I love Thanksgiving, it's a day to bring people together and give thanks for all the wonderful people in our lives and events we have experienced. What I do not like is traveling by plane, train or car during this 4-day weekend. This year I spent Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and a few friends who were staying in the area. I haven't cooked a full Thanksgiving meal in a while, so it was with a bit of trepidation and excitement that I planned what to cook.
My boyfriend's a Southern boy at heart, so he wanted some macaroni and cheese. I made it with spinach, gruyere and a 3 cheese blend. Due to limited oven space, I made it Tuesday night. It was ok but a little too crunchy on the top.
I made a vegetarian and a meat-based dressing. Listening to NPR, I got the idea to cook chicken drumsticks on top of the sausage dressing to give it that "stuffed in a turkey" flavor. I made both dressings Wednesday evening.
My boyfriend picked up some pretty flowers for the table.
We started off with some nibbles as I cooked the turkey. Marcona almonds with sea salt and rosemary, olives, roasted red peppers, grapes, smoked salmon, salami and a smoked trout dip. I also made two flatbreads, one with zucchini and feta and the other with mushrooms, zucchini and feta.
We bought a 12 pound turkey, which I basted with a sage-thyme butter. I roasted the turkey on top of onion, carrot, celery and some turkey stock, and placed lemon, onion and herbs inside the cavity.
For a few lighter sides, I made green beans with lemon, salad and carrots with thyme.
My turkey carving skills would have been aided by having a proper carving knife on-hand.
The sausage dressing turned out much more flavorful than previous renditions. The roasted chicken dumsticks gave a lovely aroma and moistness to the dressing.
Thanksgiving is so much more special when you can spend it with family or friends, and I'm so thankful I could spend mine with some wonderful people. I think a few things could have been cooked with more finesse, but there were no major kitchen catastrophes and everyone had a full belly and a nice evening, which I consider to be a success.