Thanksgiving, Some Thoughts

As soon as the calendar flipped to November, my mind started racing with Thanksgiving possibilities.  It took my husband and I a little while to figure out what our plans for this year would be.  After mulling multiple locations over, we decided……we’ll do what we always do for Thanksgiving.  Which is pretty much the point of Thanksgiving.  It’s as much about tradition as it is about turkey.

I bought this month’s issues of Southern Living and Bon Appetit, and while they are so glossily beautiful, and teeming with the fanciest of Thanksgiving offerings, flipping through the pages quickly reminded me that I don’t care.  I have made recipes from their Thanksgiving issues just a handful of times, to less than stellar reviews.  Thanksgiving isn’t the place for kale and quinoa stuffing.  It’s just not.  All this musing got me thinking about my homegirl, my spirit animal, Ina Garten.  Classics with the volume turned up.  Now there’s a Thanksgiving I can get behind.  I started paging through the catalog of her recipes that occupies far too much space in my brain, and wondering if I could do an entire Thanksgiving, Barefoot style.  I’m proud to say I can.  Here’s what it would look like:

The Cocktail:

Ina’s favorite, the whiskey sour

The Appetizers*:

Savory Palmiers

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

The Entree:

Perfect Roast Turkey

Homemade Gravy

The Sides:

Brussels Sprouts Lardons

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes**

String Beans with Crispy Shallots

Herb and Apple Stuffing

The Desserts:

Deep Dish Apple Pie

Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits

Pecan Squares

*A note -People come down on both sides of the appetizers/no appetizers debate.  I respect the opinions of those who say appetizers out before the big meal will only lessen the excitement over said meal.  I get that.  But as a person who loves to feed people, I can’t turn up my nose at another excuse to put more on the table.

**Another note – I tend to be one who prates on about Thanksgiving being a place for tradition, as opposed to a place to try new things.  Parmesan in the mashed potatoes is nothing traditional, but I’m a sucker for Parmesan.  If you’re looking for a classic mash, try this.

(Image found here)

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