Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Menus of Thanksgivings Past

As I continue to plan for this year's Thanksgiving celebration and reminisce about past years' Thanksgiving dinner tables and recipes, I evaluate the successes and failures of previous Thanksgiving menus:

2005: This was my first year to host Thanksgiving, and I knew I couldn't handle an entire bird.  I settled on an herb-roasted turkey breast.  The popovers were inspired by my favorites in the Neiman Marcus tearoom; you can find the recipe in this cookbook.  The Wild Mushroom Phyllo Triangles, which have become a holiday tradition in our home, were adapted from Michele Anna Jordan's version in The New Cook's Tour of Sonoma.

2006: This was my second year to host but my first to try the now intra-family-famous Turkey Scallopini.  I went a bit overboard with the sides --- we had too many leftovers --- but the menu successfully pulled together modern Italian-inspired versions of American comfort food favorites.  All of the appetizers were especially good.

2007: I scaled it back this year, but tried a butternut squash and maple syrup ravioli from Putney Pasta that was fabulous; try to find it in your local market!

2008: I was pregnant with my second daughter; in survival mode with my oldest's then-terrible twos; and, at work, in the middle of my busiest research publication year to date.  I was also coming off a marathon master bath remodel. In short, I was too tired to execute a complicated Thanksgiving meal.  The result was a simplified version of previous efforts.  The "spicy parmesan green beans and kale" side dish came a Giada de Laurentiis recipe and was very yummy.

2009: I cheated a bit this year and took a little help from the store (Costco's cheese palmiers and pumpkin pastry kisses) and The Cheesecake Factory (the two cheesecakes, obviously), but no one complained.

2010:  Pregnant with my third daughter, exhausted from parenting a toddler and a precocious pre-schooler,  nearing a big deadline at work, and recovering a major home remodeling project, I was determined to restore normalcy with a well-executed Thanksgiving meal.  I gotta admit, this one turned out pretty well!  I especially recommend the recipes for the phyllo-wrapped asparagus and brie and the rosemary and gruyere bread sticks.

What are your Thanksgiving hits and misses?

(Sharing with Savvy Southern Style)

1 comment:

  1. The Thanksgiving of 2008 was our best, and the recipes came out of a Parade Magazine (the small insert in the sunday newspaper). Of course, we have moved several times since then and I can't find it. I have convinced my hubby we are making your turkey scallopini and now I'm adding your brie and breadsticks. You're lucky you live in Texas, otherwise I might just crash your party. Really, thank you for the recipes - can't wait to try them.

    xoxo michele