Thursday, November 11, 2010

Something to be Thankful For

Since Hugh has assured me this blog is on the verge of becoming a blog dedicated things I will post about at a later date when I'm not busy or tired or sick or out of town (and since I really do not like it when he is right), let me offer you something of substance.

For someone whose two favorite activities are cooking and eating, well, you can just guess where Thanksgiving ranks in my book. I take the fourth Thursday of November very seriously. On our cookbook and cooking magazine shelf (this is probably much more substantial that what you are imagining; we get a lot of comments on it from new visitors), I have a binder that is titled "Thanksgiving." It holds successful recipes from years past, a copy of last year's menu, and notes about potential recipes for the upcoming feast.

With only two weeks to go, let's get to it. Behold, our tentative 2010 Thanksgiving Menu (scroll over items for links):

STARTERS - These are the things that tide our guests (yay, MCubed!) over until dinner is ready. This year we're planning on eating around five, so I will put the starters out around one-ish. I think four hours is enough time to take the edge off the hunger but not so close that all my cooking is for naught.
Relish Tray - A throwback to childhood at my Grandma's house. It's just not Thanksgiving without this.
Parmesan and Thyme Crackers - Make-ahead and so tasty. I add a little bit more water to make the dough less crumbly. You can also substitute chives for the thyme.
Proscuitto with Grissini (skinny breadsticks) - Buy the prosciutto + buy the grissini = no work for this chef.
Chicken Liver Pate - You probably think you don't like this. You do. Also, Hugh is in charge of this one.
French 75s - For the girls.
Cranberry Old-Fashioneds - For the boys.

The Ultimate Turkey - We've been making this beauty since we moved in together in 2005. This is what it looked like Year One (things that have changed: we now have a proper roasting pan, a full-size oven, and a much larger kitchen. things that have not changed: Hugh still wears that sweatshirt, drinks his coffee from the same mug in the sink, and carries HP around on his shoulder):

You might think it's really unsanitary to prepare a turkey whilst holding a cat on your shoulder. You would probably be right, but when you aren't having any guests those are the things you don't have to worry about. Besides, a little cat hair never hurt anyone.

Gravy - Included in the link to the turkey recipe above.
Sage Stuffing - A hands down winner in the great Stuffing race. Make it.
Mashed Potatoes - I never understand people who need a recipe for these. Cut up some potatoes, boil them until tender, drain, add in a healthy dose of butter and half-and-half, season with salt and pepper, mash. Adjust seasoning accordingly.
Famous Creamed Spinach - A recipe of my own creation. Perhaps I'll actually share it with you before the big day.
Sweet Potato Casserole - We are going three years strong with this one. It is sweet potato perfection.
Cranberry Casserole - Another recipe you can anticipate over the next two weeks. This is a Hugh favorite. As he says, there's no reason this should taste as good as it does.
Chang-Style Brussels Sprouts - Dear Lord, why are these so good? I can't find the recipe online. But I will post it for your eating pleasure. This is also a Hugh specialty.
Cranberry Mustard Relish - A new addition in 2009. Good on Thursday, really good on the Friday turkey sandwich.
Rolls - I usually do store-bought, but I'm thinking about trying my hand at homemade this year. Because, you know, there isn't enough cooking to do already.

DESSERT - This is why we are eating at five. So our food can digest in time for pie before bed.
Apple Pie - Because, according to my Blogger profile, this is my specialty.
Bourbon Pecan Tart - This in only about three hundred times better than a pecan pie.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream - The recipe that's making Mandy famous on the world wide web!
Pumpkin Something Else - Because, as Matt said, we might as well have one whole dessert for each person at our Thanksgiving Feast.
Homemade Whipped Cream

This little blog might just be dedicated to Thanksgiving prep over the next two weeks. Let the stomach-stretching begin!


  1. I make the same sweet potato casserole. That's why we're best friends.

  2. Just catching up on my favorite friend's life. Looks like a fabulous meal. I wish we could celebrate together. Missing you!