I wanted to jot down a basic Thanksgiving menu and a few family food traditions (and disagreements) that you can remember when you are older. And maybe pass down to your own families one day.
More than anything, I hope that you will always come home for the holidays. There will be apple pie waiting, I promise.
Love from Mom
A Basic Thanksgiving Menu
A Greenberg smoked turkey
~ Turkey. A roast turkey is really the 🦃 in the menu, because you have to write down a detailed timetable starting with defrosting the turkey 5-6 days prior (to allow time to season it for 2-3 days after defrosting). But it is the best and our favorite method of cooking turkey.
On the other hand, if you order a smoked turkey (like I did this year), or get your grandfather to deep fry a turkey, you basically take cooking the turkey out of the equation and Thanksgiving is easy peasy. Of all these iterations, we agreed that we like roast best (most aromatic), deep fried second and smoked last.
Roasted green beans; (Un)traditional Southern cornbread dressing; Sweet potato casserole by one of our guests; Mashed potatoes
~ Dressing. Your father sometimes thinks that I am utterly scandalous, by which he means that my idea of good cornbread is sweet (like Jiffy) and I make my dressing with white bread. After 8 years of marriage, we have finally reached a compromise. I now make an (Un)Traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing with chunks of ciabatta scattered throughout. A marriage made in heaven in every sense.
~ Cranberry Sauce. Something mom and dad do agree on. We both like it slightly tart. My perfected recipe here.
~ Turkey gravy made with a roux from the turkey drippings (if roasting).
~ Potatoes. Sometimes I mash them. Sometimes I roast them. Every year I put it up for a vote.
~ Sweet potato casserole. My recipe is your paternal grandmother’s recipe, which (prudently, in my view) uses pineapple chunks as a sweetener and less sugar. I usually top it with a dramatic meringue and brown it under the broiler.
~ Greens. I prefer Roasted Green Beans or brussel sprouts over green bean casserole, which your father grew up with. I think I’ve won him over to my side on this issue.
~ Dinner rolls. Please buy these.
~ Pies. The highlight of Thanksgiving dinner, in my opinion. I usually make three pies: a fruit or pecan pie, a chocolate pie, and a pumpkin pie.
In recent years, I’ve bought the pecan pie here, the best in town I reckon.
There you have it. Don’t forget wine and coffee!