25 November 2011

Thanksgiving menu 2011

My son-in-law and I planned our menu for Thanksgiving. We had a big crowd, and we planned an extensive menu. Quite a difference from last year when there were only six of us (plus a baby) – my Mom & Dad, my daughter and son-in-law (and their son), and me and Linda. Click here to see the post on last year’s meal and a photo.

Now look at this photo of the 23 people squeezed into our redecorated dining room for this year’s feast.IMG_5046

I did the turkey on the Weber grill, as usual.

My son-in-law made gravy, using some of the drippings that we siphoned out of the drip pan on the grill. It added a nice smoky flavor to the gravy. He also made roasted Brussels sprouts using a recipe from Epicurious. He also made a cranberry and orange relish.

My daughter made stuffing. My wife made corn.

I took the week off and used Wednesday to prepare a few things in advance. One was braised short ribs, another recipe from Epicurious. My son-in-law actually found the recipe. I know he wanted to make it. But he had to work on Wednesday, and the braised meat always is better if you make it in advance and then let it sit in the braising liquid overnight. The only variation I made to the recipe was that I used boneless short ribs. The main reason I did that was because we were preparing for a big crowd, and I didn’t think I’d have a big enough pan to make the bone-in ribs. The butcher at Jerry’s prepared six pounds of boneless ribs. There were 12 ribs, and that proved to be just the right quantity.

I also made lasagna with roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, red onions, and red peppers. See next post.

On Thanksgiving, I baked whole wheat date rolls, yet another Epicurious recipe. Then I turned the kitchen over to my son-in-law. All I did was finish roasting the turkey and reheat the ribs and the lasagna.

Other family members brought appetizers and desserts. My mom and dad brought dried beef and beef jerky from Nick’s Meats in Hayward, MN. They also brought cheese and crackers. My brother and his wife brought a vegetable tray. My daughter brought an artichoke dip.

For dessert, my other brother brought a pumpkin pie and a minced fruit pie. My daughter-in-law brought two apple pies. My son-in-law brought a huge carrot cake. (My favorite desserts are apple pie and carrot cake. Thanksgiving was the day before my 60th birthday, so they brought special desserts for me.)

This was the biggest dinner we’ve served in our house. But no one went home hungry.

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