The whole idea of not traveling left me a little uneasy. We're still planning a Thanksgiving feast. But without the whole family or traveling from meal to meal, this is a bit of an adjustment.
I think I'd be on the road in a minute, except that we got our family Thanksgiving fix last weekend when two of my sisters and my parents came up to celebrate. And I'm proud to say no one left hungry.
Here's what we pulled together for this smaller, more intimate family gathering:
- Hot buttered apple cider [To warm our guests the night they arrived]
- Smoked salmon, cheese spread and crackers.
- Roasted apple and cheddar soup with toasted French bread [We had this for lunch since the Thanksgiving menu was already pretty full. Recipe from Closet Cooking.]
- Lemon-herb buttered chicken [I realized a little too late that the butter was only supposed to go under the skin and inside the cavity. I should have just oiled the outer layer. But this didn't hurt the flavor. It was the juiciest turkey I've ever made. I already had sage, rosemary and thyme in my garden, so I only needed to buy parsley. Recipe from Bon Appetit.]
- Zucchini and mushroom stuffing [My first time making this too and it was a really big hit. I didn't stuff it in the bird, instead using giblet stock to add turkey flavor to the bread and veggies.]
- Turkey gravy [We skipped the lemon gravy and did our own gravy from the drippings.]
- Mashed potatoes [Must have. Bobby Flay lost a Thanksgiving throwdown to Ree Drummond, aka Pioneer Woman, when he failed to serve up a whipped potato side dish. #lessonlearned]
- Roasted Brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds and pomegranate molasses [Thanks Bobby Flay! This was delicious. We did have to learn how to seed a pomegranate. And because I had a hard time finding pomegranate molasses, I made my own by reducing 100% pomegranate juice and sugar.]
- Slow cooker apple/cranberry sauce [Later, I used the sauce as a topper for baked brie. It was messy, but tasty. It's a variation of a recipe I saw on Gimme Some Oven.]
- Hoosier sugar cream pie [This was gone well before we sat down to eat the big meal.]
- Apple pie [My sister made this with no sugar and it was surprisingly fantastic. Homemade crust and super sweet apples. It wasn't tart at all.]
- Butternut squash pie [Another big hit from my sister.]