Monday, October 14, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

We hosted our Canadian Thanksgiving one week early this year. There were seven of us and just one Canadian (me!). Everyone was an honourary Canadian for the day. We all have so much to be thankful for. We wrote things we are thankful for on coloured leaves and stuck them up on the dining room mirror. Actually counting our blessings makes it so easy to be grateful.

The food was extensive - as it should be. We had one vegetarian and several veggie-friendly eaters. Here is the menu.

main meal:
Two turkey roasts (Butterball brand!)
Wild rice and mushroom stuffing
Roasted potatoes
Mashed potatoes

Mushroom, ginger, and cashew bake
Gravy (two types: one was turkey gravy, the other onion gravy)
Roasted Brussels sprouts
Roasted carrots and parsnips
Steamed broccoli (which I forgot to serve and discovered in the microwave later that night, ugh)
Spicy cucumber salad
Mixed veggie salad

Pumpkin cheesecake
Vanilla ice cream

Sparkling ginger and lime crush
White and red wine
Orange juice
Sparkling and still water

For me, the key to a successful meal of this size is planning. I planned the menu and did the shopping several days in advance. I made the cheesecake the night before. Then I planned my time cooking. I made a list of all the items that needed to use the oven and scheduled them, working backwards from the time I wanted to sit down at the table. I planned which of my items could be made in advance and which would need last minute attention. And I made a detailed list for the last half hour so that I don't forget anything. This year, though, I did forget something. The broccoli in the microwave! When I found it I just put it straight into the freezer and I'll use it later for stir fries.

Now that I have made Thanksgiving dinner a few times, I am starting to have traditions and favourites of my own. I have made wild rice and mushroom stuffing twice now and it will stay on my menu. I like it because it's a gluten-free stuffing that pleases everyone. I have made a nut roast of some kind twice (the other time it was this nut roast) and it's a brilliant vegetarian dish that everyone raves about. And Anthony always requests the pumpkin cheesecake; it's just different enough from, yet similar to, pumpkin pie.

What are your favourite Thanksgiving foods?

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