The Thanksgiving Breakdown

20 Nov

(My wife’s company grows most of the poinsettias for Costco throughout southern California, f.y.i. Imagine a few football fields of red and that’s what you got here.  This has nothing to do with this blog, of course, but I do get to show off my son Tony.)

Since I haven’t had this blog since last Thanksgiving, and I won’t start cooking my dinner for 14 people until Wednesday night into all day Thursday, I figure I will just list my planned menu for this feast o’ feasts.  Truly, if I went to someone’s house for Thanksgiving and Tommy’s Burgers were served, I would kiss the cook (or buyer) just for their irreverence.

The main recipes for my dinner are online and I do variations on them, to be sure, but sometimes those variations happen when 1) I’m feeling a bit o’ whimsy or 2) I’m a bottle of red into the evening and dinner isn’t even on the table.  One interesting note that both my mom and my Aunt Charlotte have repeatedly made to me over the years: Thanksgiving is an easy meal.  It’s the basic American fare on a larger scale.  So here goes…

Thanksgiving Dinner for 14

Appetizers around 2:35 p.m.-ish

Ham and Swiss Puff Pastry:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/ham-and-cheese-in-puff-pastry-recipe/index.html

  • This is ridiculously good and simple to make.  A place in Orange, CA, called The Hobbit has a similar appetizer called a French Sandwich, which is the same concept but with salami and pepper jack instead of ham and swiss (both with dijon).

Some good, crisp potato chips (like Tim’s Cascade or the Hawaiian BBQ/ Maui Onion ones).  Dip? Store bought packets of toasted onion dip (like Laura Scudders) mixed into sour cream.  Nothing like it.

Cheese plate: soft mild to medium to bleu-ish, served with nuts, dried fruit, and crackers.  Three cheeses, that is.

Drinks!  Champagne and cocktails; knowing my brothers, it’s Cuba Libre time.  For the kids, sparkling apple cider.

Dinner around 4:07-ish

2 Turkey Roulades:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-turkey-roulade-recipe/index.html

  • I made this the first time two years ago and I do not think I will go back to making a regular turkey for a long time.  This is easy, too, and the stuffing will have you cryin’ yourself to sleep on yer huge pillow!  Everybody loves this.
  • Make the stuffing a day ahead.

1 Ham from the store, poked with cloves and some sort of glaze put over it.  This is also a piece of cake.

Mashed potatoes

Roasted Butternut Squash (this takes the place of yams at our table)

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Cube up a few pounds of butternut squash (or buy the precubed from Costco or Trader Joe’s) and toss them with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder until they’re coated.  Place in a single layer on one or two baking sheets (depending on how much you’re making, but don’t overcrowd them).
  • Cook for about 30 to 35 minutes, tossing once, and make sure they’re browned and the edges are crisped.

Green beans or a green bean casserole (I haven’t decided yet)

Gravy from the packet (it’s good, so foodies, again, can piss off)

Cranberry Sauce from the can or maybe from scratch…haven’t gotten there yet.

Dinner rolls

Drinks! Water with lemon all around, and glasses for both white and red.  I am responsible for the meal part and everyone else is bringing the wine.  We live in the wine country, so you can imagine that this gets fantastic very quickly.  Kids get whatever their little hearts desire.

Dessert when it happens

It’s all store bought, to be honest.  It’s so easy and good.  Pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and some ice cream.

Drinks! Coffee and some liqueurs, perhaps Strega or Sambuca…we shall see.

If I get some coherent and representative pictures on Thursday, I will be sure to add them.

Happy Thanksgiving!  AND eat, drink, and peace out.

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