Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love it. And I am a purist. Thanksgiving is not the time to try new side dishes, to make fancy tarts, or to, God forbid, try to be creative and new and do something horrible like not serve turkey. Thanksgiving is tradition, people. Save your fancy new ideas for New Years.

I have been making Thanksgiving dinner every year since I was married, and after trying different versions of each recipe, this menu is the one that has won out and if I leave anything out or suggest something else I get sad faces from the husband. I do sometimes, even now, make slight changes, such as some years I make homemade rolls, and some years I buy them.
Here's my menu:

Turkey with garlic and herb butter. I received a Martha Stewart cookbook when we got married and have used this turkey recipe every year. The only thing I change is the herbs, it depends what I have on hand, but rosemary is mandatory.

Mashed potatoes. I make mine with heavy cream and sour cream and a ton of butter. Decadent, delicious. The key to perfect mashed potatoes is after draining them, return them to the pot over medium high heat, and dry them in the pan until a film builds up on the sides of the pan. Remove them from the heat and mash.

And Gravy. It took me years to perfect homemade gravy. Then I found this Jamie Oliver recipe and gravy success was mine.

Green Bean Casserole. I make it according to the recipe on the French's Fried Onion box. Don't judge. TRADITION.

Maple Glazed Carrots. From a Real Simple recipe.

Cranberry Sauce. This year I'm making homemade, which is a first. We'll see how it goes.

Rolls. I normally buy pre-made  rolls, but this year I'm attempting Parker House Rolls, using a Joy the Baker recipe.

Stuffing. This is the one recipe I change up from year to year, but nothing drastic. I start with a bag of premade, usually Pepperidge Farm, this year it's whatever was at Costco because we have a big crowd coming. And then I add things in. One year I put in shrimp (that was a hit). This year I plan on using mushrooms, carmalized onions, and maybe some sausage.

And now...pie. I always make pumpkin and apple pie. But my husband hates pie because he is crazy. So I will concede to this and also make a chocolate pie this year, which is just chocolate cream in a pie shell. I make a Bourbon pumpkin pie which is a few recipes I have used mixed together along with my own touch (recipe to come, someday), a family apple pie recipe that I make in a crust instead of crumble, and another Real Simple recipe for the chocolate cream pie ( I love Real Simple). All topped with homemade whipped cream.

There you have it! Yeah Thanksgiving! Happy eating, y'all.

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