It’s countdown to Turkey Day and I’m juggling more lists than Santa Claus. I’m firming up the menu for 40 guests, trying to get a balance between turkey, side dishes and desserts. So far the desserts are winning out, but no one’s ever complained about there being too many pies and cakes.
I’m pretty much a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving, that is, I repeat the same menu every year with a few variations and a tilt toward Southern fare. The influence comes from both my parents, who were from Virginia (as well as Debra), and my husband’s family from south Missouri.
Again this year the menu is highly traditional: Heritage turkey and a regular turkey, Honeybaked ham, garlic-Boursin cheese mashed potatoes; gravy, cornbread dressing, carrots persillade, garlic-cheese grits, homemade rolls, green bean casserole, roasted Brussels sprouts, acorn squash, cranberry chutney, corn pudding, collard greens, sweet potatoes, homemade applesauce, and pies and cakes too numerous to mention.
I don’t serve a green salad, because it takes up too much space even on my oversize plate, that I pull out just for Thanksgiving. Besides, there’ll be time for salad and soup on the days following Thanksgiving.
I have a number of kitchen helpers of various ages and capabilities, which always makes for great fun. Most of the side dishes and desserts are brought by guests. Having two ovens and two refrigerators, is also a big help.
Before we eat, Debra goes to the piano and plays “We Gather Together” from the old Baptist hymnal. We join hands with those we know—or just met—and offer the prayer of Thanksgiving. Then it’s on to the feasting!
The more interesting of family traditions happens in the buffet line, when we all line up by age—oldest first!. Over the years, I’ve worked my way from near the bottom to almost the head. (AHIP—Age Has Its Privileges). Those at the front of the line and those at the foot pretty well know their place. It’s those in the middle, who debate their positioning. 🙂