Cornucopia of options

With plenty to be thankful for this year, from what appears to be the end of a devastating recession to the guilty plea made by Balloon Boy’s father, our thoughts are turning to all things turkey and gravy.

Here are some options for an unforgettable Thanksgiving.

The grande dame of traditional cuisine in a traditional setting, Five Crowns, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, will offer a full menu of both its own traditional choices and Thanksgiving favorites from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Every entree purchase comes with a choice of first course, including butternut squash soup with pancetta and almonds or the Pride of the Crowns salad.

The oven-roasted tom turkey is diestel free-range, served with fresh herb and chestnut dressing, mashed potatoes and giblet gravy, sautéed green beans and yam slices baked with rosemary and garlic.

Many other entrees also will be available.

Desserts range from classic pumpkin pie with brandy-spiked whipped cream to Dutch crust Apple Pie with cinnamon pistachio crème fraiche.

The Balboa Bay Club & Resort has planned a traditional feast in its bay-view First Cabin Restaurant, 1221 W. Coast Hwy., from 1 to 8 p.m. Turkey Day. The meal will be enhanced by live piano music. For more information, call (949) 630-4145.

Hornblower Cruises has planned a Thanksgiving Day Cruise boarding at 3 p.m., with the cruise taking place from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The event includes a traditional all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving buffet, a boarding glass of champagne and live entertainment. The menu includes several varieties of salads, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, fresh green beans and julienne carrots served with a ginger butter glaze, warm cornbread stuffing, Atlantic salmon on a bed of sautéed spinach, roasted breast of turkey, herb crusted prime rib served with a Cabernet demi glaze and assorted freshly baked rolls.

The meal will be followed by an extensive dessert selection of holiday favorites, tarts, cookies and cakes, served with coffee and tea.

The cruise tickets are $79.95 for adults and $39.98 for children ages 4 to 12, not including tax; children younger than 3 cruise free.

For more information, visit hornblower.com or call (800) HORNBLOWER.

For those seeking a hipper experience, the Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St. Costa Mesa, is hold a Thanksgiving Jam benefit Saturday for the Eli Home & Friendship Kitchen, hosted by the Wishing Well crew.

Tickets are $10 at the door; doors open at 8 p.m. The evening will feature acoustic performances by H.R. of Bad Brains, Walter Schreifels of Gorilla Biscuits, Jonah Matranga of Far, Jeff Pezzati of Naked Raygun and Steve Soto of Adolescents. Hi Deaf will be the guest deejays.

A concurrent art show will feature original works by H.R., Jonah Mantraga, Efrem Schukltz, Segi Loobkoff, Gavin Oglesby, Jordan Buckley, Josh Cairns and other artists.

Raffle prizes include two tickets to an upcoming Metallica concert and dinner for two at the Anaheim White House.

For more information, e-mail Joe@wishingwellcrew.com.

Looking to do the cooking yourself? “Orange County Fare, a Culinary Journey Through the California Riviera,” the first cookbook ever produced by the Junior League of Orange County, has been ranked a finalist in the cookbook category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.

The book, now available at orangecountyfare.com, focuses on fresh, California-style cuisine, with more than 175 recipes provided by league members, chefs, restaurants and other local organizations. The cookbook also includes a photographic tour of Orange County.

The book, $29.95, is available at OrangeCountyFare.com.

Black Friday

Brushing up on this year’s Black Friday sales can be a daunting task, with stacks of glossy advertisements to peruse — to say nothing of the Walmart employee who was trampled to death last year, which gave a whole new meaning to the word “doorbuster.” (This year looks equally dangerous; Walmart will offer a $248 32” HDTV.)

Several websites have popped up in recent years with advance postings of stores’ best deals, including full scans of retailer’s Black Friday ads. Sites like blackfriday.info let readers type in their desired product (Blu-Ray player, anyone?), and a list sortable by store and price pops up.


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