Yesterday we had nine people for Thanksgiving dinner – the kids, grandsweetie, Ryan’s folks and her sister.  Luckily, since we were jetlagged, we were awake at 4 AM and had plenty of time to get everything prepared.  Plus the kids had taken on much of the vegetative responsibility.

 In our house, at Thanksgiving, we work on the basis of parity of vegetable colors – two greens, two oranges, two whites.  That translates into “death by broccoli” and green bean casserole, chipotle sweet potato casserole and rutabagas (this year mixed with parsnips), and creamed onions and mashed potatoes.  Of course there are always cranberry relish and crescent rolls.  Then for dessert we always have Indian pudding and this year two pies, cherry/cranberry and mincemeat. 

Oh, and the turkey.

There were some changes to the menu this year.  First was the chipotle sweet potato casserole that Sarah made.  We have been trying to get this to work ever since John and I first ate it at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in Las Vegas.  This was the best one so far.  It was really the star of the dinner.  Sarah has promised to post the recipe on her website.  Second, I mixed parsnips with the rutabagas hoping to take the edge off the bitterness, which worked.  Unfortunately, I think they were too sweet.  But Nathan liked them so that made it all worthwhile.  I also made cornbread to put in the sausage stuffing which also made the stuffing too sweet in my opinion.

I guess I am willing to simplify things a little starting next year.  John goes through a lot of work deconstructing the turkey so the thighs and legs can get a head start over the breast.  He also bones out the thighs and stuffs them.  Maybe next year we could just cook the turkey whole and people who want thigh meat and stuffing could just eat it together.  Also, I am thinking of a simpler stuffing.  I would suggest an easier broccoli and green bean preparation but I am sure I would get shouted down for that.  Perhaps I could bring myself to use frozen onions instead of peeling all those little buggers, but I don’t think so.

After all, what is Thanksgiving about but being together and celebrating one’s own family’s “-ness.”  (Too quote Owen Wilson in “You , Me and Dupree.” And as an aside, I would never pay to watch this movie but it was showing on the flight home.)



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