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Anyone Else Planning for Thanksgiving Already?

Here is my current plan -- Still searching for some sides and dessert options.

Crostini -- Cranberry Goat Cheese, Tapenade
Cheddar Puffs

Salad: TBD

Turkey Two Ways

Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes

Green Beans
Spinach and Mushrooms

Mom's Potato Rolls Passed Recipe
Stuffing Joy of Cooking
Corn Souffle

Cranberry Sauce
Gravy Joy of Cooking

Mini-Pumpkin Spice Cakes Joy of Cooking
Pumpkin Flan Cooking Light
Caramel Apple Pie Passed Recipe
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart Passed Recipe
Cranberry and Vanilla Bean Sorbet

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  1. So how many are you expecting?

    1 Reply
    1. re: lemons

      Latest count is about 12 -- I always figure i am doing well at "paring down" the list if I have fewer types of dessert than people coming!

    2. I'm already thinking about Xmas. But that is only because Thanksgiving is with the BF's family this year.

      1. Yep. smoking a turkey, cornbread dressing, my fresh cranberry tangerine relish and a maple pecan pie. Other than that I haven't decided yet.

        1. So far below is what I have planned. Haven't worked out the specific of what actual recipes I will use yet. Trying to keep it much simpler this year.

          Turkey Breast Cooked in Wine
          Turkey Gravy
          Cornbread Dressing
          Mashed Russet Potatoes
          Mashed Sweet Potatoes
          Sweet and Sour Herbed Green Beans
          Old Fashioned Yeast Rolls
          Pumpkin Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

          3 Replies
          1. re: Wtg2Retire

            If it's not too much trouble, I'd be very interested in the recipe for the Pumpkin Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting.

            1. re: alitria

              Glad to, alitria. The Pumpkin Cake recipe is something I am playing around with to try to duplicate a cake my mom used to make. I think the recipe she used was from the back of a shortening can - I think it was Spry; it was called Golden Harvest Cake. I can find a Golden Harvest Cake recipe on the Internet, but is nothing like the cake she made, and she always frosted it with Burnt Sugar Icing. I have even queried Uncle Phaedrus and he could find nothing. We all loved the cake. I am so hoping this will taste like the one she made.

              Spiced Pumpkin Cake hoping this is very similar to the Golden Harvest Cake Mom made

              2 sticks butter, softened
              3 cups AP flour
              2 tsp. baking powder
              2 t soda
              1 tsp. salt
              1 tsp. ground ginger
              1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
              1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
              1/2 tsp. ground mace
              1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
              1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
              1 cup granulated sugar
              2 eggs or 3 eggs
              1 can pumpkin purée, preferably Libby's
              1/4 cup milk or 1/3 cup
              1 tsp. vanilla extract

              Heat oven to 375° or 350. Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans lined with parchment paper cut to fit; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.

              In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter and and sugars on medium-high speed until smooth, 1–2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until smooth. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beating to blend between additions.

              Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops with a rubber spatula; bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes; unmold cakes and let cool.

              Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap cakes in plastic and store at room temperate.

              Burnt Sugar Frosting

              Burnt Sugar: Melt 1/4 cup sugar in a skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it turns into an amber-colored liquid. Turn off heat, and very carefully add 1/4 cup boiling water. Mixture will spatter at first. Return the caramel to low heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sugar and water are thoroughly mixed and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

              Frosting: Cream 1/4 cup unsalted butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1 pound (1 box) powdered sugar, sifted with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup Burnt Sugar Syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla until creamy smooth and spreadable. If mixture is stiff, add water, a teaspoon at a time.

              1. re: Wtg2Retire

                WOW! Does that cake sound GOOD! Thank you Wtg2Retire! T-Day here is probably going to be a mish-mash - I want to re-do a dresser drawer that needs to be stripped and re-painted so I'll probably do a mix of appetizers on Thursday and if I finish the dresser by Saturday, it'll be the full fixing's on Sunday.

