Thanksgiving – the Food, the Parade, the Dog Show, and the Football

The food that fed the family

The food that fed the family

After days of chopping and peeling and cooking and freezing, Thanksgiving finally arrived, and all the preparations gave way to thawing and warming and roasting and serving. As our family was coming in during the day, the appetizers made their entrance, just the ticket to keep everyone sufficiently satiated until dinner. The onion dip with cracked pepper was heated to almost bubbly, we took the chill off the eggplant and white bean puree, and the creamy herb dip punched up raw veggies.

The culinary match game that’s been taking place in my kitchen was almost over. I rinsed the turkeys and filled the cavities with chopped lemons, oregano, thyme and salt. I trimmed the beef and seasoned with salt and pepper, and got them all into the ovens. The matzo balls were added to the soup, the spinach and gruyere were married with the bechamel, the vinaigrette was poured over the Brussels sprouts, and the cornbread and onions were united with the chicken stock. Everything else was kept warm and the soups were coming up to boil again.

In between the turkey and the eye round and the sprouts and other sides, we watched a bit of the parade and saw the hounds category on the dog show. Didn’t see much football, though; I left that to those not in the kitchen.

I couldn’t have gotten everything finished and plated without the amazing help from my daughter, mom and sister-in-law. The buffet was ready to go and hot soups were on the table by 5:45, a mere 15 minutes past my serving time (not too bad, for me).

Here’s a look at what we ate.

Butternut squash-apple soup with cayenne pepper

Butternut squash-apple soup with cayenne pepper

Roasted turkey

Dry-brined roasted turkeys

Cornbread and caramelized onions stuffing

Cornbread and caramelized onion stuffing

Sweet potato torte

Sweet potato torte

Mashed potatoes with crispy shallots, spinach gratin with bechamel and everyone's favorite Chanukah dish, potato latkes

Mashed potatoes with crispy shallots, spinach gratin with bechamel and everyone’s favorite Chanukah dish, potato latkes

Bulgur wheat with cherry tomatoes and blanched green beans

Bulgur wheat with cherry tomatoes and blanched green beans

Cranberries with oranges and ruby port

Cranberries with oranges and ruby port

When everyone sat down with their plates of food, I sat, too, and looked around at my family, and was overcome with happiness. There was plenty of food to go around, and my big eaters went back for seconds (and some thirds, I heard). Among their favorites were the butternut squash-apple soup, spinach gratin, the ever-popular sweet potato torte, and to my great surprise, the roasted Brussels sprouts. And somehow, after the dinner plates were cleared, everyone saved a little room for dessert.

We packed up the leftovers, sent some doggy bags, piled up the dishes that didn’t make it into the first dishwasher load, and kissed the last person goodbye around 10:15.

I hope all of you shared the Thanksgiving meal with people near and dear to you.

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