22 November 2012

Bits and Bobs (the Thanksgiving edition)

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The food is delicious, it is relatively low hassle compared to Christmas, and it falls on a Thursday, so there is always a nice long weekend to follow.

The Food
This year because of our recent travel schedule and a death in the family, our Thanksgiving is going to be pretty low key. I only made one pie this year (pumpkin) using John's grandmother's recipe which would make anyone love pumpkin pie. After watching the entire third season of the Great British Bake Off in the course of just a week I was also determined to make my own pie crust this year. I have made them from scratch in the past, but I always run into trouble rolling it out. This year it rolled out beautifully but I may have overworked it. We will see what it tastes like. I also decided to add a twist to my cranberry sauce this year so I used fresh ginger and clementine juice. I did a bit of sampling already and can confirm that it is delicious.

Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without stuffing--which I don't actually stuff inside the bird--I keep that cavity free for aromatics and herbs.

Aromatic veggies and thyme for cooking the bird.

For the gravy

The bird and the oven
I have been fantasizing for years about my dream kitchen. With any luck it will happen in 2013 when we renovate and add onto our house. For quite some time we have been convinced that we were going to get a Wolf range. But yesterday we went to look at a house that was renovated by one of the builders we are considering for our job. In that kitchen was the most beautiful range I have ever seen. It was a Lacanche and it was gorgeous.

Not only is it pretty, but because it is rather old fashioned in its engineering as well as its look, it has far fewer mechanical bits and computers than most high end ranges. My only concern was that the oven is smaller than most American ovens. Would I be able to make my Thanksgiving bird in it? So I did some measuring this morning to see. I tend to make smallish turkeys (14 pounds) but I use a rack so I was worried I might have trouble in the Lacanche. So I did some measuring this morning.

Measuring the height of my bird (after a night of post-brining air drying in the fridge).

The Lacanche oven is only 12" high which is about 4" less than our current oven. But as you can see from the picture, the bird will fit with plenty room to spare. Plus, and this is the important part, we were already planning on having a separate standard sized wall oven in the new kitchen, so it doesn't matter so much that the Lacanche has a smaller oven.

Just look at it...

Ours will be smaller than this, but it does show off how pretty it is.

This is a warming compartment. Not only can you keep things warm, but you can
use for as a proving oven for things that need to rise in a  warm place. And would you look at those knobs.

This is the one we are getting, but in black. And we will get the burner configuration shown on the left.

Lucy helped me
As always, Lucy was eager to help out in the kitchen.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Thomas, to all of your family.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, Thomas. Your recipe sounds splendid and I'm sure that the end result would be utterly delicious and memorable!! Lucy is adorable!!

  3. Lucy! On the sofa! In the sunshine!

    Happy Thanksgiving, your feast is lovely. And that range--OMG! Gorgeous.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, Lucy is without a doubt in my mind, the most beautiful dog around.

  5. I'm so glad you decided to get the Lacanche. I don't know anything about this brand, but we have a Wolf and are very unhappy with it. We've had trouble with it almost from the start: the small oven heats unevenly, so things are brown on one side and not the other, the small oven sometimes pops when the gas goes off, scaring the crap out of me, the burners don't always light, the electric ignitors keep clicking and won't stop, the finish on the range top is not durable. I've called Wolf many times, but they're not very responsive. If you look on-line, you'll see that others have these same problems. It was a very expensive range and I feel like I was taken. Looks nice, doesn't work well.

    BTW, thanks for the Lucy photos. They always make me smile.

  6. Lovely knobs, I dream of an aga but it's not very practical in a flat - the floor just wouldn't take it.

  7. Looks like you had a wonderful feast! Hope it was happy.

  8. OMG THAT OVEN! I went from a crappy, electric apartment oven that wouldn't fit cookie sheets to a cheapo, regular sized gas stove. I wouldn't even know where to begin with that wonderful stove.

  9. I hope you decide on this range, they are SO beautiful. I've never actually used one so probably get some advice from owners on that.

  10. Loved this post ... but where are your recipes? Having lost our lovely little dog 2 months ago (she was over 14), Lucy stole my heart.

  11. I love how the pics highlight Lucy's lovely ears. :-)

  12. That oven! It's absolutely gorgeous! I'm still in the tiny apartment stage of my life, but I'm going to add this oven to my dream list of "Things I Want When I Have A House."

    Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

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  14. Mary: Thanks. I hope you had a good day as well.

    ASD: The food did turn out really good this year.

    Margaret: Lucy makes everything cozy.

    Bookish butch: Well we certainly think so. Nice to know others agree.

    Joan: So good to hear your Wolf story. We were choosing it over Viking for reliability reasons. Glad we discovered the Lacanche.

    Hayley: I love how an AGA looks, but I don't think I would enjoy learning how to cook on it and in it.

    Ted: Thanks. We had a great day.

    Amanda: Truth be told many a cheap oven does really well. Weak gas stove top burners is what starts to make the higher end ragnes more desireable.

    Stefan: We are definitely going to go with the Lacanche. We are both totally in love with it.

    Whispering: So sorry to hear about your loss. I can't imagine how awful that must be.

    Raving Reader: With her ears, it is hard for them not to be the highlight.

    Lu: We have a really long list like that too. It is amazing how a budget can lay ruin to such lists.

  15. Thomas: LOVE the Lacanche range. If you go to the following post and scroll down, you will see a smaller version of the Lacanche at the B&B we stayed at in England--it was just beautiful.


  16. That is one gorgeous range. Lucy is quite cute too!


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