Virtue Thanksgiving 2011 Al Fresco

The weather in Toronto this past Thanksgiving weekend was out of this world! It felt like summer outside (that warmth on your face, such a delight) but felt a bit out-of-place when walking past tree’s in Oakville that showcased a multitude of Autumn colours. I headed to Union Station on Sunday morning to grab my train to Oakville and popped by Purdy’s Chocolates to pick up an assortment of their Fall Flavours. Since I live right downtown and have to commute via TTC and Train to get to my parents place it seemed a bit idiotic to prepare some lavish dessert when it may end up on the floor (or in someones lap). Chocolates are obviously easy to transport and put a serious smile on everyone’s face after they have feasted on fixins.

Since the weather was so atypical I canvassed around the kitchen that afternoon (practically had to rally them around the idea) of hosting our Thanksgiving Feast on our outdoor patio overlooking my mother’s garden and pond.

And so it was, that we ended up having perhaps the only summer-style al fresco Thanksgiving Turkey dinner we may ever get the chance to have in mid October. I spent the afternoon making stuffing, relaxing on a hammock in the backyard and plucking fresh mint to prepare mojito cocktails for our guests when they arrived.

The menu bellow outlines our Virtue Family Feast. Please note any mention of the word “Famous” is a notation indicating that person is a recognized family member who is always expected to serve forth their much-loved dish.

Mojito Cocktails

Bill’s “Famous” Nut’s and Bolts

Several Bottles of Wine (too many to actually mention, or remember for that matter)

Jan’s “Famous” Tom the Turkey carved by Bill’s “Famous” knife

Amy’s “Famous Mashed Potatoes

Aunt Cynthia’s “Famous” Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

Andrew’s “Famous” Stuffing

Butternut Squash


Cranberry Sauce

Uncle Bill’s “Famous” Apple Crisp

Theresa’s “Famous” Pumpkin Pie

Purdy’s “Famous” Chocolates

I sneaked my chocolate selection under everyone’s noses just before the apple crisp and pumpkin pie were offered up to the masses. Purdy’s has a great selection of seasonal chocolates that my entire family fought over. I told everyone they were “pallet cleansers” between the poultry and pie courses. I think they believed me!

We sampled the following Purdy’s Chocolates…

Fall in Chocolate

Fall Chocolate gift pack containing 14 milk chocolate Leaves and 14 dark chocolate leaves.

Foiled Pumpkins

A foiled pumpkin in milk chocolate is all you need to complete your Thanksgiving feast!


A decadent smooth centre with a hint of toffee crunch. Featured in four distinct flavours- creamy peanut butter, smooth coffee, nutty pistachio and rich almond butter – each luxuriously wrapped in either milk, white or dark chocolate.


The first layer is Gianduja, a soft puree of almond, hazelnut and creamy milk chocolate, entwined with a French pastry flake. The second layer is a rich, dark chocolate truffle made with fresh whipping cream and cocoa. The two-layer piece is then enrobed in decadent dark chocolate.


Purdy’s legendary Hedgehogs are made with our creamy hazelnut gianduja, in a shell of lavish milk chocolate.

Fall for Chocolate Tin

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