Having a house full of people, gathered around an abundant dinner table for Thanksgiving dinner, has always been a desire of mine. And in service to this desire, for the last 3 years, Jon and I have hosted Thanksgiving for a dear group of friends. This year we did it a week early, as there were other family obligations for some of us to tend to and that meant that I have spent the last three weeks planning a menu and preparing.
The planning is part of what I love. I poured over books, my old recipes, and tried to work and rework menus for days. In our group we have vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters, and those allergic to nuts or wheat. Its quite a complicated crowd, and I’ve always wanted to invent some type of traditional meal that didn’t include a turkey, or worse, tofurkey!
I think this year I came as close to what would feel seasonal, traditional and hearty as I ever have. The menu:
~Endive Salad ~ with a creamy chive dressing, walnuts and dried cranberries to sprinkle on top
~Garlic Portebella Steaks
~Gluten Free Leek/Mushroom Stuffing ~ made from scratch thank you very much!
~Cranberry Glazed Carrots With Parsely
~Roasted Curried Cauliflower And Tomato
~Super Buttery Garlic Mash Potatoes
~Pumpkin Cheese Cake
As you can see from the image above, the lighting in our cabin living room is so off, that’s its impossible to take any decent pictures of food, so I’m sparing you. But what I loved most about this meal is that it didn’t at all create that overly stuffed feeling we all tend to get after a Thanksgiving meal. You know the feeling… So full, you would swear your meal was piled all the way up to your throat. I’m convinced that this is not just about how much we eat on Thanksgiving, but about the types of rich foods we eat. For this meal the only truly overly rich item were the mashed potatoes, which really, were as close to a heart attack as we could get, but wow, were they good!
And because I love menus, the following week, Jon and I went to my mother’s house for Thanksgiving proper with a bit of a Cuban flair and this is what she served:
~Roasted Turkey with Cuban Mojo
~Boiled Yuca with Mojo
~Yellow Tail Filet ~ with a roasted tomato sauce over it for Jon who is a pescatarian
I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!