          2. Yes, I am starting to plan for Thanksgiving; haven't made any hard and fast decisions yet, but ....turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, scalloped oysters, broccoli casserole, butternut squash soup, homemade cranberry sauce, some sort of homemade bread, pumpkin pie and/or cheesecake, apple pie, are definitely on the menu. Not sure what recipes I will use yet, and not sure how many people I'm cooking for. Am sure that the weekend after, my friend and I will start making fruitcakes, and Christmas cookies.

            1. You're a person after my own heart. I start thinking about Thanksgiving three weeks ago. Here's my menu:

              Brined turkey with a clementine peel rub

              Two potato gratin
              Fig and sausage stuffing (from Barefoot Contessa)

              Frisee salad with homemade croutons and lardons
              Steamed asparagus
              Cauliflower and parsnip puree

              Chocolate ganache tart
              Ginger cake with a sticky toffee sauce
              Pear and cardamom tarte tatin

              1 Reply
              1. re: Dcfoodblog

                OMG, I, too always make a two potato gratin for TG! You gave me some other great ideas, though. Thanks!

              2. no doubt motorhoming it, so hoping for a nice restaurant that'll offer all the fixins for the holiday.....it's either that or find a small breast and wing it in the confines of a never before used oven.....pretty sure the back of the motorhome reads Griswalds;.

                1. My phone's going to ring any minute now with that inevitable "what are we doing for Thanksgiving" question.

                  This will be year #6 with the same wonderful group of people I love; details to be discussed. I have a few new dessert ideas to try this year, a kabocha squash pie with lime graham cracker crust and an apricot sticky toffee pudding.

                  Generally, the song remains the same as in past years, roast turkey, herb gravy, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, pernil, rice and peas, glazed sweet potatoes, my favorite pear cranberry chutney, something green, probably green beans with shallot herb butter and/or roasted broccoli, possibly roasted cauliflower, a major assortment of pies, a pumpkin cheesecake, yada.

                  Hopefully we can stop with that, seems like plenty.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    Curious about your apricot sticky tofee pudding - how do you make it?

                    1. re: Terrie H.

                      I don't remember where this recipe came from, I believe it may have come from a restaurant, and I think I found it here on CH:

                      Apricot Sticky Toffee Pudding
                      Pudding base :
                      - 200 g dried apricots, pitted and quartered (I used small diced)
                      - 1 tsp baking soda
                      - 1 C boiling water or lightly brewed tea
                      - 2 Tbsp (30 g) butter, softened
                      - 1 C packed (200 g) brown sugar
                      - 2 large eggs
                      - 1 1/2 C (180g) flour
                      - 2 tsp baking powder
                      - 1/2 tsp salt
                      - I/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional, or use vanilla

                      Toffee sauce :
                      - 1 C (200 g) brown sugar
                      - 3/4 C (20 cl) whipping cream
                      - 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
                      - 2Tbsp (30 g) butter

                      Serves 8

                      Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F), and lightly butter a 7'' (18 cm) square or round cake pan.
                      Combine the apricots and the baking soda in a heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water or tea, stir, and leave to stand.

                      Cream together the cup of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add in the flour (sifted if you're hand-mixing), baking powder and salt, mix well. Add the apricots and their water, and mix again thoroughly.
                      Pour the batter into the cake pan, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until puffed and golden. Jill recommends using a skewer to test the cake for doneness. A few moist crumbs on the tester is good.

                      To make the sauce, combine the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan, large enough to allow the mixture to rise when it boils. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for five minutes, without stirring, until thick and golden brown. Set aside, and reheat just before serving.

                      The pudding and the sauce should be served warm. Glaze the whole pudding with the sauce, or cut the pudding into slices or squares and pour the sauce over each serving. I am told sticky toffee pudding is often served with custard, fresh cream, ice-cream or yogurt, but it's also fine as is, washed down with a cup of good tea.


                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                        Thank you so much! It's pretty much the same as the original but replaces the dates with apricots. I'll definitely have to try this.

                  2. funny, my friend who is doing dinner for our group this year just called with our assignment( perhaps because a blizzard is on the way). We are assigned veggies, usually three, one orange and two green. I will make shredded brussels sprouts with maple pecans, wild mushroom packages and a raw butternut squash salad. I always make cranberry orange relish, too.Others will supply traditional roast turkey with stuffing cooked INSIDE, baked sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes,apple/pear pie and sweet potato pie. good red wine and we are set.

