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Friday, November 29, 2013

A Thanksgiving to Be Thankful For

Our home has become the gathering place now every Thanksgiving - and we love it. I have to say, we were more ambitious than last year, but somehow, the prep work, cooking, and cleaning were much easier. When your helper actually lives in the same house, it makes for much more effective teamwork. 

Being a "Southern" family, our traditional foods are things like turkey, ham, dressing/stuffing, sweet potato casserole, pistachio-gelatin salad (with marshmallows and pecans), roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes, copper carrots, green beans, etc. That being said, we did something a little different this year. I decided to change the recipes a little and then make some very traditional dishes that even predate the era of "company chicken" and the "Seven Layer Salad." Everyone who asked what they could bring was assigned a dessert except for my aunt. I asked her to find good (not soupy) Brunswick stew. And she delivered!

Green beans, creamed mushrooms with lemon and tarragon, Steve's maple amaretto agave carrots, and black-eyed peas

Brunswick stew, broccoli salad, curried fruit, and a ginger beer and lime gelatin fruit salad

Turkey, cured and baked hams, three sauces, and gravy

Steve's delicious lemon turkey

Green bean casserole - but made with all fresh ingredients - no cans were opened for this dish

Sweet potatoes in a shallot and white wine sauce with bacon and parsley

Traditional broccoli salad

From scratch cranberry sauce with not much sugar - red grapes add the sweetness

Four cheese mac-n-cheese, sharp cheddar, Gruyère, parmesan, and Fontina - with a hint of nutmeg

My favorite dish - cornbread dressing with sausage, apple, pear, raisins and walnuts. Holy cow, this was good!

Corn pudding

Desserts brought included a caramel cake, traditional pecan pie, brownies, and sugared cereal like White Trash, but with chocolate. YUMMY!

I went with a brown toile pattern last year, J & G Meakin's Americana:

So this year, seating 16 in the dining room, breakfast nook, and library, I went with Royal Stafford's black toile Blacksmith's Forge in the dining room and Churchill Blue Willow in the nook and library:

I used Mikasa Richelieu iced beverage glasses everywhere and all manner of sterling patterns, depending on purpose and location. Sir Christopher by Wallace framed the settings in the dining room and nook. Old Master by Towle complemented the lower key space of the library. Both were using for serving dishes, and they were augmented by pieces in Francis I by Reed & Barton, Apollo by Alvin, Old Atlanta by Wallace, and Imperial Queen by Whiting.

My breakfast today included a piece of the sausage-fruit dressing and curried fruit.

Will share recipes in subsequent posts! They are worth it! I lucked out with my choices, and even though it's only one day later, the leftovers are almost gone!

Andrea, Steve, and family

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