Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And the Thanksgiving Planning Begins

If you haven't already heard from my Facebook page, I found out that I will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner for about 10 people.  Although I've had large dinner parties before, none of them have been the scale of a traditional holiday meal.  Oh, I've never made a turkey before either.


So I’ve nailed down my Thanksgiving menu and ordered my turkey (a 16-18 pounder since I want plenty left over for casseroles, sandwiches and soups).  The preparations start tomorrow with a trip to the store for all the non-produce items needed for dinner.  Of course, we’ve determined that our eat-in kitchen won’t seat all 10 people (or really give enough room for us to put the leaves in our dining room table) so there’s going to be a lot of furniture re-arranging to turn our living room into a dining room while keeping it functional for people to relax before and after dinner.

And I don’t want to talk about the cleaning.  I’ve already assigned bathroom detail to my husband.

I have to admit that I’m a little frightened about making the turkey.  I’ve gotten a lot of advice on how to do it, but a lot of it conflicts with each other.  For example, some people say to cook it upside down, some say to brine it, some say to not baste it… my head is spinning!!!  What I decided to do is pick a recipe that closely follows the advice of the Butterball experts so if I get caught in a pickle, I can call them for help.  Just in case, I’m thinking about making sure I have a ton of chicken just in case I need to whip up a meal quickly. 

Here is the menu:

Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
Roasted Garlic and Scallion Dip
Stuffed Olives
Cheese Plate

I decided to go with things I can whip up quickly ahead of time and set out for nibbles.  I know I need to concentrate on the meal itself.

Main Meal
Salad with homemade dressings:
  • Ranch
  • Italian
  • Blue Cheese
Herb Roasted Turkey
Classic Turkey Gravy
Wild Rice Stuffing
Layered Cranberry Sauce
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes (supplied by my mother-in-law)
Corn with Fresh Herbs
Peas and Onions (supplied by my aunt-in-law)
Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes
Creamed Caramelized Pearl Onions
Parmesan Knots
Crescent Rolls

Pumpkin-Chai Cheesecake with Caramel-Rum Sauce
Chocolate Surprise Pecan Pie
Caramel Banana Cupcakes

My husband’s aunt and uncle are really good with wine, so they are going to be bringing that for dinner.  I’m buying some soda and will be making a yummy iced tea as well.  Of course, I’ll be serving coffee (regular and decaf) with dessert.

Seeing it all typed out, I suddenly realize I may be insane.  The good thing is that a lot of the things can be made Monday thru Wednesday and I plan on doing as much prep as possible on Wednesday night.  I’ll be sharing the cooking/cleaning schedule with you soon… just as soon as I’ve worked out all the details.

Stay tuned for tomorrow where I go over what my kitchen is lacking.  I know my husband isn’t going to believe that I don’t have every gadget available, but it is true.  I swear it!!!

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