                    1. Of course! My favorite holiday of the year and since I am now the "keeper" of the Turkey Plates, I host.

                      Invitations have been sent, menu is being reviewed, and for the first time, I am allowing three people to bring some food.

                      shrimp with cocktail sauce [brought by friend]
                      Gravlax with cheese spread on rye toasts or on cucumbers
                      roasted, spiced pecans

                      the rest is more New England Traditional

                      Turkey smoked with cherry wood
                      turkey gravy
                      mashed potatoes
                      sausage and apple stuffing [but not in the bird since it is on a spit]
                      steamed green beans with lemon and butter
                      butternut squash
                      creamed onions
                      cranberry-orange chutney
                      baked beans

                      apple pie with either cheese or whipped cream
                      pumpkin pie
                      pecan pie
                      walnut praline cookies [sister is bringing]

                      served with local cider and not local wines

                      But this is subject to change of course. However the basic menu does remain similar from year to year.

                      1. Yes, partially? Our eldest daughter likes to have Thanksgiving dinner at her house because it is her favorite holiday. This is a tradition since her adult kids were toddlers and she didn't want to travel to in-laws on that day.

                        I make the fresh cranberry relish with orange juice and some alcoholic libation. Friday after is my day to prepare turkey stock from the carcasses of the turkey and a turkey breast. This is also a tradition. I do not season the stock until it is used to prepare a meal. That way I don't need to remember what herbs and/or spices were used. The stock is often used for risotto with some leftover turkey meat. I like to play with my food so the risotto ingredients may vary from time to time.

                        Did I mention that I wear my cookbook? It's an apron with the statement "I don't need a recipe...I'M ITALIAN." I'm IBM, Italian By Marriage.

                        Vivi, ama, ridi e mangia bene! (Live, love, laugh and eat well!)

                        Buon Ringraziamento (Happy Thanksgiving)

                        1. Thanksgiving is pretty set in stone around my family - like the past 8 years, I'll be in charge of mashed potatoes and wine. But, that just means that i"m starting my Christmas planning instead :)

                          Although my annual party is up in the air this year, which depresses me, because I've had one for the past 20 years (since high school). Yet this year, my husband's schedule means he's working the two Saturdays before Christmas so I either have to do it without him, or find another date.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mickeygee

                            This is sort of heretical, but I know that in the UK most Christmas parties don't start until after Christmas, and occur in the week between Xmas and NYD, from what I hear from my friends there. You might find more folks available then, too...

                          2. Oh lordy, yes. Just putting the finishing touches on the "week of" and the 15-minute "day of" schedules! :)

                            - spicy caramel popcorn
                            - rosemary spiced cashews
                            - wonton cups w/avocado and shrimp
                            - Thai red curry squash soup
                            - ham and gruyere thumbprints

                            - dry-brined turkey, plus a separate turkey breast
                            - honey-glazed ham
                            - classic herb stuffing
                            - roasted garlic mashed potatoes
                            - brussels sprouts hash w/caramelized shallots
                            - roasted cauliflower
                            - roasted chipotle sweet potatoes
                            - green bean salad with pine nuts and a shallot dressing
                            - bourbon cranberry sauce
                            - gallons of gravy
                            - Smitten Kitchen's mushroom bourgignon for my vegetarian guests

                            Dessert (being made by a friend who is a wonderful baker)
                            - Boston cream pie
                            - CI's carrot cake

                            And I'll probably pick up a couple of fruit pies.

                            I *love* having U.S. Thanksgiving in Canada!

                            19 Replies
                            1. re: TorontoJo

                              I am interested in the recipe for the ham and gruyere thumbprints. Will you share?

                              1. re: ChrisKC

                                Sure, it's a Martha Stewart recipe that is essentially a variation on gougeres:


                                I'm doing a dry run of them this weekend, and plan on playing around with the filling for the "thumbprint" -- I'm going to try a dollop of fig compote and/or some bacon jam. I'll also likely use pancetta or prosciutto cotto instead of black forest (purely for personal preferences). If you try them before I do, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the recipe.

