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Nov 11, 2012 08:16 AM

Thanksgiving menu, what's yours?

I absolutely love Thanksgiving! It is the one time of year where I get to cook my heart out for family and friends. (We go to other homes for Christmas and Easter). When I say love, I mean I love EVERY detail. Picking out a nice tablecloth and runner, whimsical plates, good wine, beer and beverages, and taking care to buy the best fresh ingredients for a dellcious meal. After dinner we enjoy playing cards (canasta, pinochle) and board games.

I prepare a fairly traditional New England-style Thanksgiving dinner. But each year I like to make one thing that's new. This year it will be a Fresh Pumpkin Soup first course which I crafted together from recipes in Artisanal Bistro Cooking and Williams Sonoma Cookbook. Last year my new recipe was Pull Apart Parker House Rolls, recipe here: Those rolls were good but this year I'm serving homemade Pepperoni Cheese Bread and warmed White Mountain bakery rolls.

So what are you making? Maybe I can steal, I mean politely borrow, some of your ideas.

My menu this year is:

Pre dinner snack: Prosciutto, cheese, veggie platter
- Fresh Pumpkin Ginger Soup
-Turkey - We've tried many different kinds and last year made a Pineapple-brined Jaindl which was delicious. But hubby really likes the fresh Kosher birds - he doesn't even mind plucking out the pinfeathers so it's a Kosher one this year.
-Sausage and Apple Bread Stuffing
-Gravy - I'll be making the stock a couple days before from turkey wings. The stock will also be used in the stuffing.
- Mashed Potatoes - Potatoes, milk, Kerrygold Butter, salt and pepper.
- Sauteed Carrots - my own original recipe, carrots for people who love carrots but hate boiled ones
- Lemon Pepper String Beans
- Green Giant frozen White Shoepeg Corn. They love it so I serve it.
- Baked Yams
- Creamed Pearl Onions - mother in law is bringing
- Homemade Cranberry Applesauce, as well as canned jellied sauce. One year I only served my homemade and there was a mutiny. Now everyone is happy.
-Pepperoni Cheese Bread, rolls, banana and pumpkin breads.
-Fresh fruit cup
-Pies - apple, pumpkin, and chocolate cream. Topped with whipped cream/ice cream. Apple brownies, cookies of some sort. M&Ms and mini peanut butter cups for the candy dishes for game time.
-Wine, beer, cider

A few pix from last year. Not great quality. Too busy cooking and enjoying to take pix.

1. I like to have fun with the table seating. Unique dinner plates that were made to commemorate a town's anniversary and didn't sell well because people thought they were ugly. Their loss, my gain. The turkey platter in the center is from my husband's family and dates back to 1957. The gold plate chargers cost $1 each from the Christmas Tree Shop.
2. Table set and ready to go.
3. Last year's turkey was a Jaindl, the same served at the White House.
4. Turkey brining in pineapple juice, soy sauce, salt, sugar, oranges, etc.... Not this year though.
5. Turkey swathed in Kerrygold butter and ready to roast.
6. Sausage and Apple Bread Stuffing.
7. Sauteed Carrots, Lemon Pepper String Beans and Pull Apart Rolls.
8. Cranberry Applesauce.
9. The gang gets busy.
10. Plate includes the white shoepeg corn, and next to "the girl" mashed potatoes.
11. Carving the bird.
12. Table manners?
13. A few wines, including an outstanding Chenin Blanc from Heller Estates that paired perfectly with the turkey.
14. Pumpkin and banana breads.
15. Apple Brownies.
16. Pumpkin PIe.
17. Chocolate Cream Pie.
18. The very last slice of Apple Pie.

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  1. Because we are using a Kosher turkey this year we don't need to brine it. Anyone have any ideas to perk up the flavor without birining per se?

    1 Reply
    1. re: TrishUntrapped

      slather a fresh herb paste under and over the skin. you can use butter or oil for the base, and fresh sage, thyme, parsley, get the idea. i also add garlic, lemon, pepper & a bit of dry mustard.

    2. Your menu sounds great and I love the pictures!

      My menu so far:

      Small cups of pumpkin soup with a cheesy crouton and cups of spiced caramel corn for appetizers

      Turkey (roasting one for the first time)
      Chicken pot pie with biscuit topping
      Mashed potatoes
      Broccoli romanesco
      Homemade dinner rolls
      Green bean casserole with homemade cream of mushroom soup
      Apple pie
      Pumpkin pie
      Homemade ice cream
      Sparkling cider
      Excellent coffee

      1. Wow!! What a spread!

        I only have 5 over this year so it's very small.
        Butter rubbed turkey
        Corn on the cob
        Mash potatoes / gravy
        Stovetop stuffing - for my SO and BIL
        Cranberry sauce
        Haven't decided if southern style candied yams, macaroni & cheese, or mess of greens. I love the greens but others are not so hot for them.
        Pumpkin pie
        Egg nog, wine, soda, tea

        1. Apps:
          Mini peppers stuffed with goat cheese and sausage
          Antipasto platter
          Mini crab cakes
          Shrimp cocktail

          Caesar Salad

          Ina Garten's Accidental Turkey
          Mashed potatoes (made with sour cream AND cream cheese)
          Homemade stuffing
          Brie and Mushroom Risotto (for the non-potato fans)
          Roasted Carrots with thyme
          Homemade cranberry relish

          Pumpkin pie
          Apple pie w/whole wheat crust
          White chocolate chunk cookies w/cranberries and macadamia nuts

          Oh and lots of red sangria!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Njchicaa

            Ok, I looked online but couldn't find anything... what makes that turkey of Ina's accidental?

            1. re: kubasd

              I have no idea what makes it Accidental but here it is: It can't be too accidental because you have to plan ahead. :)

              1. re: GretchenS

                lol the necessary prep was what confused me, if it was indeed accidental! :P

          2. I'm bringing to my brother and SIL.

            Every year I make the cranberry sauce and I always add 1 chopped apple per bag of cranberries.

            I make two types of stuffing. My SIL makes a gluten free stuffing which most people don't like. I also don't eat meat so I make a traditional stuffing in a casserole with veggie broth. I also make an Albanian stuffing that is sweet with raisins and nuts.

            They will make turkey, candied sweet potatoes, green beans and some apps. We'll probably have 3 or 4 pies. One gluten free, I ordered a pecan pie and there will probably be apple and pumpkin or custard.