Getting Ready for a Feast
I tend to go somewhat overboard, adding more dishes to the menu instead of just making bigger quantities of a few standard ones. Fortunately I have the help of my long-time friend and neighbor, who is never intimidated by anything in the kitchen. And my daughter will be home to help cook. And I had all our knives sharpened.
Here’s our combined menu so far:
Puffed pastry with grape tomatoes and ricotta
Lentil-collard soup with lemon
Green salad with shaved fennel and beets
Wild rice salad
Brussel sprouts with pancetta
Mashed sweet potatoes with Chipotle pepper
Mashed garlicky Yukon gold potatoes
Butternut squash with goat cheese
Fennel-wild mushroom dressing
Traditional bread stuffing
Sweet potato pie
Thanksgiving is always a reminder of a similar dinner with our neighbors, after which my friend went into labor and gave birth, while my husband David spent the night with her two older children. That baby is now 22 years old, a multi-talented college senior.
The guest list will also include a part of our family whom we haven’t seen in some time. I hope it will be a happy and otherwise uneventful reunion.
I did the majority of the shopping today, not wanting to be a part of the panic that always ensues when certain items become scarce and everyone wants them. I will get the 5 remaining items on Tuesday and after that just choose to leave anything still missing out of the recipe.
Yesterday I took a most exciting 3-hour course at Hill’s Kitchen, entitled “Thanksgiving Basics: A Plan for the Mayhem.” Many of the dishes on our menu are a result of that class. When I teasingly questioned the vast amounts of butter and cream in the dishes we made, the chef/instructor passed along Julia Child’s advice: take smaller portions! And so I shall.