So here it is, Canadian Thanksgiving weekend already. Time to become aware of gratitiude for your life, and all within it. Including the land it takes place in. A thoughtful kind of holiday. I spent it at home this year with family. A great many Thanksgivings of my adult life, it has not been so.
In my life, it was often in the middle of Chum salmon fishing, when there was only a few days to get out and make our living, the last chance to make any money before it shut down for the winter. As a deckhand on a troller, cooking was mostly my responsibility. I often made Thanksgiving Day pie in the diesil oven in between pulling 10 – 20 pound chums in, some of which I would keep and smoke. Or we ate it after dark, during the long evenings at anchor, some of which are incredibly stormy at this time of year. Sometimes I would make it, then put my raingear back on, go out and gut a couple of hundred fish while it was cooking, in the dark, under the glow of deck lights.
This year the Thanksgiving weeked was rainy and stormy, reminding me of times when we trolled close to shore in areas that were sheltered from the southeast, and couldn’t have gone home for the holiday even if we wanted to. The one dish meal version of this recipie is authentic fishboat cusine of the inside troller. The basis of it can be used for stuffing a chicken or turkey.
To make the stuffing, you soak millet and oat groats overnight. Dump water and rinse to remove anti nutreints from the grain and eleminate the need for pre boiling. Saute onion and celery in real butter. Add sage leaves and dried cranberries. Add the grains and some home made stock cubes, perferable from chicken or turkey, but meat ones made from boiled bones will also work. If you lack these, add some powdered vegetable stock. As well as add poultry seasoning and hot smoked paprika. I aslo add some wild mushroom powder if I have it or chopped mushrooms, and either some hemp hearts or hazelnut crumbs.
Let simmer in the pan until grains are chewy but soft, then stuff it into your turkey or chicken.
When I lived alone, or when I was out on the fishboat for Thanksgiving weekend catching chum salmon in the Johnstone Straights, I made this when I had chicken or turkey pieces. I called it Thanksgiving Day Pie
I layered some sliced potatoes and yams in the pot, then the chicken or turkey pieces, then a layer of the stuffing, with some sliced carrots and onions for a vegetable, and a little thin layer of either stuffing to get crispy ontop or soft mash potatoes. Then bake in the oven, around 1 hour, but ovens differ, and if you are using a diesil oven on a boat, turn it around once, so both sides bake close to where the fire is.
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