November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I had a brilliant idea this sneak off & spend the next 5 days alone in a swanky hotel, drinking champagne, ordering room service, and catching up on sleep. That way, I could avoid this entire holiday weekend...and get some much needed rest, relaxation, and quiet time.

While I love Thanksgiving dinner, I'm just not looking forward to cleaning the house for our overnight guests, doing all the grocery shopping tonight & cooking the entire meal by myself on Thursday (as my husband will be busy working and/or duck hunting the next few days). I'm sure it will all work out in the long run, but I am feeling anxious and overwhelmed by how much I have to do in the next couple of days.

Still, I'm not one to selfishly abandon my family on a holiday. So, I'll suck it up and make the best of it. This Thanksgiving, I'll remember to appreciate the family & friends who are joining us for dinner (and not focus on the heart-breaking dysfunction of those who are not), to celebrate the one-year anniversary of our engagement (and 8 wonderful months of marriage), & to recognize all that I have to be truly thankful for.

One thing that I miss about the holidays, however, is going to Mt. Olive to spend the weekend with my grandparents...hanging out in  Grandma Green's huge kitchen with lots of aunts, uncles, & cousins or helping Grandma Martin make dinner (and learning all the secrets of preparing her classic sage stuffing). I miss my family terribly this time of year; things just haven't been the same since my mom died 14 years ago. And since Jerad's mom recently left his father, moving into her own apartment with Jerad's sister, his family won't be the same again either.

Therefore, Jerad and I have decided that it's time to start our own holiday traditions...which begins with Thanksgiving dinner at our house. Since we've had beef tenderloin & lobster for the past few years at my in-laws' house, as was their Thanksgiving tradition, this year we've decided to make a simple, traditional meal with our classic homage to childhood memories of happy holidays:

Roasted Turkey 
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar & Marshmallows 
And champagne. 
Lots of champagne. 
With splashes of gingerbread syrup in each glass.

* * * 

Here are some of my other favorite Thanksgiving recipes:

Cranberry Sangria

Honey-Nut Glazed Brie
Roasted Carrot Dip
Spiced Pecans

Soup & Salad:
Butternut-Cider Bisque
Chestnut & Potato Soup
Carrot-Raisin Salad
Gingerbread Vinaigrette
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino

Side Dishes:
Scalloped Oysters
Asparagus-Gruyere Tart
Spinach Gratin
Creamed Leeks
Potato & Mushroom Gratin
Sweet Potato & Cornbread Pudding

Whole Bird Alternatives:
Turkey Saltimbocca
Turkey Ossobucco

Pumpkin & Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Creme Brulee
Espresso Walnut Cake
Triple Ginger Bread

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