In less than two weeks the big day will be here! Thanksgiving is our most favorite holiday of the year. It’s a day that we get to share not only all the comforts of home, the cozy fire burning, the football games, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the TV, the friends and family that come from far and near, but we also get to eat, or overeat, all the foods that bring us comfort. Mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with the tiny marshmallows, pumpkin pie and of course, the TURKEY!
People often say that you should stick to dishes that you know on Thanksgiving, and not experiment with new recipes. I can understand not wanting to add more stress to the day, but I tend to disagree. It’s the perfect day to try out new dishes. Afterall, there will be so much food going around, that even if it’s a flop, there will still be plenty of food to eat. Plus, it’s great to have a captive audience that will be the guinea pigs, so to speak. Even if it’s just one dish you add to your menu, give it a go and see what happens. Be daring. Just do it!
This week, it’s important to get the menu down and start shopping for your ingredients. Think about the items you can make ahead. What can you freeze now and just defrost and heat that day? Save buying all the fresh vegetables and salad until the day or two before, just to make sure they are really fresh.
First, I will make a list of the recipes I want to use. This will be the base list. It may suffer some changes and rewrites throughout the week as I am making my shopping lists. And of course, I never think we have enough food, so there may be some additions too. But this is what I am starting with.
Soup- Yukon Gold Potato and Corn Chowder
Breads- Dill Corn Sticks and Traditional Dinner Rolls
- Braised Brussels Sprouts
- Baked Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
- Honeyed Carrots
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
- Chestnut Stuffing
- Herb Roasted Turkey with Roasted Root Vegetables
- Mandarin Orange Cranberry and Coconut Relish
- Freeform Apple Tart
- Chocolate Crusted Pomegranate Mousse
- Ginger-Streusel Pumpkin Pie
- Southern Pecan Pie with Whipped Cream
Wines- Of course Beaujolais Nouveau will be here on November 18th (just after midnight!) and is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner, so a few bottles of that will be on the menu, as well as a few Syrah’s, Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. We like to keep all the options open.
Its a very traditional and simple menu. I still want to throw something in with a twist, like another soup perhaps or a side dish that I haven’t tried before.
After I have narrowed down the menu, I make a list of every ingredient that I will need, whether it is in my pantry already or not. This way I can check it off to make sure that I have absolutely everything. I hate having to run to the grocery store Thanksgiving morning for last minute forgotten items (even though I am sure I will!). I am planning to start shopping on Thursday so I can begin my cooking this weekend.
In the meantime, I am going to scour the Thanksgiving issues of my favorite magazines and online sites to find that extra dish that I want to try.
Let the countdown begin! We will be ready!