                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                  Thanks, but if you're making them this weekend, I definitely won't be making them before that. Let me know what you think

                                  1. re: ChrisKC

                                    Hi ChrisKC, I just made these and they are very good. As I guessed, they are really just a gougere with a cheesy middle. The happy news is that the cheesy middle is really good. I also added a little fig jam after baking, and this adds a wonderful dimension that really takes the whole thing to another level. It's a keeper for me!

                                    Just a note on the directions -- it says to do the first bake for 25 - 30 minutes. I think that closer to 20 would be better, since there is another 10 minutes after the cheese is added. I found that I pulled it out only 4 minutes after adding the cheese, as they were getting too brown for my taste.

                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                      Thanks, good to know. I'm think I'll add them to our Christmas eve spread. I'll note your changes and the fig jam sounds like an excellent idea. Bonus - make ahead!

                              2. re: TorontoJo

                                Wow, can I come? I'm very well behaved... :p
                                Would love to hear a bit more about the wonton cups!

                                Thanksgiving for me and the mr. will be our first trip to Japan, so I'll be sure to return the favor with a trip report.

                                1. re: alliegator

                                  The wonton cups are a variant of this recipe:


                                  Basically just baked wonton skins filled with a wasabi-spiked avocado mixture and topped with chilled shrimp. Easy and tasty. I up most of the ingredients in the recipe and add some cliantro, as it's a bit bland as written. The wonton cups are pretty handy for anything else you want to fill them with, too.

                                2. re: TorontoJo

                                  TorontoJo - I would love to see your schedules. Will you share, please?

                                  1. re: jns7

                                    I'd be happy to share (though perhaps a bit embarrassed). The only problem is that my "day of" plan is in excel and has 6 columns (prep/stove/oven 1/oven 2/toaster oven/husband). If I can figure out an easy way to export into plain text and not lose the formatting, I'll post here.

                                    1. re: jns7

                                      Well, here are 2 pages of my prep plan as screen shots, they were too difficult to convert to plain text. I'm not sure if you'll be able to see any real detail. I'm not including the grocery page where I list out what I need to get from which store. Yes, I am a TOTAL geek. <hangs head>

                                      Ah, to be a Type B personality...

                                      1. re: TorontoJo

                                        I, like you, am a Type A, BUT, a not entirely successful Type A like YOU!!! I keep trying to be organized to get things perfect. Usually get too tired to make all the dishes, or neglect to iron the napkins, polish the silver, etc.

                                        1. re: TorontoJo

                                          hahaha you KNOW its Type A when OTHER people's Thanksgiving plans are laid out on your schedule.

                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                            Hah! I have something very simliar .. about 3 different workbooks in one spreadsheet .. first is overall menu plan, second is shopping list, third is timing of hot dishes.

                                            1. re: aletnes

                                              It's actually very reassuring to know that I am not alone in my sickness. :)

                                              1. re: aletnes

                                                +1. Timing chart for the day of, list of prep with approximate timings for the day before, multiple shopping lists for different stores/trips, all in one Excel workbook. Love it!

                                              2. re: TorontoJo

                                                TorontoJo, would you mind sending your Excel spreadsheet for Thankgiving to me, please. I have been trying to do something like this, but have failed miserably. E-mail is: fairwayser@yahoo.com. TIA.

                                                1. re: Wtg2Retire

                                                  Done! Let me know if you don't receive it.

                                          2. Yes, of course, but nothing hard and fast decided yet. Just opened the current issue of Bon Appetit and the Thanksgiving side dishes look especially beautiful, particularly a celeriac and other root gratin.

