Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Preparations

Heidi asked me what is my favorite holiday.  She has three:  Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.

I have one.  Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday since we purchased our first house and started hosting both sides of the family for dinner.  It started out as a way to be able to spend the holiday with both sides and avoid the every other year or two dinner fiasco lots of families have to deal with. 

I have very fond memories of holidays with my extended families as a child.  But I also remember the drama that came with where to be when and coordination of schedules for people who might have to work on the holiday.

We moved in to our Minneapolis house during the month of September, 2000 and hosted our first dinner that November.  I, being the control freak that I am, was sold on being able to set all the details myself.  And in the end, I am pretty sure everyone was happy.

Our first few Thanksgivings included my family, Shawn's family, and a few friends who didn't have a place to go.  Every year, our guest list changes.  We have different friends, or no friends.  We have all of Shawn's family, or part of it.  But everyone knows, if they don't make it for dinner because they are seeing their other side of the family, there are no hard feelings and they will be welcome back next year.

That, after all, is the spirit of the holiday.

This year will be our smallest group by far but I think we will be enjoying the best food by far.

Our Thanksgiving has evolved from a pot luck to a meal made mostly from boxes to a few "from scratch" items to this years all home made dinner.  I am so very excited!

I have been planning this menu for weeks.  Searching for the best recipes, balancing vegetable dishes with starch dishes.

I finalized the menu over the weekend and completed all my shopping on Monday. 

This is what we are having:
Turkey - Fresh!!
Mashed Potatoes
Soul Sweet Potatoes
Brown Sugar Carrots
Green Bean Casserole
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce
Honey Wheat Bread

I baked my bread for the stuffing and to serve on Tuesday.

Today I will be doing as much prep work as possible to make Thursday easy. 

I need to prep the turkey and get it in the fridge.  Making room in the fridge is going to be the hardest part of this task.  I am using my first ever Fresh turkey and I am super excited about this!  I am going to rub it with garlic, dry mustard, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon.  Then I am going to put the neck and gizzards until the turkey rack with 2 cups of water, one onion cut in half, and two lemons, also cut in half.  In the end of the turkey, I will also put sage, rosemary, and thyme in the end of the turkey.  This will make for flavorful drippings for the gravy!

I am also going to make the cranberry sauce today giving it a full day to set up so it's not soupy.

I am beyond excited to make this meal for my loved ones.  I hope you all have a nice Thanksgiving with your loved ones!!

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