16 November 2010


This is Eason - dressed up as a Pilgrim this morning at his Thanksgiving Feast. He's a funny kid, and loves to eat, almost as much as I do. Thank the Lord for the Pilgrims. A Holiday entirely about food and thanksgiving - yes sir ree bob.

I love to plan my Thanksgiving menu each year.

A big part of that love stems from my food control freak ness.

I like to plan Thanksgiving because I, alone, hand pick each dish. Yes, I ask around, but I am not beholden to anyone other than I. And, the benefit of hosting it all alone each year, is that I don't have to say "Hey - bring the sweet potato casserole" to anyone and then quiver in my boots that said culinary contributor might put PECANS on top instead of MARSHMALLOWS. Horrors.

But, I also really like to plan Thanksgiving, because my greatest gift of service - and one of my greatest joys (in top five competition with singing Come Thou Fount, handing over a child of mine to be baptized, making out, and the Mississippi State Fair) is to feed people. And yes, I do truly enjoy nourishing them on a daily basis, but I also really, really, really love to lay before those I love a true feast.

And so, I present, the menu for our Feast:

Turkey: We've not decided whether we're going to overnight roast it or inject and fry it, but one thing is clear from our two most competitive suggestions: Tony Chacheres will be involved.

Dressing: My grandmother's Dressing recipe, which involves, of course, a ton of onions, and quite a bit of celery, buttermilk cornbread, jiffy cornbread, and some other yummys.

Scalloped Swiss Potatoes: A modification of a Come On In recipe that has never been a turkey day staple around here, but we love it, and Paul requested it. And when he requests, it means something.

Sweet Potato Casserole: Butter, Cinnamon, a hesitant amount of nutmeg, half and half, etc. And Marshmallows. Ada Brooks has made it clear, for about three years now, that without this dish, she'll not be attending Thanksgiving at our house.

New Fangled/Real Food Asparagus Casserole: I grew up eating, on Tgiving Day & Easter, a 1950s Cream of Mushroom Soup/Canned Asparagus casserole. It has always been in my top three things to gobble. And Paul has always had MAJOR objections. Canned Asparagus. Gross, he says. And, really, he's pretty much right. It's gross. But I just love the creaminess with the 'sparagus. So, this year, I've set about creating one - with a white sauce rather than the cream of mushroom - and blanched, fresh asparagus rather than the canned varietal. I'm doing a trial run on Sunday. I'll be sure and report.

Creamed Leeks. By recommendation of my chef friend, Via. Leeks are the best ever.

White Cheddar, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Mac & Cheese. I know.

Roasted Carrots.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing and Goat Cheese (I really hope I can find a recipe for this. I'm still taking idears. If I cannot, I'll likely substitute a simple green Walker's house style salad)

Homemade Spicy Sweet Pickles

Turkey Gravy

Spiced Peaches from a Can (My kitsch staple food for Turkey Day. I'm not giving it up. If you open one can the week of thanksgiving, you've been successful, i believe)

Cranberry Sauce - from fresh cranberries, but I don't know whether I use the recommended Cranberry Kumquat Sauce or the recipe I've used in the past - but I'll know on Sunday afternoon, after a kumquat trial run)

Yeast Rolls (I'm hoping to do homemade....)

Pumpkin Pie (haven't picked a recipe yet)

Chocolate Hazlenut Torte, I think

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - I made this a month or so ago, and decided to do it for turkey day, because it's my favorite, and it tastes like the holidays.

It's ambitious, but a feast should be, no?

My house is open on Tuesday and Wednesday of Thanksgiving week for anyone who wants to come help. Ada Brooks and I (and Paul & Eason to some limited extent) will be slaving away in pure joy.

Thank the Lord for the pilgrims.


  1. thanksgiving day is a happy day when we give thanks to Go---d. thanksgiving day is a happy day when we give thanks to Go---d.

    looks fabulous. save me some dressing. :)

  2. I want to know how the leeks turn out. I LOVE leeks!