2010 Thanksgiving Menu

I get excited about holidays that involve cooking waaaayyyyy earlier than I should (then again, since our Target already has a Christmas section erected, complete with at least six artificial trees, maybe I’m not totally unhealthy).  I even told my mom over the phone this past Sunday that I’d probably go grocery shopping for the holiday late this week or this weekend.  Right, with two weeks to go.  I was already a week ahead of myself and willing to completely skip seven days of reality so I could buy a turkey.

But I love the way food impacts a holiday, and not just because I love eating.  For my family, food has a binding quality.  I love to cook, my mom taught me how and she loves to cook, my sister is developing an enjoyment and adventuresome spirit in the kitchen, and my dad… likes eating the food we make.  But still, it gives us something to talk about, something to share with each other, and something to do together, when we are in the same kitchen.  I feel close to them through the food we create.

At Thanksgiving, my mom and I make most of the dinner, my sister pipes in with seasoning suggestions, my dad carves the turkey, N. tastes things and generally tries to stay out of the way, and Lucy’s nose never stops twitching.  Every hour or so, little click-clacking dog claws tiptoe into the kitchen to take a sniff and clean the floor.

So I’ve already thought through the entire menu.  I know exactly what we’re having.  I’m even contemplating spending my evening tonight making a detailed grocery list for the big shopping trip.  Excessive?  Premature?  Perhaps.  But so delicious.

Here’s the menu for our Thanksgiving this year:

Appetizers: whole heads of roasted garlic with soft goat cheese and toasted baguette, roasted nuts with brown sugar and rosemary, assorted dried fruit.

Dinner: herb roasted turkey with giblet gravy, stuffing, chipotle mashed sweet potatoescreamed spinach and artichoke bake, and whole berry cranberry sauce.

Desserts: Mom’s pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and pumpkin cheesecake squares.  My sister doesn’t love pumpkin pie, so this year there will be two desserts.  If the recipe I invent for her works out well, I’ll post it here.

What are you having for Thanksgiving dinner this year?

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