We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall in Sonoma County and Michelle's Turkey Roulade

My Traveling Tales by Linda

    One of the best things about writing for our blog is that we take time to write about the things that we love. I love Fall. In fact, I don't know anyone who does not love Fall. There is something so magical about the advent of crisp mornings and warm afternoons that characterize this season in California. For me, a Fall afternoon spent in the countryside conjures up a blend of gratitude and awe for living amid such bounty and beauty, tinged with a wee bit of a nostalgic melancholy that acknowledges and savors the slow waning of another year. Sonoma County is truly a magical place to experience Fall, and during this past week, happily for me, three delightful things all converged that allowed me to take full advantage of the season.

   1. A day off.
   2. A day that dawned clear, promising the afternoon would be a perfect autumnal specimen.
   3. I was notified that my Cask Wine Club selections were ready for pick up at my favorite winery near Geyserville, deLorimier.
The Russian River in Guerneville at Vacation Beach.
   So after a leisurely morning spent flicking through the newest crop of my favorite food magazines, all paying tribute to the change of season, and slowly sipping a frothy and steaming Mocha sprinkled liberally with cinnamon, I showered, grabbed my trusty Canon PowerShot, and headed out the door into the golden and green paradise otherwise known as Sonoma County, my home.
   As well as being home to myself, Sonoma County is also home to over 300 award winning wineries, many of them being small, family-operated businesses, and if you enjoy great wines like I do, it is a real pleasure to live in the heart of it all. So, this past afternoon when I sidled up to the bar in the tasting room at the deLorimier Winery, there were couples from Pennsylvania and Toronto who were tasting the wines before walking out to sip a glass on the sun drenched patio and soak up some rays before heading East for a very long and cold season.
   I rarely feel smug, but I let myself indulge in the emotion just for a minute. I thought to myself, "I'm not going anywhere, I live here!" I made a private toast to me and continued to gloat inwardly, "And don't mind if I do have another sip of that double gold award-winning Warm Springs Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon."
This bottle was purchased to go with our Thanksgiving turkey.

   I discovered the deLorimier Winery through the recommendation of friends of mine, but I had not made time to visit the tasting room until Michelle and I went wine tasting last year, and we stopped by the winery on a day in autumn when we were planning to drive the entirety of the Silverado Trail. Our first stop going from the North and heading to the South was deLorimier.
   Our plans soon changed however, when we began tasting the most amazing Cabernets, and our tasting room host, Jim was not only very knowledgeable but extremely hospitable as well, an appealing combination. Michelle and I tasted the deLorimier cabs side by side with their reserve cabs, and we also were introduced to the outstanding Chardonnay that they make from old vine grapes that grow alongside the winery.

   In addition to my signing up for their Cask Club, Michelle and I bought a bottle of the Chardonnay, deeming it just perfect to pair with our Thanksgiving turkey last year. Having consumed our limit of wine for the day at deLorimier, we scrapped our plan to travel the Silverado Trail, and settled instead for lunch in Calistoga.
   Sonoma County has become a destination for wine enthusiasts seeking smaller wineries, and a more rural experience with less crowds than can be found visiting its glitzy big sister, Napa County. Geyserville is situated in the incomparable Alexander Valley. CA-128 meanders through this amazing landscape, and should you find yourself on the corner of downtown Geyserville ready to head out for the day, you may be a bit overwhelmed. With wineries in every direction, you might need to flip a coin to determine which way to go!
Downtown Geyserville… the choices are overwhelming.
   Not to worry...you can't go wrong. Every one of these wineries produces excellent wines, and each has its own special charms. Pick a direction, drive slowly, and stop at any tasting room you desire. You won't be disappointed. Geyserville, according to my friend Wikipedia is:
"An unincorporated community in Sonoma County, California, USA. Located in the Wine Country, it is noted by tourists for its restaurants, bed and breakfast inns, and wineries. Geyserville, located on the Rancho Tzabaco Mexican land grant, owes its foundation to the discovery in 1847 of a series of hot springs, fumaroles, and steam vents in a gorge in the mountains of Sonoma County, California between Calistoga and Cloverdale. This complex, which became known as The Geysers, soon became a tourist attraction, and a settlement grew up to provide accommodation and serve as a gateway to The Geysers. It was initially known as Clairville but subsequently renamed Geyserville. After the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad was extended to Cloverdale in the 1870s, its trains stopped in Geyserville. Geyserville is located on California State Route 128, close to US Route 101."

Today Geyserville is tiny, and charming with a miniscule downtown business hub.

