November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Over this month, some beautiful changes have happened in my life but due to all the blog projects I had on my calendar I didn’t quite have the time to celebrate! Not until Saturday night though when I hold our very own Thanksgiving 2017!

Scottish food blogger

I placed a massive order from our local butcher – Donald Russell – and waited impatiently for it to be delivered. Donald Russell is an Aberdeenshire based butcher, a family business that runs for over 40 years. They have won many awards, they sell the best kind of meat and conveniently enough they accept online orders!

 

Two days later a massive white, cooler box arrived on my doorstep and as soon as I had a look at the content, I knew that my guests would be delighted! Everything from starters to side dishes AND desserts was included in this delivery box. There was not much to worry really. I even had recipes delivered with detailed instructions on how to cook the meat!

 

Without further ado, I invited some of my closest and dearest, created a nice dinner table setup with candles,  glasses, napkins and bottles of wine – proper grown up stuff – and played my favourite jazz music on Spotify.

 

Scottish food blogger

Now, let’s get one thing straight here because I know many of you will ask based on my Instagram stories and previous posts – I am not a vegan anymore. I did it as a 10 days trial and decided it was too hard for me so I stepped back a bit and became a vegetarian again. Having said this, I didn’t try the meat but I tried the delicious starters, the vegetarian side dishes and the mouth-watering desserts. My point is, you don’t have to be a carnivore to order from a butcher’s store that has so many options to offer…Even a vegetarian would be pleased with all this variety!

Scottish food blogger

First we served the canape quiches as a starter, mini nibbles made in heaven is how my friend described them and I’ll take it! I tried the cheese broccoli ones and they were really good. Next time I will make sure to order 2 boxes of them as they were all gone within minutes!

Scottish food blogger

Scottish food blogger

^^ spot wee Cruzy jumping on Callum’s lap as soon as he sniffed the turkey out of the oven!

Scottish food blogger

Then it was onto the main course…

 

Stuffed turkey breasts wrapped on bacon, doesn’t it sound mouth-watering? Because judging from my guests (and Cruzy’s)  reactions when I got the meat out of the oven, it totally was! The turkey was succulent and tender and it was so soft when cutting it into slices. Wrapped in dry cured bacon made the meat crispy on the outside and added even more flavour to the dish.

Scottish food blogger

We left the important job of cutting the meat into slices to Callum…

Then it was onto the main course...

..while we served the goose fat roasted potatoes!

Donald Russell butcher review

Crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside, they were the best side for the turkey breasts! Brussels sprouts with shallots and bacon was the other side dish option on the table. However, to the vegetarians, the braised red cabbage was the biggest success! It was insanely good, filled with spices that reminded me of Christmas, this side dish was something I could eat everyday and never, ever complain!

Christmas dinner in Aberdeen

Just when everything was nicely arranged on everyone’s plate we got the dry aged veal out of the oven, this is one of the meats that Donald Russell is famous for in the area and everyone was anticipating to try it!!!

 

We got 1.5 kg but by the time we got it out of the oven it was more like 1 kg, still more than enough to feed 4 people! The meat was matured for 21 days on the bone. Donald Russell takes pride in the dry aged veal process because no one else matures the meat like this in the world! Moreover, the meat was hand-cut by the Head Butcher, Mark, who is the one responsible for this dry aged process invention!

 

I didn’t bore my guests with the details of the drying process but they all agreed that this is one of the best meats they have tried in their entire life, and I think that tells a lot considering that they all love meat and eat it pretty much on a daily basis!

 

So, in the battle of the dry aged veal vs turkey breasts, the dry aged veal takes a 10/10 from my guests.

Aberdeen bloggers

Jack Russell puppy

Cruzy was there supervising the party in case things would get out of control!

Jack Russell puppy

Sometimes under the table…

Jack Russell puppy

…others in between people, tilting his head right and left in desperation to try the food…

Jack Russell puppy

…and most of the time on the sofa, manouvering around the table behind our backs!

Jack Russell puppy

Aberdeen bloggers

Aberdeen bloggers

Aberdeen bloggers

Aberdeen bloggers

Aberdeen bloggers

We chatted away about life, work and holidays, refilling our dishes with nibbles of this and that, while drinking Pinot Grigio and Merlot.

Donald Russell Aberdeenshire review

Donald Russell Aberdeenshire review

After everyone was done it was the moment I was waiting for – dessert time!

The desserts were delivered in a beautiful box, nicely wrapped in thin paper, it felt like they were made somewhere in Paris but in reality they were made just a few miles away from Aberdeen.

Donald Russell Aberdeenshire review

We served them on some vintage dishes that I have been saving for special occasions like this and the ‘mmm‘ and ‘uh‘ started as soon as the spoons were on the table. Always great indicators of pleasure and success at a dinner party!

Donald Russell Aberdeenshire review

I tried the raspberry, coconut and mascarpone delice while my friends had the salted caramel cheesecake.

 

The more you’d let the dessert settle into a room temperature, the ‘sweeter’ it felt, but overall I wouldn’t say that the desserts were over the top sweet, which is a great thing because after such a big meal you want something that will change your flavour and not something that will make you feel lethargic. These desserts brought the perfect balance to our dinner party!

Donald Russell desserts review

Even though I liked the mascarpone delice, I have to admit the cheesecake was much better, however when I asked my friends what they thought of the desserts the opinions were divided so don’t take my word for it. If you happen to be a cheesecake lover though, then you know what to order 😉

{THIS platter would be your absolute delight!!!}

Thanksgiving Aberdeen

We stayed up until late, changing Spotify playlists, drinking (more) wine and laughing out loud at Callum’s jokes until our eyes were watery and our belly heart from making abs.

Thanksgiving Aberdeen

Thanksgiving Aberdeen

Thanksgiving Aberdeen

And we had one of the best nights in a long time! Definitely one of these nights that we will remember fondly forever!

 

Thank you Donald Russell for sending us all these goodies and made this dinner possible. We loved every single nibble of it.

Anastasia

1 Comment

  1. As I am reading this I am drooling all over my laptop!
    The chicken breasts look delicious and it looks like you had much fun.
    Happy Monday!

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