                                            1. Oh yea, I have been planning for Thanksgiving. Just made a date to discuss it with my parents who have hosted for the last 60 years. Now I do the cooking and they provide the location. This year we will have 32 guest.
                                              Nibbles- always a tug of war with my mom who does want to ruin appetites but many people travel. So far I have:
                                              crudite and dip
                                              my brother will bring an assortment of artisan cheese from Vermont

                                              Roast Turkey
                                              Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing
                                              Another vegetarian stuffing- I liked the ideas of the stuffing muffins in the Nov Food & Wine
                                              Brussel Sprouts braised with red wine and garlic
                                              mashed Eastham turnips
                                              creamed onions
                                              sweet potatoes- my dad wants them in half oranges (yikes for 32 people!!!) though maybe I will adapt the Fine Cooking with orange-mint gremolata
                                              a green vegetable

                                              Apple Pie
                                              Pumpkin Pie
                                              Pecan Tart
                                              Something lemony
                                              Mini cheesecakes

                                              Always a balance between new and old items!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                That sounds a lot like our family's thanksgiving, at least the quantity of people. OUr menu is similar, but we don't change up the items because the world would end if there was something different. I tried to make garlic mashed potatoes one year and almost got banned. But I might have to talk them into the brussel sprouts - we're always short on green vegetables.

                                                1. re: mickeygee

                                                  If the sausage and chestnut stuffing is on the menu most people are content. I can change within the category-ie a different kind of sweet potato but sweet potatoes must make an appearance. One year I made regular mashed potatoes as well but they weren't well received. The good thing about the menu which is constant is that it gets easier each year.
                                                  The brussels sprouts I do are a big hit but roasted ones would be good too. Depends upon your oven space.

                                              2. My menu:

                                                appetizers - shrimp cocktail, spiced nuts

                                                soup - butternut squash soup with cider cream (epicurious)

                                                potatoes - mashed and scalloped

                                                dressing - herb dressing (half with oysters, half without)

                                                bread - sister shubert rolls

                                                vegetables - spinach madeleine, Roasted Root Vegetables with Thyme and Marjoram Vinaigrette (epicurious)

                                                turkey - one smoked, one roasted

                                                Holiday salad - strange sweet concoction made by my mother, but the kids demand it


                                                desserts - pecan tassies, buttermilk pecan pie, pumpkin pie, rum balls, bourbon balls, frozen peanut butter pie, black bottom banana cream pie (epicurious)

                                                1. Thanksgiving is pretty well set in our family - off to the MIL's house, I bring the cranberry sauce (made with champagne and orange zest, very tasty) and a pecan pie :) I always make some dressing for leftovers at home (not stuffing, no where near a bird), basically a savory bread pudding with carrots and celery and lots and lots and lots of butter :)

                                                  1. I think we'll be going to my folk's in MN. No kids, they are busy with other things. I think Dad wants me to do a turkey on his big green egg.... yikes, never done that before. Not sure what we'll have with it, regular stuff. But, at last night's Musical Menu class, I made pumpkin gnocchi with a sage/garlic sauce, with hazelnuts and parmesan... yummy! Might try something like that as a side dish. But with squash instead of pumpkin. There is an enzyme in pumpkin that Dad can't tolerate. .... depends on how the drive there goes. If we are on crappy roads for two days, might not want to do extra prep when I get there. I usually do the cooking on Thanksgiving, for our immediate family, sometimes the folks come here. I'm used to doing everything. Kind of having prep withdrawal right now. I may do up some fruitcakes ahead of time, to take with so I don't have to ship them for Christmas. We'll travel Tues. evening/Wednesday. Spend Thursday/Friday, then head back Sat./Sun. Short trip, but they want us to come with our pick-up so we can take some stuff off their hands, they moved into a townhouse... (after several other moves lately), and dad has cancer, mom just had skin cancer removed. They are planning ahead....

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: wyogal

                                                      Wow. Would you mind sharing thatsage garlic sauce recipe? That sounds delicious.

                                                      1. re: ctfoodie

                                                        Just butter, garlic, shallots, and sage. Tossed with toasted hazelnuts and topped with parmesan.
                                                        This is how I do it (I hardly ever measure):

                                                      2. re: wyogal

                                                        Roasted sweet potatoes work really well in a similar gnocchi recipe, if he can have those.

                                                      3. Wow, I wish I was related to some of you. These dinners sound amazing. It's just hubby and me this year so we're keeping it simple.

                                                        Oysters Rockefeller
                                                        Smoked turkey
                                                        Bourbon glazed sweet potatoes and pears
                                                        Roasted Asparagus
                                                        Cucumber salad
                                                        Cranberry Extraordinaire

                                                        Beignets for dessert. Probably a pie too, for the hubby.

