SFBA Thanksgiving 2016

As a spin on the Thanksgiving 2016 cooking thread, are there any SFBA local products you like to bring to your Thanksgiving table?

Zanze’s pumpkin cheesecake has become a tradition for us. They’re located on Ocean in SF, and you need to reserve in advance. See SFGate article about their light, wholly unique cheesecake that comes with fishing line to cut it.

See also last year’s Turkey thread.

Zanze’s is always the best idea! Also, dungeness crabs.

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Nice! You must be excited that the commercial season is opening on Nov. 15th this year.

I’m curious— do you serve it cracked at the Thanksgiving dinner table, or make dishes with it? We sometimes steam crab, and crack it for dinner Wednesday night, but never buy enough for leftovers on the Thanksgiving table :slight_smile:

Depends how much we catch! If we only have one we’ll throw it in noodles or on avo toast but if we have a bunch than we like it steamed and cracked too.
Recreational opened last week. so we’ve had a few already.
For Thanksgiving it’s more reliable to buy if we’re feeding a group, can’t depend that’ll you’ll always catch enough!

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I’m also curious, some of us don’t love turkey(gasp!).
What alternate meals do other turkey haters cook instead?
I like all the sides that come with the Thanksgiving meal but substitute a roasted chicken or some duck breast or pork chops.

Here’s what I have been doing for thanksgiving for a while:

  • Crab appetizer, cracked and naked, to go with the white wine and cheese. I submit that for Dungeness, which is lighter in taste than Blue, the only way to eat them is naked ( butter OK but these thick sauces mystify me ).

  • This last year I did the “bacon weave turkey”, which means there’s a whole bunch of crispy bacon for an appetizer, too.

  • Big dinner - traditional turkey but well cooked, with an awesome gravy ( that removes at least half of the haters ), but also – liberty duck breast as per the Baywolf Juniper Berry recipe ( there’s an SFgate article that you can search for that has it ). The good news about that recipe is it’s a stove-top-browning, so it doesn’t take oven space, and who doesn’t like a perfect slice of duck? Duck goes with all of the traditional trimmings. I notice some people will take a very small slice of turkey for tradition and load up on the duck.

  • I have occasionally added things like crab ravioli ( made from scratch by guests ) but that petered out after a few years. Last year we did Crab Puffs, which worked out.

This year I intend to “fry all the things”, and I even intend to do fried beer and fried wine. Experiments in frying to commence this weekend.

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Okay, what’s fried wine and fried beer?

My husband, whose 54 year old big brother died of a heart attack last year, is concerned for you, but I say you know what you’re doing. Do you?

(The duck does sound good.)

Oh wow, that sounds like a variant of the Bacon Explosion that would actually taste good. Do the overlapping sections of the bacon get crisp, and does the turkey skin get crisp without air circulation? I used to make bacon covered turkeys, and for that recipe you’d remove the bacon once it crisps up, and then let the turkey skin brown on its own. Yeah, you could serve the bacon as an appetizer, but it was mainly for the cook and anyone in the kitchen to munch on :slight_smile:

Here’s the link ( Simon, the author, is also a friend )


This is slow-cook, and large turkeys take 12 to 24 hours. There is some concern with salmonella, but Simon points out the cautions you should use, which I used also, and everything was fine. Simon believes in science.

You don’t get crisp skin, but you do get a wonderful layer of bacon, which is arguably better than skin. The argument is this kind of slow cooking gives better meat, and you’ve got “artificial skin” in the bacon. I find my guests don’t eat much skin anyway, they think it’s not healthy. They will eat bacon; go figure. If you demand crisp skin, this is not the turkey for you.

My most discerning guest raved about it, the slow cooking is rather marvelous.

Regarding heart attacks and deep fried foods, the evidence linking them is more complicated than most people think. Basically, there’s no link, in my reading of the literature, although reasonable people could disagree. Same with the “saturated fat” theory. I think it is very clear there’s not a strong, direct, and causal link.

( for example, the japanese LOVE fried food, and have little heart disease. But they also eat very little wheat, more fish, and probably less sugar than americans. Can’t untangle that… )

Heart disease and deaths are way, way down for a variety of reasons, and I’ve taken up running.

I can take one day of frying.

Here’s the article I was thinking of. It’s quite good, with several recipes and discussions of different duck methodologies. From 2006.


Thanks for the links. That’s NOT what I imagined. I hope you’ll be serving drinkable beverages too!

Of course you’re right that the causes of heart disease are complicated. Genetics is certainly a factor, as well.

For me crab is more of a Christmastime or New Years thing. Our Thanksgiving is pretty boring and traditional, but that’s fine with me. The only slightly different thing is that we usually have homegrown Fuyu persimmons in the salad or in a pudding and the last of the homegrown apples in the stuffing, though everything is kind of early this year. Oh, and sometimes our quince jelly with pate as an appetizer. Now that I think of it, I guess I like to indulge in some kind of homesteader fantasy around Thanksgiving-time.

You are doing it right!

And yes, with a bacon weave and good gravy, I will eat the turkey too! Also, the whole turkey spread is so great for so many good wine pairing options.

I miss Baywolf and will try this duck recipe sometime this holiday season.

Please update us on how the fried beer and wine turn out! Sounds fun.

I got samples of Bi-Rite’s thanksgiving menu. If I wasn’t having thanksgiving elsewhere, I’d be tempted by their $150 thanksgiving in a box. Their Cornbread stuffing is dynamite.

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I’m not on the West Coast, however I have friends and family who are.
On their behalf I am sharing this link