The Thanksgiving Game Plan

This year I volunteered to host Thanksgiving at my home.  I am actually pretty psyched!  Fifteen of us in all.  I guess it doesn’t seem so daunting because 7 of the 15 are my family, so in reality I’m just doubling what I normally do right?  I tell myself these lies and then I begin to actually believe them.  But I am adding a little twist.  We are going gluten-free for this holiday as my sister who has celiac disease will be joining us with her family.  Believe it or not this hasn’t been too difficult.  The difficult task is telling people not to bring anything so I can ensure the meal, my kitchen, the prep surfaces, etc will be completely gluten-free.

So as all you parents of multiples know a plan of attack is a must!  I am only thinking of myself here on this one – I want to make sure I get to enjoy the holiday and more importantly my family.  Without further ado, here is what’s on the menu:

Wednesday night: Yes I am hosting this too.  Turkey Chili!

Thanksgiving Meal
This is one meal that I feel shouldn’t be messed with too much.  Yes try something  new, maybe a twist on a regular that is always at the table, but stick to the basics.

Lets Talk Turkey – We brine our turkey every year and my husband cooks it on the grill.  I will never go back to an oven cooked turkey.  Make sure you have an extra propane tank on hand.  Our tried and true recipe is Grill Roasted Brined Turkey with Anaheim Chile Salsa Verde.  The Salsa Verde I cannot comment on – never made it.

Making the turkey brine last year – group effort

Giblet Gravy – This is also my husband’s job.  He found the recipe in The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis & Scott Peacock.  Finders keepers, now the gravy is his job (forever!).  I am not exactly sure he follows the recipe completely, but it always turns out great and it is one less job for me!

Stuffing – Since this is a gluten-free dinner I am going with Wild Rice Stuffing with Hazelnuts and Dried Cranberries

Other Sides -

  • Sweet Potato Casserole.  I never liked yams or sweet potatoes as a child, and just the thought of seeing them on my table with toasted marshmallows on top makes me queasy.  So this recipe is a nice twist on a regular at the Thanksgiving table.
  • Green beans – naked!  They don’t need anything else!
  • Cranberry Pomegranate Relish is another nice change from jellied “canberry” sauce.  Yes, I wrote canberry and not cranberry.  Do you remember those cans of cranberry sauce that made that sucking slurping sound as it came out of the can?
  • Good old mashed potatoes.   Nothing too fancy going on here.  I don’t peel my potatoes (little extra fiber never hurt anyone).  I quarter them and boil per usual, then mash them up skin and all with sour cream, butter, horseradish, and some shredded cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

First off a gluten-free pie crust – this will be guinea pig time for the family.  Haven’t tried this recipe yet, and probably won’t have time until I make the pies.  Simply Gluten Free has a recipe for a pie crust that looks like a keeper!

In those pies we will have……

  • Pumpkin of course – I’ve used this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Pie for years.  If you are feeling adventurous and want to use fresh pumpkin puree (I froze some when we picked up Halloween pumpkins), Food 52 has a pretty detailed description of how to do it  – pictures and all!
  • Mocha Pecan Pie –we have this every other year, my oldest stepdaughter loves this pie and it’s her project to put together – it is awesome by the way!
  • Good old Apple Pie – do I really need to even talk up this one?
  • Bourbon Pecan Pie – my husband loves a good Manhattan, so we always have some good bourbon around the house.  This recipe may also be found in The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis & Scott Peacock

Plan of attack:

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