For most of my life, Thanksgiving dinner has been lovingly cooked by my mom, for my immediate family plus whatever strays we happened to pick up. Last year, sometime during the summer, my dad tactfully observed that they hosted a fair number of family dinners and barbecues, and wouldn’t it be nice if someone else hosted something for a change.
One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was volunteering to host Thanksgiving at my place. And despite small emergencies like the cat coughing up Lovecraftian horrors the night before, I managed not to eff it up completely. That may have been a tactical error, because now I’m pretty much on the hook for Thanksgiving until the end of time.
This year I started pondering the menu partway through October. By the beginning of November I had a menu planned out. Two weeks in advance I got the turkey and a bunch of the ingredients. Once my brining plans were finalized I got the rest and mapped out my time with military precision. I’ve got one oven, two slow cookers (one on loan), a five-burner stove and a fridge so big I keep feeling like I should attempt no landings on Europa.
On the pretense that you care, here’s what’s on the menu this year:
- one 14-lb turkey, brined and roasted the Alton Brown way
- turkey gravy made from delicious drippings
- one small crockpot Tofurkey (for my vegetarian wife)
- white bread stuffing (made in a pan, not in the turkey, so it’s vegetarian)
- roasted brussels sprouts
- pumpkin pull-apart rolls (seriously, these things are awesome)
- asparagus veggie mix from Trader Joe’s
- cranberry Martinelli’s
And the best thing? The turkey carcass goes home with my parents. No weeks of leftovers for me!