I booked my tickets a few weeks ago (very early for me!), but it seemed too early to start a Thanksgiving thread in September (or maybe not?)
But with Canadian Thanksgiving upon us, here we are.
So, if this is a holiday that you celebrate, what’s the plan? Are you hosting, traveling, going to a restaurant, skipping the whole shindig and staying home? Are you baking? Making an app or a side? Buying something to take along?
I’ll start. I’m traveling to my usual Thanksgiving gathering with family.
I’m planning for at least two appetizers and a dessert – our main meal doesn’t accommodate much (any ) variation, so creativity and experimentation lives in the before and after. We graze from breakfast until turkey time around 3-4pm, so there’s plenty of time and opportunity for anything anyone wants to insert then.
I’ve got ideas swirling, need to narrow down by audience and effort involved.
Gougeres have long been on my do-again list – a few years ago we did a traveling Thanksgiving and I made, froze, and traveled with a huge number of gougeres, but this time I could just make them onsite (ie at aunt’s home). But it’s a lot of effort for the size of our group (bec the kids will eat gougeres, but not most of the other things).
Then there’s baked brie or brie en croute, which used to be my staple contribution for many years (topped with something spicy – hot pepper jelly, or when we ran out, sriracha mixed with jam, lol). I’ve had a hankering for this, so maybe it will make a return this year.
So many options! And I haven’t even thought about dessert yet.
I went to my local Farmer’s Market, to get mushrooms from a stall where I’m a regular.Today was its last day for this market until next May.
I think I found the only turkey in my side of town that was under 10 lbs after checking 3 stores. A 12lb turkey costs around $35 to $40 Cdn, organic turkeys are going for $70. ($4.99/lb). My 9.8 lb turkey cost around $29 Cdn ($22 USD) Costs have been skyrocketing lately.
Picked some greens from my garden which will go into a spanakopita on Monday.
Sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans.
Apple, raisin, mushroom, sage and dried apricot stuffing.
Not sure if we will have a pumpkin pie on Monday. I bought one we have been enjoying this week, which was more of a pumpkin chiffon.
That was me last year, too, but for different reasons. Last year I baked a turkey breast with some of the traditional sides for DH and myself. What a sad picture: the two of us eating a scaled back Turkey Dinner in our little breakfast nook by the light of an electric bulb, with no fancy serving ware, no guests, and none of the other heart-warming trappings of the holiday. Pa-the-tic! Lol!
This year I think I’ll do something with some wow factor, but not necessarily a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll light a candle and enjoy a nice meal.
A friend’s bday is close to Thanksgiving and my partners work load has been at near catastrophic levels most of the year, so we’re skipping the usual dinner with her sister and family and meeting said bday friend and spouse for a long weekend at the coast. Bougie dining (including fresh off the boat dungeness!) and a decided lack of any pressure to do anything are the only things on the agenda.
I might have a couple guests .
Razor clams dipped in a egg and milk wash .Then into finely crushed saltines.
Fried in butter and a little oil for a very short amount of time .
Butter nut squash cooked in the oven .
I’m searching for a vegetable or other side that will go with this diverse menu .
I grew up with, and have often myself done, simple baked sweet potatoes served as-is with butter for Thanksgiving. However, several years ago I discovered these roasted sweet potatoes with orange marmalade and bitters from the Gourmet Today cookbook. The OJ, marmalade, and bitters reduce down to a sophisticated, bittersweet glaze as the potatoes roast.
Here’s my alternative menu for a Thanksgiving Dinner for two. It’s casual enough to make sense for the two of us, but still I tried to incorporate many of the traditional foods so we don’t forget it’s a holiday. We love this kind of fare, and already are looking forward to our “Turkey Dinner”.
Grilled turkey-and-Swiss sandwiches on homemade cranberry-pecan sourdough (choice of open-faced or traditional sandwich, with gravy optional).
Crispy, twice-cooked potato wedges – both gold potatoes and sweet.
Grated carrot salad. Pickled green beans. Pickled cherries.
To drink: choice of apple or blackberry shrub, alcohol optional.
For dessert: homemade pumpkin ice cream.
After dinner we’ll throw the switch on our outdoor holiday light tableau and light up the tree.