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
- 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.