                                                        I'll make refrigerator potato rolls also, but those are mainly for the left overs once we run out of boudin.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: thymetobake

                                                          your menu sounds terrific as well.
                                                          are you making the beignets yourself?
                                                          if so mind sharing?

                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                            il Divo,

                                                            Try this link for the recipe: http://www.gumbopages.com/food/breakf... If it doesn't work just try gumbopages.com and click on breakfast.

                                                            The recipe from the gumbo pages is identical to the beignet recipe from The New Orleans Cookbook by Rima and Richard Collin.

                                                            I've never made them before, but since I found the recipe in two places it's the one I'm going with. I'm thinking of freezing the excess dough because it makes a huge batch... Hope that works!

                                                        2. We are cooking but I don't know for how many yet, at least 10 and maybe more.

                                                          Our turkey and stuffing CANNOT BE CHANGED per my husband's orders. This is the one day a year that he takes control of the prep and the cooking.

                                                          The turkey is an old recipe that I ripped out of a magazine years ago. It has a rub of chili powder, cumin, sage, thyme and a bunch of other stuff.

                                                          The stuffing is an apple, sausage, chestnut stuffing. He special orders a combination of bread cubes for it.

                                                          My cousin will make an assortment of breads. I will probably do a cheese plate for pre-meal cocktail/wine hour. I might assign dessert duty to my mother, who does good pies and cookies.

                                                          1. I do a democratic Thanksving, because I always have trouble deciding and because it's fun for everyone. I e-mail the guests with choices, and the dishes that get the most votes are the ones I make. For example, they'll vote for a mushroom, chestnut, or sweet potato soup; potato parsnip gratin, mashed potatoes, or twice-baked; sausage and fennel stuffing or leek and mushroom stuffing ... etc.

                                                            1. Here's my plan for the big day so far:

                                                              Puff pastry and prosciutto wrapped asparagus
                                                              Pumpkin soup
                                                              Lemon and Poppyseed spinach salad

                                                              Main Meal:
                                                              Whole Roasted Turkey (with grandma's stuffing)
                                                              Turketta (with cornbread stuffing), or possibly Ducketta
                                                              Mashed potatoes
                                                              Sweet potato/Brussel Sprout hash
                                                              Deviled Cauliflower Casserole

                                                              Moms banana bread

                                                              Apple pie
                                                              Coffee Ice Cream pie with oreo crust
                                                              Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

                                                              haha I think there's only going to be 4 of us... but who doesnt love leftovers??

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: mattstolz

                                                                My planning has started too! There will be 22 adults and 5 kids here this year- way more than I am used to. Here's what I've done so far:
                                                                Ordered rental china, flatware, glassware and linens
                                                                Pulled out serving platters, etc
                                                                Pulled out all Thanksgiving tools (remote thermometer, brining bags, etc)
                                                                Made a list of needed spices, tools (sage, foil, etc)
                                                                Ordered 2 turkeys (free range, Montessori schooled)
                                                                Ordered mini apple and mini pumpkin pies- in my freezer tempting me!
                                                                Cleaned out both fridges to make extra room
                                                                Cleaned out coolers to handle overflow
                                                                Polished silver
                                                                Cleaned vases for tables
                                                                And yesterday I roasted a 13# turkey and used the pieces to make a huge quantity of stock
                                                                My menu is pretty traditional
                                                                Roasted turkeys
                                                                One stuffed, one unstuffed
                                                                Mashed potatoes
                                                                Make ahead gravy
                                                                Cranberry sauce 2 ways
                                                                Whipped sweet potatoes with spiced pecans
                                                                Parker house rolls

                                                                I haven't decided yet about other veggies. I'll see what others offer to bring and go from there.

                                                                1. re: mattstolz

                                                                  "puff pastry and prosciutto wrapped asparagus"
                                                                  sounds amazing
                                                                  husband and I may not be motorhoming now and son and daughter just said "come here."
                                                                  so loving these ideas

                                                                2. Not even a little. I'm planning for a dinner party taking place the next week and slightly cursing Thanksgiving for getting in the way and taking up the week when I had actually wanted to schedule it.

