November 16, 2006

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Easier-to-enjoy Thanksgiving feasts
From making sort-of homemade meals to reservations
By Susan Reilly  news@hippopress.com

Cheating your way to a homemade meal
Let local eateries and markets help you with the heavy lifting

Radio talk show host Michael Dresser summed it up best when he said that “Thanksgiving is America’s national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty.”

But if the thought of upholding your national duty by spending days dicing, chopping and mincing only to eat yourself into a turkey-induced coma is not your idea of a good time, here are some alternatives that will get a wonderful Thanksgiving meal on that table and leave you no less weary.

Twelve Pine, a funky gourmet deli in Peterborough, offers a complete, cooked Thanksgiving dinner for four to six people for just $129.99.

The dinner includes a free-range wild turkey from Stone Wood Farms in Vermont, three pounds of old-fashioned herbed stuffing, four pounds of traditional mashed potatoes, three pounds of roasted autumn vegetables, three pounds green beans amandine, 1quart of gravy, choice of two homemade pies and dinner rolls.

Everything is homemade at Twelve Pine and precooked: it simply needs to be reheated. The turkey comes in a pan with stock and directions for reheating that will leave the bird tender and juicy, assures executive chef Sven Green.

“Our food is phenomenal. This is a lot of fun for us. And the turkey supplier is new this year and I believe they have some of the best birds around,” Green said.

Twelve Pine is a foodie haven — part café part deli and part specialty food. Green said it is all about an entertaining lifestyle built around food.

Located just 45 minutes from Manchester, Twelve Pine also offers a wide variety of other options that will make getting Thanksgiving dinner on the table easier.

Green also serves up cooked white meat, dark meat and drumsticks sold by the pound for people with a smaller crowd who don’t want to carve.

Turkey day accompaniments include apple spice butternut squash soup ($9.95 per qt.), roasted brussel sprouts with cranberries ($7 per pound) and sweet potatoes with brown sugar ($7 per pound) to name a few.

Green recommends one quart of soup for every four people, about 1/2 pound of vegetables and stuffing per person, and one quart of gravy to serve 6 to 8 people.

For Thanksgiving, Twelve Pine sticks to the classic New England dishes.

“We have experimented with different dishes, like corn bread and wild rice stuffing, and have found that people really just like the traditional stuff,” Green said.

Twelve Pine also does appetizers: a cheese platter made with imported and domestic cheeses ($75), baked brie en croute with chutney ($65) and crab dip with crudités ($40).

The orders are filling up fast for the turkeys with fixings. The deadline for fresh, uncooked birds has passed but complete Thanksgiving dinner orders can be placed through Friday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. For Thanksgiving food and desserts, you can place orders through Sunday, Nov. 19, at 4 p.m. If you miss this year’s window for Thanksgiving, remember Twelve Pine for future holiday parties. For more information, go to www.twelvepine.com or call 924-6140.

Twelve Pine is set up like a deli, so if you are a visual person who needs to see before you order, head on over and shop. But be warned, although they’re well stocked for the holiday rush, they may be out of what you want, so consider pre-ordering.

In Manchester, Angela’s Pasta & Cheese serves up everything-precooked, and ready to reheat, except the turkey. Dinner sides include gravy ($4.95 per pint), bread stuffing ($4.25 per pound) and mashed potatoes ($3.95 per pound). Angela’s also has pumpkin whoopee pies ($1.95), a good dessert for the kids’ table crowd.

Locally, many families also include savory pies as part of their Thanksgiving meal, and Angela’s has you covered with salmon ($15.95) and pork ($14.95).

“Our side dishes and desserts are very popular,” said Caroline Tolstad at Angela’s Pasta & Cheese.

You must order and prepay by Saturday, Nov. 18, and schedule a pickup on Wednesday, Nov. 22, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Out for Thanksgiving
Where to get that turkey meal

Looking for a Thanksgiving meal you don’t have to cook? While most local restaurants close for the day, a few will offer the traditional turkey meal with all the fixings.

Hanover Street Chophouse, 149 Hanover St. in Manchester, will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. There will be a modified menu of turkey, steak and chicken dishes. At press time the menu and pricing were still be worked on. Reservations are strongly recommended. Call 624-CHOP. To get a sense of the restaurant’s regular menu, go to www.hanoverstreetchophouse.com.

The Derryfield, 650 Mammoth Road in Manchester, will be serving Thanksgiving dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parties of four or more have the option of eating family style for $19.95 per person. Family style gets you your own turkey (carved) plus all of the sides including stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash and gravy. And even though you didn’t do the cooking, you can still get the leftovers. Whatever you don’t eat can be packed up for you to take home. Which means that on Friday, you can still make that killer Thanksgiving sandwich.

The other option is a turkey dinner with all the traditional sides for $17.95 (the price is $11.95 for diners under 12 years old and over 65). Reservations are strongly recommended. Call 623-2880.

Brookstone Grille, 14 Route 111 in Derry, will be open from noon to 5 p.m. and will serve their regular menu as well as a turkey dinner special that day. At press time, the specifics of the meal and price were still being worked out. Reservations are strongly recommended. Call 328-9250 or go to www.brookstone-park.com for more information on the eatery.

The Yard Restaurant, 1211 South Mammoth Road in Manchester, will offer seatings for a special Thanksgiving dinner at 11 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. For $19.95 ($10.95 for kids 10 and under), diners can partake of a Thanksgiving buffet featuring roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, baby carrots, butternut squash, yams, pearl onions, salad bar, fresh fruits, assorted breads and apple cider, as well as a carving station with turkey, ham and roast beef and a selection of dessert. The restaurant also offers plated dinners of prime rib (starting at $19.95), turkey ($16.95) or scrod ($16.95). All plated dinners include dessert. To make reservations, call 623-3545. Go to www.theyardrestaurant.com to look the menu.

