Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Menu

Hi everyone! We just purchased our Turkey last night so I thought I might let you know what and how we'll be serving Thanksgiving at our home this year. A little background first. For about 10 years now, my husband and I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house. We moved into our new home (in Florida) around that time and I was anxious to start a new tradition. Usually it would just be the four of us, me, hubby and my parents. Occasionally the in-laws would come to town, but usually just the four.

This year will be our first in our new home in our new state (we moved in last Christmas). I have to say that over the years I feel (and have been told) that I've become pretty darn good at Thanksgiving dinner and preparing the most beautiful turkey. I know to some, cooking Thanksgiving dinner sounds more like a nightmare than enjoyment. It's really not that hard. I'm going to share with you are basic menu. I would love to hear what your traditions are for Thanksgiving. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

The Turkey: I saw a picture of the most beautiful turkey in a Williams-Sonoma catalog years ago. I looked up the recipe. It was brined and had an herb butter. I skipped the brining but have done the herb butter for years now and couldn't imagine it any other way. It makes it so tasty and beautiful!

Herb Butter: 
1 stick unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Directions:
Mix all together with butter and spread over turkey prior to roasting.

These aren't your ordinary mashed potatoes. Nope, they are Brie Mashed Potatoes! I found the recipe in a Betty Crocker Thanksgiving book years ago and made them that year. They were such a hit! They have just enough flavor to not be plain but still traditional enough for those that love mashed potatoes like me.

Stuffing: This is by far my favorite part of the meal. I use the Pepperidge Farm bag variety and use the recipe right off the back of the bag. They are great!

Green Bean Casserole: I have to admit that this year will be my first time making this. We typically just make a country style green bean with onion and bacon added for flavor. Earlier this year I had Green Bean Casserole for the first time in years and fell in love and became somewhat obsessed with it's creamy goodness.


Candied Sweet Potatoes: I admit, I don't care for these at all. But, my parents like them as do my in-laws who will be joining us this year. They're pretty basic really. Just one large can of yams or sweet potatoes (whichever the brand says), brown sugar, butter, cinnamon. That's it. Just pour all of it into a casserole dish and bake.

As for the rest of our menu, we'll have some sort of Hot Rolls, Pumpkin Pie, you can get the recipe for that here.  And of course Cranberry Sauce. Now, if you are a child of the 70's as I am or even the 60's like my hubby, then you had one kind of cranberry sauce. Period. The jellied kind that came out of the can looking just like the can. Because that's a tradition we grew up with, we've kept it that way ever since. We have a few laughs about it each year but never do we stray or get fancy with the cranberry sauce. :)

We also have what has over the years been affectionately called "The Thanksgiving Wine". Again, years ago I subscribed to Wine Lovers magazine or one of those types. It was a Thanksgiving article that caught my attention ~ What wine to pair with turkey? Ever since reading that article, pairing the right wine for this meal has been easy. Georges Dubceuf Beaujolais-Villages. Now, I can't remember if this was the exact wine, it very well could have been. But, the important thing is the kind of wine, a Beaujolais. I've often heard over the years that this is the perfect wine for Thanksgiving because it goes so well with the turkey and the richness of the side dishes. You can find this particular one in about every grocery store or wine store for around $10, which is even better. It's a great "starter" red wine in my opinion as well.

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