Guys, I hosted my first holiday dinner this year. Thanksgiving. Me. Guests. Dinner. Turkey. Gravy. Other Things. Scary.
What's that you say? Thanksgiving was October 8, and today is November 21? Well, the answer to why I am posting all about Thanksgiving 2012 more than a month after Thanksgiving 2012 is because I am
|Special occasion = I got to use The Hubby's monkey peeler.|
I should also mention that although The Hubby and I hosted the dinner, my mom did basically
My mom is truly my cooking mentor. Since I was small, I have watched her effortlessly rustle up seemingly gourmet dinners night after night, after having worked an 8-hour day at the office. When I lived at home, both of my parents loved being in the kitchen, so there was always something delicious being served at the dinner table. I don't remember ever eating something that came out of a box, except cereal and pasta...mmm, delicious cereal and delicious pasta. Whether it was something grilled off the BBQ from my dad, even in December, or homemade chicken cacciatore from my mom, the kitchen was where everyone gathered in my house. With my younger brother included, we would all spend time together while my parents made us dinner and cranked rock and roll. It's one of the reasons that as an adult I love to be in the kitchen, and love to go to concerts with my parents for bands like Neil Young and Crazy Horse (just went to this with them on November 11!), Fleetwood Mac, or Little River Band. The kitchen was the heart of their home, and their food was love. My mom has earned the nickname 'Martha' in more than one circle of friends. Me - I am definitely not Martha Stewart.
|My mom helping me to stuff my first turkey this year at Thanksgiving.|
For the past two or three years, my mom has been dropping 'subtle' hints that she would like me to host a family holiday dinner. First it was the turkey stuffing bag and turkey baster in my stocking at Christmas with sticky notes attached saying, 'next Christmas at your place?' then it was the handing down of my grandmother's Christmas Cooking cookbooks, and then it was the more obvious Christmas gift of a turkey roasting pan with a comment that she hopes it got put to good use, possibly at Thanksgiving? I'm not sure how it happened, but this year I decided to volunteer our home as the venue for Thanksgiving Dinner 2012.
Here is what went down at the Thanksgiving dinner table at my house this year:
- To start, Butternut squash soup with cumin
- Brined roasted turkey
- Homemade cranberry sauce
- Gluten-free and regular gravy
- Gluten-free and regular cornbread and sausage stuffing
- Peas with shallots and pancetta
- Braised red cabbage with goat cheese
- Honey-glazed carrots
- Butter-pecan sweet potatoes
- Green beans with vinaigrette
- Cranberry-orange cheese ball - yum! (made by my aunt)
- Cheese and crackers platter (made by my sis-in-law)
- Elsie's Potatoes - if you don't know what it is, you're missing out! (made by my mom)
- Pumpkin pie and Pecan pie with maple ice cream (made by my mom-in-law)
My mom came over the day before and we prepped all day long, in our aprons. I never realized how much work goes into making a tasty holiday dinner until now, and I finally understand the trouble that my mom has gone to all these years. I'm only going to share the recipes that I feel are keepers, and those would be the butternut squash soup, the stuffing, the peas, the sweet potatoes, and the red cabbage. I wouldn't use the same recipe again for anyhing else that I made, including the turkey. I learned so much this year! Mom - the trouble has been worth it. Love you!
Click here for Butternut Squash Soup with Cumin
Click here for Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing (can be made gluten-free or regular)
Click here for Braised Red Cabbage with Goat Cheese
Click here for Butter-Pecan Sweet Potatoes
Click here for Peas With Shallots And Pancetta
I have so much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends and readers! Gobble Gobble.
Oh, and what is your favourite holiday dinner side-dish recipe? I need to figure out something yummy to make for a side dish at Christmas this year.