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Planning 2009 Thanksgiving Dinner

November 21, 2009

 

I love cooking and hosting Thanksgiving Dinner–always have.  It is my favorite holiday–good food, good wine, good company, and you don’t have to buy or wrap a gift!  My two biggest challenges with the Thanksgiving meal are selecting the menu, and getting everything to come out at the same time, with the hot foods being hot, and the cold foods being cold.

I keep a Thanksgiving file, and throughout the year, I will throw recipes that I have cut out of magazines or newspapers  in the file as candidates for the big day.  A few days before, I will go through the file, pull out some cookbooks, and select the recipes that I will serve, and make the shopping list.

Many cooks will not serve a recipe to guests that they have never tried before.  Not me!  Jim and I were in a Cuisine Club for a few years, that assigned a dish to each club member for each Cuisine Club Dinner, and we never previewed the  recipe, and we never got burned.  I think the key is to thoroughly review the recipe, asking,  “Do the proportions seem reasonable?  Do the ingredients seem compatible?  Are the seasonings something that will enhance the flavor of the ingredients?  Do the cooking times seem appropriate?”  One can avoid a lot of kitchen mishaps by thinking through the recipe, instead of being romanced by the picture of the finished dish!

My menu is usually minimalist–if the group is large, I will add a second meat, salad, and vegetable, or if someone if coming that “must” have something (like Waldorf salad, Yankee Stuffing, or sweet potatoes) I will add that also.  But, my preference is to cook from scratch using  quality, fresh ingredients, and keep the number of items to a special few.  We are having Thanksgiving at the Farm this year, with a small group.

The Farm

Here is this year’s menu:

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Farm

Olive Tray with Stuffed Celery

Fresh Citrus and Cranberry Salad on Baby Greens

Bobby Flay’s Roast Turkey with Herbs

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Southern Style Herbed Cornbread Dressing & Turkey Gravy

Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Parker House Rolls

Apple Fruit Crisp with vanilla ice cream and warm caramel sauce

So, what do you think about the menu?  What are you having?  Are there any special traditions that you have for Thanksgiving?  Would you like a recipe?  Leave me a comment let me hear from you.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your friends and family!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2009 1:12 pm

    Wonderful menu! You’ve given me some great ideas! I found a nice recipe for glazed carrots (simple but elegant) on the blog mamatrue.com — I’m just trying to figure out what kind of pie I want to bake and serve!

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

    • November 24, 2009 1:32 pm

      Thanks, Dave. I plan to do some prep work on the meal later today–make the spread for the stuffed celery, chop the onions, maybe even make the cornbread for the dressing. Give the Creamy Brussells sprouts some thought–they have bacon in them, and everyone likes them, even those who have never liked Brussells Sprouts. It is on http://www.bhg.com
      Hope your dinner turns out well, and that you have a happy Thanksgiving!

  2. November 24, 2009 3:22 pm

    hi barbara,

    i am from india and we do not have a Thanksgiving day. However, i must tell you I LOVE YOUR MENU – its making my mouth water. AND I bet a Thanksgiving file is an innovation. You could probably market it in some wierd manner.

  3. November 27, 2009 9:49 am

    Hi people, it is Thanksgiving Day! I’m enjoying my extra day off, and I am planning to doing something fun that’ll probably involve a car trip and seeing something new in West Chester I haven’t seen yet.
    You write new post at Thanksgiving?

  4. February 2, 2015 11:36 am

    Wonderful article! We will be linking to this great article on our site.

    Keep up the great writing.

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