|the only tg picture i could find on my computer.|
I cannot wait for Thanksgiving. Christmas certainly has its charms, and I'm excited to start singing carols, wrapping presents, and looking for snow (that's a pre-Christmas possibility in Nashville!), but Thanksgiving has a special place in my heart. It's not just that food takes center stage, although I certainly enjoy that. I just love the whole idea behind it: the devotion of a full day to gratitude.
Also, I can't write this post without mentioning that I have a special ancestral tie to this holiday. My mother's side is descended from Stephen Hopkins, one of the passengers on the Mayflower and thus a participant in the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth. My grandmother, forever the Bostonian, never let a Thanksgiving pass without reading aloud to us "The Women of the Mayflower," an essay on, you guessed it, the women of the Mayflower. As a chubby five-year-old, I didn't quite see the value in delaying supper to hear a history lesson, but of course now I look back on the tradition with fondness. I am amazed at how vividly I remember sitting on one of my parent's laps on that ugly green couch, half-listening, half-daydreaming about pecan pie.
Anyway, that's a long enough trip down memory lane. Twenty years later (!), our family has both shrunk and grown, we have Thanksgiving at the beach with a substantially smaller crowd, and we have a copy of Grandma's essay to read to ourselves. Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday, though, and I want to share with you what we're planning to make this year. Some of these recipes we've had before, and some of them are variations on family favorites. I'm also using this to highlight some of my go-to recipe websites and sources (although most of them have already made appearances on here).
This is a pretty traditional menu with a few twists. We've never been much for changing it up on Thanksgiving, and although I'm all for culinary creativity, on this holiday I like to take the familiar route. Maybe this will provide a little inspiration for your menu or prompt you to share some of your favorite Thanksgiving memories or dishes. Regardless, I hope that you have as much to give thanks for as I do.
a thanksgiving menu
for snacking and drinking:
the modern relish tray (The Kitchn)
cocktail suggestions (Cooking Light)
beer pairings (Saveur)
wine pairings (food52)
sides (the best part!):
beet salad with chevre and walnuts (Williams-Sonoma)
cranberry-pepper jelly (Bon Appetit)
summer squash casserole, aka "Sarah's foot casserole," but that's another story.
spicy roasted green beans with bacon candy (Tasting Table)
creamy mashed potatoes (Cook's Country) and gravy (just wing it...get it?)
golden-crusted brussels sprouts (Serious Eats)
spicy creamed onions (Saveur)
cornbread and sausage stuffing - my favorite! (Cook's Illustrated)
herb-roasted turkey breast (Ina Garten)
maple-glazed ham (Real Simple)
pumpkin-praline pie (Cook's Country)
sorghum pecan pie (The Lee Bros.)