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November Cottage Cooking Club, Creamy Potato and Celeriac Mash

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Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you, your family, and friends enjoyed a pleasant holiday sharing a treasured meal together, one of the great American traditions marking this special day where we take time to acknowledge our blessings.

I love Thanksgiving, for to me, it is also a great time to not only gather at the shared table, but a time to reflect on those special people in our lives, perhaps even recall particular memories shared together and feel grateful. I feel so close in heart to friends this time of year and for all those who have been notable in my life, maybe you feel this way this time of the year too.

One of my most recent shared tables has been Cooking Along with the Cottage Cooking Club where monthly we gather online from around the world in the conversation of the foods we have prepared from the cookbook, River Cottage veg everyday! written by British author and TV host  Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

 

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This month our Cottage Cooking Club gathering just happens to fall on Thanksgiving weekend which seems somewhat apropos given too that I am thankful for the many lovely women I am getting to know within the group, not the least, Andrea, creator and leader of the group. I always refer to Andrea as our fearless leader since it rather matches with her blog name, The Kitchen Lioness notes from a very small German Kitchen, besides the fact, that as you get to know Andrea you see she surely is rather fearless in the juggling of many cooking genres, from clubs to the preparation of foods for her children’s school, travels through Germany, and in the observations of both religious and cultural traditions which she generously shares, such as her current Post on Christmas Stollen- Weihnachsstollen. Andrea is also a superb photographer but mostly she is just a truly lovely individual, I bet you would think so too.

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One thing I did early on this month was prepare a few dishes from the selected recipes of River Cottage veg everyday. Realizing the timing coincided with the Thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to be sure and have my Posting ready. Not that I planned on shopping any of these days as I absolutely never participate in Black Friday madness. But we do tend to do something interesting or holiday festive on this weekend and if you’ve not been to Philadelphia, there are many special seasonal events of which to participate, including the most recent new addition of an ice skating rink surrounding City Hall whose European style building is topped with a statue of the state’s namesake, William Penn. 

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 Oh my goodness, I’ve gone on and on so much today that I’ve come to the end of my photographed selection of dishes and haven’t yet even addressed them. From the top, among this months quite tasty selections, I prepared a sensational Creamy Potato and Celeriac Mash. This dish was even Thanksgiving table worthy and I loved preparing the cubed celeriac in the milk, later combined with the cooked potatoes enhanced by butter and seasonings, including fresh ground nutmeg. This dish additionally inspired me in the preparation of a whole other recipe, a celeriac gratin.

The second dish, Chicory, Pears and salty-sweet roasted almonds was as good in its flavor, as the attractiveness of its presentation, which served well as a first course luncheon salad between a couple of friends.

The third dish, Couscous salad with herbs and walnuts, was also a hit prepared using pearl shaped, rather than the traditional style couscous. The pearl shaped couscous, if purchased at Trader Joe’s, also goes by the name, Israeli couscous. The only change I would make to this salad in the future would be reducing the use of cumin seeds from two teaspoons to one. The spice flavor of the cumin, even with the addition of fennel seeds, ground together with a mortar and pestle seemed to dominate the dish much too strongly, especially given the wonderful combination of ingredient flavors, walnuts, the fresh herbs; chives, parsley, tarragon, along with chopped fennel, celery, and garlic, suitably highlighted by the lemon juice and olive oil.

In all, this was a delightful month in my kitchen preparing special dishes from River Cottage veg everyday and sharing these with family and friends. My favorite this month, the Creamy Potato and Celeriac Mash, and this dish I shall prepare again and again in the future, so I am grateful for this very special recipe. And for each of the ladies sharing in the Cottage Cooking Club through our unique shared table. A toast of ‘Cheers’ to all, Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

You can read what the other members of the Cottage Cooking Club prepared this month here.

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10 Comments

  1. Posted November 30, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Peggy, all of your dishes look beautiful: the potato-celeriac mash is so fluffy and the endive salad, so pretty. I made the salad as well and thought the anise flavour overwhelming. It sounds as though you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
    Zosia recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club – November 2014My Profile

    • Posted December 2, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Hi Zosia, thanks so much and I enjoyed reading your insights of this months recipes on are you cooking blogspot. I very much enjoyed this months dish preparation though it was not so much the fennel as the amount of cumin in the pearl cous cous salad which I will certainly reduce next time around. Thanks so much for joining in and I look forward to sharing our December selections together and as we move toward the New Year.

  2. TheKitchenLioness
    Posted December 1, 2014 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    Dear Peggy, I am in awe of your tremendous writing skills – you have an absolutely wonderful way with words – I always find myself reading over your posts again and again. I certainly hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend – the ice skating ring must be wonderful, we love skating, such an elegant yet fun sport to enjoy with the whole family.
    As far as the recipes you prepared, the mash is quite wonderful and even the kids devoured it – a great twist on the old mashed potatoes that I usually prepare – your mash looks so incredibly creamy! The Israeli couscous had to be replaced by pearl barley (could not find it but not giving up yet) – the spices do need a bit of toning down, I agree. The Endives (chicory) made such a lovely first course – loved the combination of sweet/spicy/crunchy – your presentation is flawless, my dear!
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment about me, I more than appreciate your support and your kindness and I am truly grateful for our friendship (even if it is kind of virtual – it feels real)!
    Thank you also for participating again this month and sharing your terrific insights on these lovely recipes,
    Andrea

    • Posted December 2, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Dear Andrea, Thanks so much. I am in awe of your talent and energy, and it seems all those among our cottage cooking club feel the same! Yes, our friendship does seem real, even being virtual. Thank you for all of your leadership and support of the team members in the Cottage Cooking Club. Preparing the recipes has been great fun along with sharing them with others. I look forward to preparing our December collections, along with reading the events and foods you have coming up in Germany throughout December! Thanks again Andrea.

  3. Posted December 1, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I have got to try the chicory, pears and almonds!

    • Posted December 2, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Hi Gracie, the chicory, pears, and almonds is such a delightful salad, and a nice first course for any luncheon or dinner. Thanks for stopping by along our Cottage Cooking Club.

  4. Posted December 1, 2014 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    What a positively splendid collection of dishes, and how fortunate are those who share the bounty of your table.
    Adri recently posted…Strucà – Olive Oil PanettoneMy Profile

    • Posted December 2, 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Hello Adri, Thanks so much, and I am very appreciative of those I have joining in at the shared table, and am delighted to be a part of the Cottage Cooking Club preparing such a nice selection of vegetable based dishes. I saw your Post for Struca, slight variation for Panettone, and it looks spectacular. Your Italian Blog is beautiful too, and I look forward to seeing some of what you will be serving up in Italy over the holiday season! Thanks much for joining in.

  5. Posted December 2, 2014 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    I find that this is a time of year for reflection, too. And I agree with you about Andrea and the whole group cooking together in this group, everyone is so lovely. You chose some wonderful dishes for this month and your presentation is beautiful. I wish I’d tried the celeriac and potato mash – it sounds delicious.
    Teresa recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club – November 2014My Profile

    • Posted December 2, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Hi Teresa, I know, huh, the members of the group are all so nice and I’ve so enjoyed preparing the dishes, and look forward to reading everyone’s posts. Andrea is quite the leader and extremely talented! I definitely recommend trying the Potato and Celeriac Mash, very tasty. Thanks so much for stopping by, see you soon on one wet foot and cooking along with the Cottage Cooking Club.

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.