For the Cadillac of local Thanksgiving dinners, check out the offerings at the Bedford Village Inn, 2 Old Bedford Way which is off Route 101 in Bedford. For $49, adult diners get a four-course meal of appetizer (offerings include fig and gorgonzola tart, pumpkin tortelloni, wild mushroom terrine, squash bisque and peppered duck breast), salad (hearts of romaine Caesar salad or mixed field greens), entrees (turkey with traditional sides, grilled pork chop, herb-crusted salmon, grilled beef tenderloin, pancetta-wrapped pheasant breast and clove-scented semolina gnocchi) and desserts (chocolate hazelnut tart, molasses crème brulee, pear brioche bread pudding, ginger pumpkin cheesecake and trio of autumn sorbet). For $24.95 kids get a four-course meal of their own with an appetizer (clam chowder and cheddar macaroni and cheese), salad (hearts of romaine Caesar salad or mixed field greens), entrees (grilled pizza, turkey with traditional fixings, filet mignon and grilled pesto chicken) and desserts (brownie sundae and vanilla bean crème brulee).

Reservations are required. Call 800-852-1166. To drool over the minute details of the menu, go to www.bedfordvillageinn.com.

Holiday at the Grands
Road trip to a Thanksgiving meal

If you are looking for a real traditional New England Thanksgiving, consider checking into or dining at one of the state’s grand hotels.

The Balsams in Dixville Notch will be open for Thanksgiving for the first time ever. Previously closed between Columbus Day and Christmas, this year the hotel is trying something different.

Known for its over-the-top brunch, the hotel will offer a brunch on Nov. 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For guests who stay for the holiday weekend, Nov. 23 through 27, there are culinary demonstrations, a wine tasting, gingerbread house decorating, storytelling, a Father Christmas presentation on Nov. 26 and a tree-lighting ceremony. Package rates start at $159 per person per night, double occupancy, and kids 10 and under stay and eat free. Reservations required. Call 800-255-0600 or visit www.thebalsams.com.

Stay at the Mount Washington Hotel and Resort in Bretton Woods and dine on a four-course traditional Thanksgiving dinner ($45 per person plus tax and gratuity), served in the main dining room from 1 to 8 p.m.

Thanksgiving weekend at the Mount Washington means festivities including holiday decorating, craft demonstrations, a tree-lighting ceremony and a story-telling Santa. The Giving Tree, a month-long fundraising program, kicks off on Sunday with the tree-lighting ceremony and complimentary hot cocoa. Guests are invited to bring a gift of canned goods that will be donated to local charities. Rates start at $140 per person. For reservations and more information, call 800-314-1752 or go to www.mountwashingtonhotel.com.

At Wentworth by the Sea Hotel & Spa in New Castle, you don’t need to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy the Thanksgiving dinner.

In the Wentworth Dining Room, a four-course prix fixe dinner ($44.95 per person, $16.95 children under 12) is offered from 1 to 10 p.m. Entree selections include slow-roasted, butter-basted turkey, pan-roasted halibut with Maine lobster potato puree, garlic-studded filet of beef with braised winter greens, oven-roasted rack of lamb and traditional desserts.

In the Wentworth Ballroom, a Thanksgiving buffet ($39.95 per person, $16.95 children under 12) may work for your crowd. The line-up includes a chilled seafood station, a festive carving station with roasted turkey, maple herb-roasted loin of pork, slow-roasted prime rib of beef au jus with herbed horseradish cream and Thanksgiving desserts. For reservations, call 422-7322 or visit www.wentworth.com.

The Inn at Thorn Hill in Jackson Village, a four-diamond property just named one of America’s top hotels by subscribers to Conde Nast Traveler magazine, offers Thanksgiving dinner in the main dining room from 3:30 to 7 p.m. An imaginative ala carte menu (www.innatthornhill.com/thanksgivingdinner.html) includes a traditional roast turkey dinner ($22.95) but also salmon, tenderloin, duck and a vegetrain mushroom risotto cake. Desserts include pumpkin and caramel mousse cake. Rooms start at $320 per night for two. For reservations call 383-4242 or 800-289-8990


Pies for a Cause
The Amherst Junior Women’s Club is selling Pie Guy pies for Thanksgiving. A large portion of the proceeds of every purchase will be donated to area charities and civic projects. The cost of each pie is $10 and pies are available in the following varieties: Old Fashioned Apple, Pecan, Pumpkin, Strawberry Rhubarb, Triple Chocolate Chunk, Cherry Crumb and Blueberry. To place an order, contact Margo at 673-4409 or mlalley@nhrelocation.com.

Wine with turkey
Two local wine boutiques weighed in with suggestions for what to serve on Thanksgiving.

D’Vine, 383 Chestnut St., Manchester (623-0900), is recommending to customers looking for wine to serve with turkey the, Tocai ($20) an Italian white, and Tavel ($21), a rose from France.

At the Wine Studio, 53 Hooksett Rd., Manchester (622-9463), German Reislings, rosé, sparkling reds and pinot noirs are being suggested. Try the JJ Prum Kabinett ($19.99) a German Reisling, or the Lorikeet ($11.99), a sparkling shiraz from Australia.


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A year of eats

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A picnic — it’s romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Empanadas
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead — run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
It’s not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken — no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: it’s what’s for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
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