Of all the ritual meals of the year, Thanksgiving is my favorite. I remember from my childhood, waking to the smells of turkey et.al already cooking. My father used to baste the turkey in a combination of white wine and apple juice. It was heavenly. My parents used to host thanksgiving dinner at our house and there was something intensely comforting about the tumult and the crowded kitchen.
This year, my in-laws came up for thanksgiving and we invited some good friends to dinner as well, so we had 5 adults, 4 kiddos and 3 dogs in the house. (We had the feast, the dogs had kibble.)
Taking a nap waiting to turn the turkey.
It's an insane amount of work for a single meal, but we do it every year. My in-laws did the lion's share of the work over the past two days and really allowed us to pull this meal together. On the menu: A 20 lb turkey, brined a la cooks illustrated,home made gravy, 2 kinds of stuffing (oyster/cornbread and regular), 2 kinds of sweet potatoes (my kids and husband insisted on the casserole thing with mini marshmallows. *shudder*), mashed potatoes, green beans with caramelized onions, brussel sprouts, homebaked dinner rolls (a la The Pioneer Woman) and two pies: apple crumb and pumpkin (made from our farm share's organic sugar pumpkins.)
Some of our side dishes await the turkey.
I can't tell you how many times I cleaned up the same spatula or wooden spoons, how many times I put away measuring cups only to need them again. It was chaos, but happy chaos.
My father in law does battle with the bird.
Hubby puts the finishing touches on his famous homemade gravy.
We have a small kitchen, but one made for cooking. Not enough room to sit and eat for two people, much less nine. We had to put the leaves on the dining room table and bring out the folding chairs.
The dining room table before dinner.
We served family style, with the food placed on the kitchen counters.
The buffet is officially opened.
The kids couldn't wait to dig in.
Remains of the day:
From our family to yours: Happy Thanksgiving.