Every year, after the warmth of our summer fun-shine and sunshine melts to the edges of our shoreline neighborhood, and the kids all fly back to college, the quiet of this big ole house itches at my brain and I have to create. And so the craziness begins again.
From the chilly kaleidoscope days of October, through the suddenly, blinding grey of those first days of the new year, my kitchen becomes a humming, heat generating machine.
In the line up at the moment is Thanksgiving Dinner, held every year for a varying cast of friends, family and leftover children. Last years 27 person festival was by far the most challenging, complete with steamed garlic artichokes, bananas foster and shots of Goldschlager sliding down with startling ease by the grandparent sets. Yes, college students find numerous and increasingly alarming ways of entertaining themselves during family gatherings.
Each and every year, the whole sordid lot await the “Creation of the Menu” with the same anticipation given to selection day by fans of the NBA.
And so here it is for
The Big Event 2010
Appetizers and cocktails
- Apple, pecan and blue cheese bruschetta
- Almond crusted chevre and grape truffles
- Bar nibbles: Smoked almond, cheese straws, wasabi peas
- Cocktail of the season: Ginger Vodka Sparkle or Kingpin martini
- First Course: Sage Pumpkin soup in roasted pumpkin bowls
- Second Course: Victors own Ragù alla bolognese, served over cellentani
- Third Course: Chilled Prawns with dipping sauce
- Fourth Course: Butter lettuce salad with bacon, goat cheese, candied pecans, dried cherries, fuji apples and a maple vinaigrette
A table selection of multi-varietal wines: white and red
Fifth course and main entree
- Apple brined smoked turkey with chestnut sausage stuffing
- Yams Futari
- Creamy mashed poatoes
- Smashed turnips
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Garlicky sauteed broccoli rabe
- Creamed onions
- Pinot noir Cranberry sauce
Individual bread baskets of: Fruit nut loaf, Pumpkin, brown bread
Table served parker rolls
- Sixth course: Fresh fruit bowl with assorted domestic cheeses
- Seventh course: Dot’s Pumpkin pie, Laura’s Apple pie, Bourbon Corn Pudding, espresso, coffee and cordials
Now, unless you’re left thinking I’ll be preparing this all myself, many hands make light work. The first four courses are mine. The turkey comes with help from Mom and my husbands grilling expertise, and half of the sides arrive in covered bowls and serving platters.
But what a feast and a good 5 hours at and around the table, with breaks for football, fresh air and diaper changes…..ugh, never mind.