What’s for dinner?

We are planning a very simple Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Just the close family; no guests this year.

Somehow in the past few years we’ve settled on a fairly basic and standard Thanksgiving dinner repertoire–figuring out what to eat really doesn’t happen any more.  We just sort of…know.

So here’s our spread:

Turkey. Of course.  I always stuff the actual bird, despite site after site telling me not to, because not only does it make the stuffing taste better, it make the turkey taste better too, if I cook it slow enough and put foil over the breast. I confess I don’t get a free range bird; we get a kosher one from Trader Joe’s. (One of these years…) Generously basted with port wine. Yumm.

Stuffing. This year I’m varying the recipe a little from the apple-and-nut one I’ve used in years past. Not sure what I’m varying it to, but that’ll depend on what muse strikes me in the morning when I have to put it together.

Garlic Smashed Potatoes. I don’t peel them, just cook them within an inch of their lives and schmush them up with some milk and butter I’ve sauteed garlic in. And salt and pepper. Lovely and delicious, and it’s easy to make potato soup or colcannon or something out of the leftovers, if they last long enough. Potato pancakes are yummy and easy too…

Sweet Potatoes.  In years past we’ve baked them with pecans, brown sugar, and bourbon. But I found a recipe that basically involves baking them in cranberry sauce, and my husband is okay with my giving that a try (as long as we also get cranberry sauce.)

Cranberry sauce, or really, relish.  My mom’s recipe–you basically just process a bag of cranberries, an orange (peel and all), and a little sugar until it tastes right. Incredibly easy, and absolutely delicious. We love it.

Dinner rolls of some kind; usually I make these from Artisan Bread Dough; they are easy that way. I am considering trying some kind of simple drop biscuit recipe this year just so I don’t have to deal with yeast and stuff, but we’ll see…

Some green vegetable that we make and eat out of obligation, because this much gut-stuffing without some pretense at a green vegetable just seems a little obscene. This year that will be green beans, probably sauteed in garlic and onion.  In my own family it was brussels sprouts that were the obligation, but even with this really good recipe, no one but me would eat them in this household.

Pies. Yes, I will make a pumpkin one and an apple one, even though there are only four of us. It’s Thanksgiving. What can you do?

That’s pretty much it. We’re not that glamourous, but we love it.  And the leftovers will make us happy for days/weeks to come. We’ll just do Thanksgiving Redux for a few days, and then anything uneaten will go into the freezer to be pulled out as desired. The turkey carcass goes into the crockpot with water for stock, which I’ll then cook down into concentrated ice cubes to reconstitute with water somewhere along the line.  We’ll eat well this winter.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Posted on November 23, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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