After a lengthy (and may I add exhausting) break from blogging, I thought it would be appropriate to celebrate my return to this hobby by blogging about our recent Thanksgiving feast.
My childhood memories of Thanksgiving are many: candied yams made special by my Grammy just for my Dad, chocolate cream pie, mountains of mashed potatoes and my all important job of seeing to it that my Grammy did not burn the dinner rolls. Now that I’m an adult, you would think that I would have quite a bit of Thanksgiving experience of my own under my belt. But Dean and I live far from both our families and have been quite happy to be adopted by other people’s families (thank you Allisons and Ardolinos) or participate in a misfits Thanksgiving celebration (those are always quite fun).
This year, we were fortunate to have our friends from the UK and Netherlands visiting during Thanksgiving week. Thanksgiving is obviously an American holiday and this made it even more fun to share our traditions with friends from overseas.
First came the difficult task of menu planning. It was not easy to fit this in amongst all our other sight seeing and foodie expeditions. In case you are wondering how much food it takes to feed all your guests, Good Housekeeping has a nifty little chart that can be found here. My husband does not believe in such things, however. As hard as I tried to convince him that a 12-14 lb turkey offers 12-14 servings (for 6 adults and 1 toddler with 4 guests leaving to go back to their respective countries on Friday), he thought we might need 20-25 lbs and I think we may have compromised on 18. We had too much food as usual. Fortunately, Dean, Niels and I ran the 5 mile Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot in the morning to make room for those extra calories. Dean and Niels each sweat off 10 lbs after running in turkey costumes in the 82 degree weather.
The Brits and Finnish Minna had the bird in the oven and had started on the fixings by the time we arrived home. Our menu ended up looking like this:
Starters a.k.a Lunch:
Mussels and Clams in white wine sauce
Shrimp with cocktail sauce
The Main Event a.k.a Thanksgiving Dinner
Potato and Leek Soup (this actually became Fri lunch as we couldn’t fathom starting with soup even after several hours to digest the seafood)
Turkey (made moist by stuffing with 2 green apples, 1 pear and 1 white onion)
Mashed Potatoes (with Larry’s trick of using truffle salt to make them especially yum)
Peanut Butter Pie (an easy, easy recipe that is sure to be wildly popular with your guests)
Now you know I can’t bear a proper sit down meal without the proper table decor. I had dreams of doing several DIY autumn decor projects. I even started a pinterest board to store my ideas with the best of intentions. Alas, it was about all I could do to get the house clean, in order and somewhat decorated before our house guests arrived. In the end, I recycled some of the decor from our fall 2007 wedding. Dean and I made gorgeous Martha Steward-inspired wheat sheaf centerpieces and I sewed acorns on simple ribbon napkin rings. Paired with our wedding place settings and crystal (I jump at any opportunity to break these out of the china cabinet), we had a festive fall table in a pinch.
By the end of the day, we were all thankful for full bellies and the wonderful friendship we share. Despite the passage of time, many life changes and the miles between us, we have forged a life long bond. Thank you Brits. Thank you Dutchies. Your visit was a good one. We were grateful for the chance to host and introduce you to one of America’s most beloved holidays.