Thanksgiving: The Planner’s Holy Grail of Holidays

Continuing with a tradition started last Thanksgiving, Big N and I hosted the family for Thanksgiving again this year.  Not only does the holiday provide a wonderful excuse for me to cook decadent foods using all the butter I want, but it also requires that I plan plan plan (my favorite past time).  I consulted recipe books and the usual blogs for ideas (special thanks to the Pioneer Woman for her delicious dinner roll recipe), created my shopping list, pondered such philosophical questions like whether to wet or dry brine the bird (dry brining won out this year, easy peasy), harassed my guests for RSVPs, and spent 2 full days in my kitchen cooking.  thanksgiving-1-of-8

I also decided to sew a new runner for our dining room table just for the occasion.  Ain’t it purdy?

I kept the menu traditional, because you don’t mess with the classics:

Tuscan Sausage Soup (a contribution from my cousin)
Dinner Rolls
Cranberry Grape Compote
Roasted Acorn Squash
Sweet Potato Casserole
Potatoes Au Gratin (a contribution from my step mother)
Braised Brisket in Cranberry Wine Sauce
Turkey with Stuffing

and pie three ways:
Chocolate Pecan Pie
Coconut Cream Pie
Pumpkin Pie (a contribution from my aunt)

Other than a minor hiccup after taking out the turkey a wee bit early and having to cook my bird some more after my guests arrived, the evening went off fairly smoothly.  My cousin’s soup and the sweet potato casserole were the favorites of the evening, with an honorable mention for the coconut cream pie.  Leftovers were abundant and forced on my guests as doggy bags, nobody was allowed to leave empty handed, house rules.

All that effort paid off in a lovely evening for Big N and I and our 16 guests (plus my mini-nephew, Daniel, the hit of the party at 2 months old).  We came together as a family, ate until we were uncomfortably full, laughed and expressed our gratitude for all of our blessings this year, and then reveled in the tryptophan induced food coma late into the evening.

And of course, true to form, my head is already spinning with new ideas for next year’s Turkeyfest.


  1. […] We’re expecting 20 or so at the house this year, and with Griffin on my hip I certainly have much to be thankful for.  I’m praying that my Thanksgiving bird comes out as beautifully as the one I did in ’09, the last time I hosted the big family feast. […]

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