                                                                  Then again almost all of my friends are either vegetarian or going home. I've tried too many times in the past and been consistently unable to find anyone who actually wanted to show up. I'm pretty much the only family-hating carnivore. It's quite unpleasant.

                                                                  1. Planning? Heck, I'd already started cooking by the time the first post in this thread went up.

                                                                    (Making root vegetable gnocchi -- they're just as good after a few weeks in the freezer as the day they're made, so I did them ahead of time.)

                                                                    The ones with asterisks I don't have the Perfect Recipe for -- suggestions welcome. They're traditional-ish foods.

                                                                    Strudel with Cabbage, Lentils, Butternut Squash, and a zillion other things.
                                                                    Spinach phyllo spirals (like spanakopita but cute spirals)
                                                                    Beet, Sweet Potato, and Parsnip Gnocchi in brown-butter-sage sauce with broccoli rabe and roasted garlic
                                                                    Corn spoonbread
                                                                    Rolls (awesome local bakery)
                                                                    *Cranberry/red wine roasted brussel sprouts
                                                                    *Mushroom-chestnut stuffing (baked in a pan)
                                                                    Mashed potatoes
                                                                    Mushroom gravy
                                                                    Salad, with homemade citronette dressing
                                                                    *Cranberry sauce -- going to try homemade for the first time
                                                                    Pecan pie
                                                                    Pumpkin pie
                                                                    *Goat cheese cheesecake
                                                                    Something fruity -- probably apple or apple-cranberry crisp
                                                                    Maybe something chocolate -- I usually do a chocolate silk pie but I might skip it this time or do something else.
                                                                    Whipped cream
                                                                    I sort of want to make date pudding but there might be a revolt if I remove any old standbys to do it.

                                                                    And the other half is making a turkey and a summer-squash casserole.

                                                                    We'll have 8-10 (still waiting on one yes/no) for Thanksgiving, and then reheating for round 2 with more family coming in on Friday. Yes, we will have too much food. All of it except the turkey itself will be vegetarian, as are half the guests and one of the chefs (me!).

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: antimony

                                                                      You are making a lot!! The cranberry sauce I grew up with was just following the directions on the back of the package.

                                                                      Here's one I've been making the last few years. I like the regular (off the package) but hubby prefers this one. I leave out the cinnamon and nutmeg and use apricots as the dried fruit. I start with 2/3 cup sugar and add more if it needs it. It also makes a great dessert as a filling in puff pastry or filo dough.

                                                                      CRANBERRY SAUCE EXTRAORDINAIRE

                                                                      Ingredients • 1 cup granulated sugar • 1 cup water • 1 (12 ounce) package ocean spray cranberries • 1 orange, supremed (plus I like some zest) • 1 apple, peeled and diced • 1 pear, peeled and diced • 1 cup dried mixed fruit • 1 cup pecans, chopped • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


                                                                      Boil the water and sugar in a medium saucepan until dissolved.

                                                                      Reduce heat.

                                                                      Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. May take a little longer to get the texture you want. Use your own judgement.

                                                                      Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before serving or storing.

                                                                      1. re: thymetobake

                                                                        Thanks! I think I'm going to do something a little simpler since I personally prefer jellied rather than whole-berry, so it wouldn't be worth adding all that fruit just to run it through a food mill. But for a dessert topping/filling I will definitely remember it.

                                                                      2. re: antimony

                                                                        Re: your cheesecake .. have you tried a Japanese cheesecake? They are very light and very easy to make. There was a thread here on CH where I found the recipe. I made the one with an apricot jam glaze on top and it's really delicious. Don't know if you could use goat cheese instead of cream cheese or maybe half and half.

                                                                        1. re: walker

                                                                          Will take a look! I've never had a japanese cheesecake -- that sounds tasty, especially in the summer. I make regular ones fairly often, so technique isn't a worry -- I've just never done a goat cheese one before.

                                                                          1. re: antimony

                                                                            I think this is the one I've used; the photo does not do it justice. I cut out a piece of parchment paper for the bottom of the pan.


                                                                      3. Planning? I've already cooked something that will be frozen and defrosted to serve on Thanksgiving.