Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Preparations

This feeling has been building over the years and finally I recognize it for what it is: pure, unadulterated love for Thanksgiving. I just love it. I love planning out the meal, keeping in tried-and-true family traditions (coleslaw with shrimp? yup, it's an Arnold thing; apple pie? absolutely something from my side of the family), tweaking others (sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin), and adding something new (this year, parmesan-roasted butternut squash, and a toasted nut pie). I actually feel giddy as I spread out the books, old recipe cards, and dog-eared Gourmet magazines (sniff!).

I teach my last classes tomorrow before oral exams next week, which means at 10:10 tomorrow morning I can start preparations. It'll be three days of cooking but oh what fun when it all comes together!

The menu:

Turkey (of course), butchered today and will be picked up tomorrow
Mashed potatoes (nothing fancy, just lots of butter per the family request)
Sweet potato rolls
Cranberry relish with ginger
Coleslaw with shrimp
Carrots with shallots, sage, and thyme
Parmesan-roasted butternut squash
2 apple pies*
2 sweet potato pies*
1 toasted nut tart

*No, I'm not insane to make 5 desserts. We're having dinner at 1:00 to accommodate the grannies; friends are coming later for "second dessert" (closely related to second breakfast and elevensies, both widely celebrated by hobbits--my secret geekiness coming through there).

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