Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Friday, November 27, 2009


Despite having taken the previous day off, I hadn't done any advance prep at all, which is quite unlike me--I didn't even settle the menu until less than a week beforehand. So I had to start cooking around 6:30. I love a heaped-up bread basket, and we were expecting our guests around 11, so I thought a few brunchy breads might be welcome. The first thing to go into the oven was Golden Pumpkin Walnut Loaf, a favorite standby. They were followed by Fresh Cranberry Muffins. While the dough rose for Cloverleaf Honey Wheat Rolls, I started on the savories.

The only new recipe I did this year was the Cranberry Sauce with Port and Dried Figs. I still haven't found "my" sauce, and I'm not sure this one is it, but it was very, very good and I'd certainly make it again. While that cooled, I roasted the chestnuts, made the rub for the turkey, and put together the Prosciutto and Gruyere Pinwheels (yes, again--I'll do something different for Christmas, though!) No one was in any danger of starving while we waited for four o'clock to arrive.

We had a big bird this year--sixteen pounds--and it had to go in around 11:30. Our habit has become to buy a kosher bird. This one, thank goodness, had been defeathered better than some we've had in the past. This year's recipe was Maple-Glazed Turkey with Dijon Gravy, and I can definitely recommend it--the turkey was practically perfect, sweet and tender.

Alongside it we had Brussels Sprout Hash with Caramelized Shallots, mashed potatoes (of course), a simple salad, and New England Sausage Stuffing with Chestnuts.

A clean-up crew of Dave and his mom tackled the dishes while I tucked away leftovers. Dessert is traditionally handled by my mother-in-law, who always brings both pumpkin and apple pies, no matter if it's just the four of us.

It was a wonderful day. Warm, drizzly weather--we had the windows open most of the time, the oven heated the place up too much. Nice to all be together. The kids behaved themselves marvelously, everything turned out well, and we all enjoyed the day. Happy Thanksgiving!

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