This was the first year I ever cooked for more than just D and me. We invited my parents, Jeff, D's parents, and his Grandma down for Thanksgiving dinner so that they could all see the new house, some of them for the first time.
The first Thanksgiving meal I ever cooked was three years ago when we lived in NYC, and I made a whole feast for just D and me in our tiny studio apartment kitchen, which was so small that I had to open the refrigerator door in order to get the oven door open. We were both terribly homesick, knowing that we wouldn't be able to go home until Christmas. D's parents were kind enough to transfer some funds over to his account so that we could go out to eat for our Thanksgiving. We got dressed up and went to Orsay, a French restaurant on the Upper East Side that had a prix fixe menu. The plates that arrived at the table had beautiful, harvest-colored daubs of turkey and vegetable on them in various combinations - very French and fancy. While we were walking home, we stopped in a little newsstand and petted a skinny, elegant black cat with a heart-shaped charm on her collar that, appropriately, had "Paris" engraved on it.
Still, it didn't seem quite right not to have some of the specific dishes we associated with our families - sage-heavy cornbread dressing, standard roast turkey, broccoli casserole, pumpkin pie, et cetera - so I made a meal for us, too. And I wheeled our 13-pound turkey home to our apartment, a dozen blocks down Fifth Avenue, in my "bag lady" cart.
That was a great Thanksgiving, if a bit lonely. This one was bittersweet in its own way: we've lost some important people this year, but I'm so happy that we got to spend Thanksgiving with our families.
|just look at that pretty bird!|
As for food, this year we decided to do Alton Brown's recipe for turkey because I'd been seeing commercials for it all month. Apparently, it's the most popular Thanksgiving recipe on the Food Network website, and when I looked it up, it had over 2500 reviews and ratings. That's a crazy number of people all making the same kind of turkey.
So, it's wonderful. If you have the time, energy, a few obscure ingredients like candied ginger and allspice berries (plus the extra refrigerator space for a brine-and-turkey-laden 10-gallon bucket), it is so worth it to make this turkey. The guy has figured out how to cook an entire bird so that it hits its various recommended internal temperatures simultaneously and thus stays moist, not to mention making sure the skin gets beautifully fried and golden brown.
Paula Deen's Mushroom Canapes (also delightful with some artichoke hearts thrown in)
Alton Brown's Roast Turkey and gravy
Claire Robinson's Add Thyme for Whipped Potatoes
classic Campbell's Soup green bean casserole
my Nana's broccoli casserole
Sîan Griffiths's sweet potato soufflé
my great-grandmother's cornbread dressing
D's Granddad's cornbread dressing
roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and balsamic reduction
D's mom's pecan pie
apple stack cake
Happy holidays, y'all.
Happy holidays, y'all.