Thanksgiving 2007 (Nov 22, 2007)

The Event

THANKSGIVING! My second large group Thanksgiving dinner. This year, Leonie & Paul drove down from Idaho for a few days. It was really nice to spend time with them. Also joining us was Marcus, Nancy’s housemate from Sweden. He’s in the States for about a year on an internship and is renting a room from Nancy. He’s never been to a proper Thanksgiving dinner, so it was nice to put on a traditional meal for someone completely new to the experience.

Overall, the dinner was a success but I admit I was completely exhausted by the end. I’d made as much of the dinner ahead of time that I could, but still the actual day was very, very busy. I’d gotten up at 5:30AM to start the final cooking/baking and by 9:00PM I was nodding off. I need to factor that into my planning next time. I think I’d like to a little non-traditional with the side dishes, to try and mix it up a bit.


  • Heirloom turkey (17-1/2 pounds, bought from Whole Foods): This was a very delicious turkey. You can tell it was not bred to be a “breast meat only” bird.
  • Bacon, apple, sage, onion stuffing (Best Recipe)
  • Giblet gravy (Best Recipe): Made from homemade stock!
  • Mashed potatoes (Make-Ahead recipe)
  • Cranberry relish (Best Recipe)
  • Cranberry-apple chutney (Cook’s Illustrated online): Not terrific, can skip for next year.
  • Creamed spinach au gratin (magazine recipe)
  • Sauteed broccolini
  • Yam dish with marshmallows (Joan brought this)
  • Deep-dish apple pie (Cook’s Illustrated)
  • Pumpkin pie (Best Recipe)

  • Nancy Lane
  • Marcus from Sweden
  • Joan Rieke
  • Leonie & Paul Sutherland

Food Notes
  • You don’t always need to blanch veggies. This is the second time I’ve blanched broccolini before sauteeing and I think it makes the vegetable less crisp.
  • Read recipes all the way through when planning! I almost missed putting the pumpkin pie filling in a warm pie shell. I started the process too late.
  • I made the pie shells from scratch! I was very proud of myself. I do need to practice more on pie crusts, because I never seem to get the rolling out done correctly. I used the Cook’s Illustrated “foolproof” recipe, which uses some vodka. It was a very flaky crust and quite delicious.
  • Getting the apple peeler was a godsend.
  • Keep up the week-long planning, including the “day of” timetable. Everything got to the table hot.


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