Whether you’re used to celebrating Thanksgiving, or all you know about it comes from American T.V. and movies, the best way to describe the holiday is that it’s a time to surround yourself with good company. If you happen to be staying at a hostel like HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse, you’ll usually end up celebrating the most delicious day of the year with other travelers from around the world.
Another good reason to spend Thanksgiving in Northern California at Pigeon Point is that the centerpiece of the meal is more likely to be Dungeness crab than the traditional turkey. You can get the seafood straight from local fishermen at Pillar Point Harbor, or from a local fish market in Pescadero, and then get some seasonal vegetables to round out the meal. Have everyone contribute with a food from their home, and then you’ll have the perfect California hostel meal!
Here are some recipes that are perfect for making at HI Pigeon Point with fellow holiday travelers.
Roast Dungeness Crab
Clean, steam, and separate the crab (one whole one can be enough for two people) according to these instructions.
Preheat the oven at 450˚F and melt half a stick of butter (per crab) with some oil, chopped garlic, and any fresh or dry herbs and seasoning you find in the hostel kitchen in an oven-safe pan. Add the crab and stir with the butter mix, season with salt and pepper, and place the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Roast Seasonal Vegetables
Root vegetables are in season this time of the year, and they also happen to be easy and delicious to roast. Season vegetables like carrots, potatoes, turnips, and parsnips with salt and pepper, olive oil and herbs and place them in a pan to roast in the oven for up to an hour at 350˚F.
Brussel sprouts are also in season and are delicious if you roast them with some sugar or balsamic vinegar until the outside is nice and crispy.
Kiwi Fruit for Dessert
Before your holiday meal, be sure to visit Swanton Berry Farm where you can pick your own kiwi fruit if the weather plays along (otherwise, just pick up some fruit at a local farm stall). Enjoy the fruit as-is while you hang out in the common room, or use it in this easy fruit tart recipe:
Preheat the oven at 350˚F. Roll out store-bought, defrosted puff pastry and cut into rectangles. The size will depend on the number of tarts you’re making. In a bowl, mix together half a cup of cream cheese with two tablespoons of powdered sugar and two tablespoons of honey.
Spread the cream cheese mix on the pastry squares, making sure to leave space around the edges. Place slices of kiwi on top of the cream cheese, and then fold in the pastry edges. Bake the tarts until the pastry is cooked through and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
HI USA Tip: Get a gang of new hostel friends together and explore Pescadero and its local wildlife.