Thanksgiving is probably my most favorite holiday of the year. It’s about giving thanks, being with family and most definitely food!
When I was a child, my mother hosted most of the Thanksgiving meals. I have fond memories of Mom and Dad putting together the stuffing early in the morning and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in my pajamas. Later, the family would start to arrive and the house would fill with people. Mom-mom and Pop-pop. Uncle Danny and Aunt Sue. Uncle David and Aunt Debbie. Grandma Jennie and Grandpa Tony. Later, cousins Pat and Brennie. On rare occasions we might get the Germans — Uncle Michael, Aunt Kerstin, Cousins Gabby, Marc and Evan as well as Uncle Arthur, Aunt Gailee and cousin Christopher — if not there was the phone call. Many of those people are no longer with us, but I remember them fondly and while there’s a twinge of sadness, it’s mostly happy memories that come back to my mind.
After marrying Mrs. TKD in 2004 I started hosting Thanksgiving. We’ve had it more often than not and somehow this feels right to me. I’m carrying on the traditions from when I was a child and giving them to Mr. Grey. We’re also creating new traditions. Somethings are the same but some are different. He’d rather watch Iron Man than the parade, and that’s okay. Unlike Mom, I only have one brother so the house sometimes didn’t always seem as full as it was when I was younger, but that’s changed as more small mouths have shown up at the table. At times, we’ve had friends as well as family over for Thanksgiving and that’s always been wonderful. Even if folks don’t make the main meal there have been times when extended family and friends have stopped in for desert. So the house generally feels fuller now than it once did.
This year, it looks like it will be family – though you friends who have the invitation are still welcome – Mom, Frank and Guinness and the kids, and Papa will be in attendance. The house will be crazy with representation from a wide range of ages (3 – 73) – the open floor-plan ensures that noise will carry from one room to another. And in the midst of the whirlwind, I’ll be cooking. I truly can’t wait, I thrive on it.
So, here’s the menu:
Roast Turkey — basted with white wine & butter
Grandpa Gibbons Stuffing – the secret is bacon fat
Collard Greens Gratin
Mr. Swanson’s Green Beans – sautéed in bacon fat (again)
Sauerkraut and Kielbasa – it’s a Baltimore thing
Cranberry Orange Slaw – Mrs. TKD’s annual contribution. Who knew orange rinds were edible?
Nantucket Cranberry Pie
It’s only Tuesday — can we skip to Thursday now?