Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I don’t know if it’s because I was born on Thanksgiving day and so it’s ingrained in my DNA , or because I adore all the various foods I choose to prepare for the feast; or because I love the informality of the day –probably a combination of all the above. We have established our own traditions for Thanksgiving including my husband’s cornucopia overflowing with unusual fruits and bittersweet branches. Every year he does something dramatic that outdoes the year before.
This will be my first Thanksgiving without my Father who died in May of this year. Thanksgiving was also his favorite holiday. We are, in fact, using a tablecloth he bought eons ago to use for this holiday. It was never used until he and my Mother gave it to me. It’s embroidered with leaves and birds in burnt orange and green on a beige background and just screams Thanksgiving. The Spiced Apple Pie I make every year was my Father’s favorite pie. He would try the others; but always chose apple first. Daddy’s five year old great grand daughter, my grand daughter was at our house the other day and saw the picture of our last Mother’s Day all together with both my parents. She said she loved that picture because it was a way of remembering what Great Grandpa looked like. My Father’s greatest joy was his great grand children. He constantly exclaimed how amazing it was that he had lived long enough (almost 96 years) to have the enormous pleasure of enjoying them- and they enjoyed him as well.
There is so much for which to be grateful. We often lose sight of the good stuff while we’re obsessing over the frustrations and annoyances that definitely impact our daily life but shouldn’t become the focus of it. Thanksgiving gives us a chance to stop for a minute and express gratitude in a casual unscripted way.
In terms of food, I have a long list of recipes that I have worked on over the years. Each year, I try to add something new thinking that I’ll replace an old standard; but no- I just add on. When I leave something out, my kids say- where is the…So I do it all.
The following is a list of hors d’oeuvres, turkey, vegetables, starches and desserts that I prepare. My daughter is vegetarian-but as you can see the turkey is almost an afterthought in this meal. I also make a separate vegetarian gravy for her. My grandchildren are allergic to nuts so I remove the nut toppings I used to put on top of sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.
Pigs ‘n Blankets (mustard)
White Bean Dip
BUFFET DINNER IN PANTRY
Sliced Turkey- Gravy
2 Cranberry Sauces
Wild & White Rice with Dried Apricots , Dried Cranberries, & Pearl Onions
Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy for Jessica
Sweet Potato Casserole
Smashed Root Vegetables with Caramelized Onions
Roasted Butternut Squash
Brussel Sprouts with Dill
Pearl Onions, Chestnuts & Celery
Red Cabbage and Apples
Pecan Pie, Spiced Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Turkey/Pilgrim Sugar Cookies, Pumpkin-Chocolate Bread Pudding, Fruit