good, though, doesn't it? :)Pizza Guy – Yeah, I can see how a bad Turkey Day experience can make one rethink how to spend the holiday. ;)- John

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