   Upon this visit to the deLorimier Winery, I was pleased to see that among the bottles that comprised my Cask Wine Club selections was a bottle of their 2008 Chardonnnay. Perfect to pair this Fall with a Thanksgiving Turkey or with Michelle's Turkey Roulade. I can hardly wait.

Michelle's Turkey Roulade

   In mid October, I made Turkey Roulade for a Sunday afternoon dinner for friends and family adapting this recipe from Barefoot Contessa Back To Basics by Ina Garten (© Clarkson Potter 2008). In the book, Ina writes that she prefers to make Turkey Roulade instead of roasting a turkey on Thanksgiving. I agree that it is certainly easier to cut and serve the Roulade over carving a big bird.
   When my husband brought the boneless turkey home, it was not butterflied, which meant I had the "pleasure" of doing it myself. Impersonating Meryl Streep channeling Julia Child, I considered my actions for an extended moment before proceeding with a long serrated knife, assuring myself by warbling out loud, "I am FEARLESS." It worked. I sliced slowly and did just fine. I'm sure both Meryl and Julia would have been proud of my technique.
   The other moment of patience occurred when I discovered that I was out of kitchen twine. With the clock ticking, my husband went on the mission of mercy for me, but found out that kitchen twine is only carried as a seasonal item at our local grocery store. What?! Fortunately, the nice butcher gave up some twine for the cause. The turkey roulade entered the oven about 45 minutes late. Evidently that's why appetizers and cocktails were invented. ~Michelle

Buttermilk infused mashed potatoes and mushroom sauce are traditional sides.
1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied (about 5 pounds)
1 recipe Herb and Corn Bread Stuffing
2 to 3 Tbsps butter, at room temperature
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven 400°F. Place a baking rack in a roasting pan. Grease the rack and the pan for easier clean-up. Set aside.
2. Request that the butcher butterfly the turkey breasts without removing the fat. If for whatever reason, you find yourself in my position, with knife in hand, be sure to freeze the turkey breast for 20-30 minutes. Very cold meat is much easier to cut. Lay the breast skin side down. I start from the inside and slowly work my way outwards. After the turkey is butterflied, I use a mallet to lightly "hammer" the surface to a uniform thickness, but not too thin.

3. Sprinkle the meat with about 1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt and about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Spread the prepared stuffing in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Place the leftover stuffing in a buttered dish and bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside the turkey.

4. Starting at a short end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll, tucking in stuffing as you go. Tie the roast with firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder. This job is easier with two people, but can be done with one person - just have the twine cut ahead of time in 5 to 6 10-inch pieces.
5. Place the stuffed turkey breast seam side down on the rack in the roasting pan. Rub the softened butter across the entire surface of the turkey and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
6. Transfer the roast to the oven and reduce heat to 325°F. Roast the turkey for 1-3/4 to 2 hours, until a thermometer reads 150 degrees in the center. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Carve 1/2-inch-thick slices, removing the twine as you slice across the roast. The twine will help keep it together as you carve. Serves 6 to 8 people.


  1. Nice... I have made turkey roulade for the past two Eids, and everyone thinks that I am a chef! It looks so elegant on the table carved and such!

  2. Hi, is there a recipe for the gravy anywhere on this site? I have searched but couldn't find it. It's the one on top of the mashed potatoes alongside the turkey roulade, cranberries and peas.

  3. Great timing! We will be posting both the gravy and mashed potatoes recipes on Sunday, Nov 17th. In fact, we will also be publishing Beef Bourguignon. We usually only post one recipe every Sunday, but this week we've got a threefer. There I go making up words again! Please come back and visit us this weekend and let us know if there is anything else we can do to help. Cheers, Michelle

  4. Great, thanks so much. I will be looking forward to it. I'm extremely grateful for your site. All of the food looks divine. I will be a constant visitor from now on.

    1. It's comments like this one that keep us going. We all hold down more than full-time jobs, and this blog is, as I have said before, truly a labor of love. We have a passion for food and family… and now photography. It is a great sister's project, and we appreciate you taking the time to read. We would welcome feedback on the recipes that you make.

  5. I will post results as I go along with any recipes from this site. I'm attempting to make the pork chops with marsala/cream sauce this week.
    Thank you for posting the mushroom sauce recipe today. I've been looking for it throughout this site.

  6. I'm assuming the mushroom sauce recipe is the same as the gravy above.

  7. Yes, the mushroom sauce is featured in the photo, and I also posted the recipe for mashed potatoes. Happy cooking!

    1. Thank you. Your site is great and always makes me hungry.

  8. Thank you. You ladies are so great.


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