Husband: “Do we need to do the whole ‘you cook for 2 days thing’ for Thanksgiving this year? – We live in such a small space (we live in a 5th wheel) and the kids will just complain anyways.”
Me: “Uh – well, I guess not”
(<<— me on the inside…)
Truth be told – I don’t LOVE to cook. I watch all these shows on HGTV with people looking for houses and the wives always say “oh I need a huge kitchen because that is where I spend all my time”. That is SO my mom – she loves to cook. I just didn’t get that gene. I don’t MIND cooking – but it’s not like I wake up 48 hours before Thanksgiving with a skip in my step, excited to get my hands dirty. So, when my husband threw me a bone, I was like “HELL YEAH – LET’S DO IT!!” So, for the first time in MANY years, there will be no turkey roasting in my (now veeeeeeery tiny) oven, no broccoli bake, no green beans. WAIT – I am not saying we aren’t having all of that – I’m just saying someone else is going to MAKE it – WIN. NNING. Amirite?
We live in a small town in Idaho with amazing (read UH-MAY-ZING!) local eateries. One of those is the Pack River Store. It has been in business since 1976 – first owned and operated by Arlene Jacobson – who sold it to her son, Alex, and his wife, Brittany, in 2018. Alex graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco in 2006 – cooking all over the East Bay until moving back to Sandpoint, ID. to be closer to family. They have taken comfort food and elevated it to levels unknown to most taste buds – for example:
French Toast – Two slices of sourdough bread soaked in cinnamon-orange custard,
butter, and maple syrup, topped with powdered sugar.
UM YES PLEASE.
Last week my mom and stepdad were in town and we took them to the Pack River Store for dinner. My mom LOVES a good Patty Melt – enter this masterpiece:
Half Pound Woods Meats (another local business!!) burger, grilled sweet yellow onions, swiss cheese, and black pepper aioli on toasted rye.
Not fussy food – just enough of a twist to make it unique. I had spinach and cheese ravioli with sundried tomato and all sorts of other yum stuffed inside with a fresh tomato sauce – AND garlic toasted sourdough bread. I am not a big foodie so I don’t like anything “fancy” per se – and their food is just the ticket. NOW – I tell you all this to say – guess who is making my Thanksgiving meal THIS year? YUP – Pack River Store! On the menu:
Herb-brined and roasted turkey stuffing with sausage, sage, celery, onion, and sourdough bread.
Mashed potatoes with confit garlic, butter, and cream + gravy
Brown sugar and butter roasted yams
Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Brussels sprouts with sweet onions, balsamic, and bacon
There are all sorts of appetizers as well – but we are just getting the main meal. BUT, if you want more mouth-watering ideas –
Cheese ball – cream cheese, gorgonzola, fresh thyme, confit garlic, coated with toasted walnuts.
Baked brie wheel – brie wrapped with puff pastry, raspberry preserves, and crackers
Butternut Squash Soup with cream, sage, thyme…
The desserts are pretty traditional. Oddly (and luckily) my husband’s absolute favorite pie is the Marie Calendars Dutch Apple with Vanilla Ice Cream – EASY! and will fit in my wee oven. You can also always find great recipes, including desserts, on our recipes page here.
Happiest of Thanksgivings to you all and no matter how you do it – gather ‘round and make memories!
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