This is a difficult time of year for cooks, I believe. You have just finished a marathon of cooking, baking, sautéing, whipping, roasting, chopping, dicing, and cleaning. Your refrigerator is full with leftovers and honestly a part of you can’t imagine getting back into the kitchen until at least Sunday. Even then, it will be something simple…easy…light and non-thanksgiving based.
Admittedly, Thanksgiving was not my favorite food holiday growing up. I didn’t like turkey, stuffing, pecan or pumpkin pie. And my absolute year round favorite – vegetables – became mushy, sweetened casseroles…I didn’t like casseroles. However, I did love being around family and I loved cooking. I’d reason to my parents that certainly I needed to stay up late and help cook and after I’d go to my room and write in a journal (my character must have developed early) about how exhausted I was from all the work.
To all my family I would like to say I believe this was a winning year for Thanksgiving food. To start: spinach artichoke dip with vegetable platter, bacon wrapped sausages, shrimp puffs, and cheddar herb biscuits stuffed with fig and walnuts. Main course: roast turkey with herbed maple apple cider butter, butternut squash and sage risotto, garlic and goat cheese mashed potatoes, haricots verts with roasted mushrooms and caramelized shallots, roasted sweet potatoes with ginger, lime and star anise, and whole and jellied cranberry sauces. And two very good wines whose names I do not remember. Dessert: Just Like Winter Apple Pie and roasted pumpkin cream cheese pie with hazelnuts. I would also like to give a huge round of applause to all our ovens for their extreme dedication this Thanksgiving.
This particular sandwich started two years ago when I hosted dinner and found a lot of Herbs de Provence and citrus roasted turkey stuffing my refrigerator shelves. Squished next to the turkey were leftover potato bread, cranberry sauce and rosemary sprigs. The task seemed daunting, but I started in and put it all together. Ever since, this is one traditional Thanksgiving dish I look forward to. Yes, I do feel two years does make a tradition.
I feel a little lazy including this as a recipe, but it hadn’t occurred to me before and my voracious cookbook reading has revealed that sandwiches are often included along with all their pseudonyms (sub, hoagie, panini, gyro, grinders, banh mi, pain bagnet…). My mom always makes this cranberry sauce, I have never made it, nor do I have the recipe, but I’ve been told it is very easy.
As a leftover my last two slices of oatmeal wheat bread went into the sandwich. Planning it out, a crusty French or Italian loaf, pumpernickel or herbed bread sounds more amazing.
Turkey Cranberry Sandwich
2 slices sandwich bread, toasted
2 slices turkey
3 T whole cranberry sauce
1” sprig of rosemary, chopped