The Harvest Thanksgiving Feast 2016 - Gina's Kitchen

Thanksgiving Harvest Feast 2016 – Gina’s Kitchen

There are invisible forces at work in my kitchen that go far beyond the teaspoon.  My invisible cooking counsel, which includes my Grandmother, Ina Garten, Martha Stewart, Julia Child, Christopher Kimball and Justin Wilson,  I guarantee, were with me during the preparations of this year’s Thanksgiving harvest feast.


Il faut mettre la main a la pate! (Feel the dough in your hands…put your foot in other words, throw down!) – Making Cornbread Dressing

Homemade Honey-Wheat Dinner Rolls ~ The 2nd Rising

Homemade Honey-Wheat Dinner Rolls ~ The 2nd Rising

I decided to make as many of the traditional dishes from scratch that I could manage.  On the eve of Thanksgiving I baked to the tunes of soul music streaming through my headphones while I made homemade honey-wheat dinner rolls with honey butter (very proud of this accomplishment), an old-fashioned lattice apple pie, a sugar & spice pumpkin pie with  brandied ginger creme chantilly and a carrot cake.  I cleaned.  I slept.  And when I awake the next day, before dawn, I cooked. A citrus-herb turkey, cornbread dressing, greens, macaroni and cheese and candied yams.

By 3:30 PM, my two children, my daughter’s boyfriend and I sat around the candlelit table with golden, purple and orange flowers and relished in the bounty of the feast.   Our plates were filled to the brim with love and nourishment and our glasses overflowed with gratitude and optimisim as the winds whispered into the ears of all, “We give thanks!”


A Thanksgiving Plate

A Thanksgiving Plate

Malicious Red Delicious

Picture1Autumn’s sweetest mistress was forbidden from the beginning…


“Refresh me with apples for I am faint of love” Song of Solomon 3:5

When studied carefully, apples reveal the source of their sorcery. Cut in half lengthwise, the seeds form the shape of ovaries, representing feminine energy. When cut in half widthwise, the seeds reveal the five-pointed star, the pentagram, a magical symbol. The tree that bore the forbidden fruit was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Wisewomen and witches alike love apple trees, with their knowledge, they use the branches and fruit to cast many a love spells.

“Art thou the topmost apple

The gathers could not reach

Reddening on the bough?”

Arousing lust and sensual delight, Adam could not resist the forbidden fruit any more than Eve.  Eve was the apple of Adam’s eye, but it was Adam that a piece of the apple got stuck in his throat, forming the lump we call the Adam’s Apple, a mark of the “fall”. My sexed up version of pork chops smothered with apples and onions is also a mark of fall.  Adam’s Apple Chops.


Sensuously yours,

Honey L’Amour, a Culinary Seductress

Like the finest apple tree in the orchard is my lover among other young men. I sit in his delightful shade and taste his delicious fruit.” Song of Solomon 2:3 NLT

Adam’s Apple Chops

This recipe is the sexed up version of smothered pork chops with apples and onions.  Serving size, two.


  • 2 pork chops (on-bone, ½-inch thick cut – Grazin’ Angus Acres)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 white onion, julienned
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (or Dorot garlic cubes, my fav)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons creole/Cajun blend (like Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons of Maggi (seasoning sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup apple bourbon (Food52 recipe)


  • 3 Red Delicious apples, cored and sliced in ½ inch wedges
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple juice (Red Jacket Fuji Apple juice)
  • ¼ cup apple bourbon (Food52 recipe)
  • ¼ stick butter

Brussels sprouts

  • 2 cups brussels sprouts
  • 2 slices apple smoked bacon, diced
  • ¼ white onion, diced
  • 1 squeeze fresh lemon

Cooking Directions:

Evenly season both sides of the chops with spices, dried thyme and Maggi; lightly dredge with flour.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet.  Add the pork chops and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove the pork chops and transfer to a plate and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Reduce the heat to medium-high, and add the onions, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown, add the garlic, stir in the broth, apple bourbon.  Cook uncovered until the sauce comes to a boil.  Add the pork chops, cover, reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the pork chops are fork-tender, about 45 minutes

Meanwhile prepare the apples. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt butter, add brown sugar, apple juice, apple bourbon, and cinnamon, reduce to a slow pouring liquid.  Add apple slices, coating them with the sauce.  Simmer until sauce thickens.  Add apple mixture to the skillet of simmering chops.  Sprinkle in rosemary.

For the Brussels sprouts, heat a heavy skillet, add bacon, allow to brown, then add onions, a splash of chicken broth, bring to a boil, add Brussels sprouts, steam with a squeeze of lemon

To Serve: Place one chop on the center of a dinner plate and smother with a ladle of skillet gravy including onions, layer with apples, and top with a sprig of thyme.  Place several Brussels sprouts artfully beside the chop.