Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving menu - holy crap I need a menu?

Jan posted her Thanksgiving menu on Friday and I have to say that I admire the hell out of her. She kept with a few of her traditional dishes for her children, reworked a few to fit her new lifestyle and add some new things that fit her perfectly. It was inspirational. And I don't mean that in a sarcastic way. I mean that in a "Damn! I've got to get myself together" kind of way because she works full time, has a teenager at home, and is creative and everything, so I should be much more together than I am. Then I look at the almost finished painting on my easel and think; "I'll get to food tomorrow".

About Thanksgiving......
I've got nothing. 

I have tons ingredients and I know my family's preference so you would think that this would be a no brainer. I've been in charge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the last 27 years. One year I hosted 57 people for gawds sakes. I should be able to do this with my eyes closed. Yay, uh, not going to happen but here's what I've got so far.

Candace likes green bean casserole.You know the kind. With cream of mushroom soup and those fried onion things. I would have said precised name  but I've never bought them in my entire life so I don't know if they come in a can, box, or jar. Anyway, I'm going to pull this one out old school. I have all the makings for mushroom soup. I have fresh green beans, and I have onions. I'm sure I'll be fine on this one.

JR just wants turkey. You would think that I never make meat. I do, just very rarely but I'm not totally adverse. So JR is getting turkey. A whole one. With legs, and wings, and all that icky stuff in the middle. I bought the turkey on Saturday; all 8.63 pounds of it. Hey, don't laugh. There are only three people eating it. I paid all of .50 cents for it. Not .50 cents a pound. .50 cents for all 8.63 pounds. I think there was a mistake. Anyway, I'll brine this baby overnight on Wednesday, stuff a mixture of olives and herbs de Provence between the meat and the skin, and roast it on a bed of onions, celery, carrots and broth. I've done this before and the guys liked it so I'll do a repeat performance.
The Boy likes himself some deviled eggs. Since, I can do eggs a thousand different ways this will be the easiest of the dishes. The hardest part will be making the mustard. I may even make the mayonnaise.

I'm a mashed potato kind of gal so these will be done with roasted garlic and herbed chevre cheese. I may as well spread them on my thighs now and get it over with.

We'll have mixed bread dressing. What I mean by this is that I've been saving bits of bread from various types of bread for the last couple of months in the freezer for just this occasion. I'll get them out a couple of days before to toast. I'll mix this up with some veggie chorizo, onion, celery, carrots, peppers, seasonings, butter, and an embarrassing amount of white wine. 

You can't have mashed potatoes, no matter how good, without gravy. I could go with simple sage gravy but really how fancy is that? No, I think I'll pull out all the stops. I plan (right, like I plan, HA!) to make a mushroom bourbon gravy.  I've made this before and it is a meal in itself.

I've got some rolls in the freezer that I'll bake with rosemary butter because JR is a meat, potato, and bread kind of guy. I blame his Irish heritage. Vince, feel free to call me on this one but his granddaddy came over from Ireland in the late 1800s and wouldn't sit down to dinner without bread.

I have some mixed nuts that I spiced the other day and froze that will make a wonderful pie. Think sort of pecan style. I'm not a big pie crust maker but will pull out my favorite pin just for the occasion.

There will be some other types of veggies and I may smoke some tofu for myself.

I think that is enough carnage for one day. I'll tell you all what worked and what didn't. I'd try all this ahead of time but I'm starting a new painting tomorrow that I'm really excited about and can't be bothered with food. 
Did I just type that I can't be bothered with food? 
What was I thinking? 
I must be pretty excited about this new painting. I even bought 2 new small round sable brushes. I'd show you the progress but it is a Christmas gift so progress pictures will be sent to the person who consigned it only. That sounds so professional. After Christmas, I'll post pictures, if it is okay with the owner. After Thanksgiving I'll post recipes.



  1. Sounds wunderbar Michele. And yeah, brining the turkey is the way to go. Makes the whole bird juicy as hell when all is said and done. Cheers Michele!!

  2. That sounds like a great meal. We are doing considerable less,with Turbo and the grandparents gone. Hope all goes well.

  3. I like everything you are planning and I'm all about that green bean casserole. That's good stuff!

    I'm such a cheater. I'm letting Cracker Barrel do the cooking for me this year.

  4. It all sound wonderful!! The turkey, in particular, sounds very intriguing.

    I'm posting the recipe for homemade green bean casserole tomorrow. It was to DIE for.

  5. Gah, I'm exhausted just READING about this! Veggie chorizo?? And the point of THAT is??? :-)
    Do you guys have Trader Joe's? They have frozen nut/seed rolls that are to die for, especially with rosemary butter. If you send me some rosemary butter, I'll try it with the seed rolls and report back :o)

  6. Would you be willing to send me your turkey recipe complete with stuffing. The whole thing sounds wonderful and like something I would love to make.


  7. I currently luck out in the cooking department. Hubby's grandmother still cooks everything and will not allow us to bring anything other than rolls.

  8. Everything sounds great, especially that gravy.

  9. Holy Moly, woman! For starting off saying you've got, you have a whole venue planned! And that whole turkey for 50-cents?? You totally got that for a steal. It would have been a good deal at 50-cents a pound (especially since they seem to hike up the prices right before Thanksgiving) but the whole turkey? Nice!! Now I'm drooling over what you're going to be serving! :)

    And I'm dying to see the painting you're all excited about! :)

  10. Yep, we like our carbs. And many of us could sit down to a side of bullock but if there was no spuds then it wouldn't be a dinner.
    Oddly enough, with very little effort we can keep the huge weight of the bones. A couple of miles or a bit of gardening will keep off the pounds.
    Myself though, I not all that gone on Turkey and this Christmas I'm going with a rib of beef. I find the first meal and the cold meal the next day to be enough of that bird for me. Last year the Hound had a look of glee and fear when she saw me coming out with the remains to her last year.
    Why the brine though.

  11. Sounds like a menu to me. In fact, sounds like a damned good menu to me. I wish I could roll more like you do. Really. Since I'm NOT doing Thanksgiving this year, I'm already starting to menu plan Christmas. Which I know is CRAZY.

  12. Sounds like an excellent meal. Btw, the onion bits come in a cardboard canister. In my local market, they keep that near the green beans, for good reason.

    We're doing ham instead of turkey this year. Green bean casserole, green & gold salad, mashed spuds, sweet taters, mac & cheese, croissants, and that's plenty for the seven of us likely to show up, especially since I have limited storage space.

  13. Green & Gold Salad, which started from my aged Betty Crocker Cookbook, is a really simple salad that I honestly don't like but my family loves.

    2 cans peas or frozen & thawed equiv.
    (obviously fresh would be way better, but I never have fresh)
    3 big dollops of Miracle Whip (or mayo, if you prefer)
    1 T. prepared mustard
    1 T. minced onion, sweeter varieties preferred
    1 cup grated cheese, any variety, we prefer cheddar because that's the "gold" part of Green & Gold

    Mix in a glass dish, serve cold. If it sits overnight, the flavors mix better.

    Several years ago, I was searching for new ways to use tired vegies and tried this one. I seriously don't care for it. I can eat it, in a pinch. But, my husband, son and daughter think it's required fare now.