26 November 2020

Gobbling through 2020

It's been a while!  I used to put my weekly menus on this blog, and even long after I quit that, I would put my Thanksgiving menus on here.  But, I skipped that in 2018 and 2019.  But, in the spirit of redeeming 2020, I thought I would get back to it.  

Here are the menus from previous years:  

This year:  

We're in the midst of pandemic.  Some are choosing not to celebrate Thanksgiving outside of their homes and some are living it up.  Some folks are still sheltering in place and some are doing life as normal.  These are all difficult decisions.  The body has needs and so does the soul.  My mama told me back in April, when lock down was at its tightest, that she'd rather die of covid than of loneliness.  I think that's the feeling of a lot of folks, but it's all so difficult to navigate.  We are making decisions for ourselves but they also affect others.  There are better and worse decisions, but there isn't one right path.  We’re big time missing Paul’s parents, who are thanksgiving staples as important as the turkey.  Our gathering is pretty limited this year, but we are still gathering with my parents (mama, daddy, stepmama) and siblings (brother and sister-in-law).  So, we're feeding 11.   But we'll have food for forty, of course.  

Pick Up Food:  
My step mother is bringing a caesar dip with crudités, and I am doing a giant charcuterie.  It's just so pretty and happy and everyone can find something he or she loves.  I'll also make a festive cocktail -  an herby french 75, I think.  My family loves a beverage, and so I'll also have the basics of a bar set up and they can help themselves. We'll do appetizers and beverages in our family room rather than at my kitchen bar so that everyone will be able to relax and have space while supper gets finished.  It's nice to separate appetizers from the food-prep spaces.  It makes everyone feel more cared for and less rushed.  Plus, at Thanksgiving you never really know how long everything will take to get done (though, you better believe I have a spreadsheet), and so spending a little extra effort on appetizers takes the pressure off of getting food in the bellies of hungry people.  

Using an old standby favorite roasted red bell pepper that I've been making for at least a decade for special occasions.  It's so yummy.  I always swirl creme fraiche on top - sometimes in a shape or a monogram if I'm fancing. I'll serve it in my grandmother's china coffee cups.  I love to have soup at Thanksgiving, because it gives us all something with which to sit down at the table all at the same time.  We can pray together, and then we can go through the line and everyone just eats whenever they make it back to the table.  Consider soup - it's an added touch that makes turkey day a little more special.  

Grilled Turkey.  A few years ago a certain favorite little brother of mine told me he was going to cook the turkey, and then he may or may not have had too many adult beverages the night before and called and said, "I just can't make it."  I cussed and then put hubby to work, who googled and learned how to use the green egg to make a turkey.  It was so good.  He's going to be back at it this year, and I'm going to brine the turkey first.  

The folks who are coming are largely helping with sides this year.  I just tell everyone "tell me what you're bringing and I'll build around it."  

Cornbread dressing:  My grandmother's recipe.  We never vary it, and there are quite a lot of folks who would boycott if we do.  It's not especially creative or special, but it's very good, in a 1950s kind of way.  Which I feel like we need a little bit of.  

Sweet Potato Casserole:  Mama is bringing this.  

Modern Green Bean Casserole:  Sister in law 

Pommes Aligot:  Brother (Google if you're curious.  I.cannot.wait.) 

Wild Rice Salad:  Step Mother

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts:  Mama 

Cheddar & Scallion Creamed Corn:  in Ina Garten's new cookbook that I ordered for myself.  I love scallions.  And corn.  And cheese.  So, this particularly spoke to my heart.  Or my stomach.  Whatever.  

Spinach Gratin: Also an Ina, but not in this particular cookbook.  Recipe here.  

On the Table

Gravy:  Another Ina. Recipe here.  
Cranberry Sauce:  Theme, much?  Recipe here.
Eason Family Pickles 
Breadbasket:  Yeast rolls (a favorite recipe of mine from Stop and Smell the Rosemary, a favorite cookbook of mine) and biscuit bread muffins (an old family-friend recipe that we love, turned into muffins) and maybe some beer bread muffins (same story as the biscuit bread muffins).  
Amish Jarred Spiced Peaches:  (It's a long story.  Not really.  We like these tacky canned peaches from the 50s and we just can't stop liking them.  And by we, I mean me.  And the urchins, who have bad taste.  So, basically, the story is that we're tacky and we don't care.) 

Dessert Cart:

Pear Gallette:  I'm looking at recipes and will make up my own.  I love pears and I love galletes.    

Pecan Pie:  Ada Bee 

Cheesecake:  Stepmother 

Bittersweet chocolate cake with Amaretto Creme:  Another from Ina's new book.   

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