Last year over the Thanksgiving holiday we wandered up to Door County, Wisconsin to visit our friend, the unique and immensely talented Hans Christian. On exotic, multi-stringed instruments, Hans plays a music that transports you to sacred heights.
He played a number of these instruments on my husband Bhava’s most recent album Songs of My Soul, which he also produced. So we went up last Thanksgiving to visit, see his studio, and listen to a few of Bhava’s tracks as they were being engineered. This is a cut from that album, over images from my husband’s memoir Warrior Pose.
It turns out that Hans is also a great cook. And while we didn’t get to try it while we were there, he talked us through his favorite Thanksgiving recipe. This is my reconstruct from the barest of notes. I hope it does it justice. It certainly is hearty and delicious – already a tradition in our home.
Hans’ Thanksgiving Nut Loaf
4 cups Brown Basmati Rice, cooked
2 cups Walnuts, chopped
2-3 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 cup Celery, chopped (feel free to add more and be generous with the celery)
2 tablespoons Caraway seeds
2 tablespoons Tamari
1 tablespoon Ghee (or Coconut Oil), just barely melted
1/2 teaspoon Pink Salt
Dusting of Red Pepper Flakes, or Cayenne, or my favorite, Aleppo
Set your oven to 400 degrees. Line a loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5) with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment, oil the bottom and sides with ghee, or coconut oil.
Put 1 tablespoon cheese to the side. In a large bowl, mix together the rice, walnuts, all the rest of the cheese, celery and caraway seeds. Whisk the eggs together and stir into the rice mixture to completely cover. Add the tamari, ghee/oil, salt, and peppers, this time just lightly mixing to spread the seasonings through.
Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan. Use your clean hands, or a spatula, to press down and push it into the corners. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
Set the loaf pan in your oven, and cook for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Served with a sauce like Barbara’s “Best Ever Vegan Gravy” will round out the Thanksgiving flavors. But the true test of Thanksgiving perfection? Friday leftovers! This makes an incredible sandwich by lightly reheating the slices and placing between two pieces of toasted bread generously smeared with a Curried Aioli ~ 2 T Mayo, 1 clove garlic, 1 t lemon juice, and a few shakes of your favorite curry powder stirred together well. Pile on the greens and your feast of thanksgiving just got portable!
Bhava’s CD turned out beautifully. For divine music and meals, friends and family, beauty and the quiet solace of nature and places like Door County ~ we are grateful.
We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
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