We are home for Thanksgiving. Home as in I’m here in my house and not in the hospital with my six-year-old son, Kjell, which is a blessing in and of itself. Holidays in the hospital are never ideal. That said, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for doctors who react quickly and carefully, ensuring that my son is happy and whole this holiday season.
I’m also thankful for all of the people in this wonderful online community, the friends I’ve made, the people who prayed and sent well wishes, kind words and so much more. I’m thankful for all of you for being there for us in spirit, even when you couldn’t be physically. We are amazed and touched and grateful. We are humbled this Thanksgiving for all the love that has been poured out on us.
And because no day would be complete without food to nourish the body, I’m thankful for all the aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings who are bringing food to our family Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Here is what I am looking forward to.
All photos by Shaina
My Thanksgiving Menu Favorites
Turkey | I really can’t imagine Thanksgiving without turkey, though it existed for me for seven years. It seems so central to the meal, and why not? Their large size makes it easy to serve one bird to many, and it’s also economical when you break it down. We tried a mustard-crusted bird out earlier that stole the show.
Dressing/Stuffing | In the dressing versus stuffing debate, Aimée and I agree on the “out of the bird” philosophy. I know my aunts will have both stuffed with giblets and the “made on the stove-top” variety, so I will be diving into the latter. Hopefully it will be divine.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy | I prefer mine with plenty of roasted garlic and Parmesan cheese. My sister likes hers doused with gravy and eaten with the turkey. My dad can be found heaping it all together along with the cranberry sauce. Speaking of which…
Cranberries | From cranberry sauce to cranberry relish to cranberry salsa, tangy cranberries pair perfectly with the rich Thanksgiving fare. We made a salsa with oranges and pomegranates to serve either with the turkey or on toast pieces as a bruschetta.
Sweet Potatoes | Since I’m not bringing them this year, sweet potato casserole will not make an appearance, but I know they’ll represent still at the Thanksgiving table. Lucky for me, I like them multiple ways. So, topped with marshmallows, candied or twice baked, I’m looking forward to digging in tomorrow.
Green Bean Casserole | A long-time favorite of my husband’s, this needs to be on the table for him every year. We are still planning on bringing ours because, well, that way we avoid canned green beans and soup and go the from-scratch route. Onions baked with panko top ours. It’s much more complex that way, and Ole considers it life changing.
Desserts | Okay, so I am all about the dessert, and frankly, not so much the pumpkin pie portion. I’m considering pulling together another apple pie cheesecake for the occasion, and my mom will be showing up with pecan and French silk. Don’t worry, though, the purists at our family dinner will have pumpkin available too, topped with homemade whipped cream that’s been spiked with a bit of ground cardamom for an extra punch.
What are you eating for Thanksgiving tomorrow? Do you have a big meal planned? Is it immediate family only, or maybe you skip the meal and head to the theater or your favorite restaurant? And don’t forget to check out all the fun stuff you can do with those Thanksgiving leftovers!