Thanksgiving DinnerWe’re rapidly approaching my almost most favorite holiday!  I love Thanksgiving – a day devoted to family and food.  Especially food!

Thanksgiving is  our holiday.  Christmas is in North Jersey with Victor’s sister, and Easter is down the road with his brother.  So – we have to make a big deal out of it.  (Of course, big deal is all relative – we never, ever lack for food in this house!) And it’s a day to cook from scratch.  No premade turkey from Boston Market and pies from Costco.  This is the ultimate sharing of food with the family day.  And that means fresh.  Yes, it takes time, and since I’m working right up to Thanksgiving day, I shall have to organize well.  It is so worth it.

I’ve been slackin’ this year.  Usually by this time I have planned the menu, made the excel spreadsheet with menus, recipes, shopping lists, etc.  I finally figured out the menu a few minutes ago.  I don’t necessarily have recipes together, but at least I now know what we’ll be serving – more or less.  I am really, really trying to cook less this year.  We always have an obscene amount of food – and leftovers – literally – for days.  Wish me luck.

The menu itself is fairly traditional.  There are certain things that are here every year:  Roast Turkey – not brined – with gallons of gravy, Nonna’s stuffing, Marie’s Sweet Potatoes, and that one can of sliced jellied cranberry sauce in my mom’s little crystal dish that she served it in every year.  I’m adding the Pumpkin Polenta this year, the hors d’oeuvres always change, and other than Pumpkin Pie, the desserts are what I feel like doing.  The two fruitcakes were made last month and are sitting in the basement.  I just added more brandy.

(Just back from the Farmer’s Market with a few additions to the menu!)

Hors d’oeuvres:

  • Baked Brie
  • Brie Fondue
  • Cheeses and Salami with Asst Breads and Crackers
  • Puff Pastry Cranberry and Cheese
  • Pumpkin Wontons

The Dinner:

  • 32+ lb Turkey
  • Gravy
  • Nonna’s Stuffing
  • Apricot Walnut (or Pecan) Stuffing
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Pumpkin Polenta
  • Marie’s Sweet Potatoes
  • Candied Sweet potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Fresh shelled Peas with Butter
  • Green Salad with Pumpkin Dressing
  • Marie’s Cranberry Relish
  • Triple Cranberry Sauce
  • Canned Cranberry Sauce (one can for sentimental reasons)
  • Pumpkin Rolls
  • Cranberry Butter


  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Eggnog Pie
  • Eliza’s Buttermilk Pie
  • Pecan Cranberry Tart
  • Apricot Macadamia Nut Fruitcake
  • Traditional Fruitcake

If I can keep the amounts in check, I think we’ll be fine.

Okay, scratch that last sentence.  I keep adding things.  We’re going to have a lot of food.  Oh well.