Thanksgiving is next week and I’m frantic finalizing my menu, shopping lists and plan of attack. Twenty people will converge on Chez Maggie, with many staying over night, so there’s no time for silliness; each night this week has a set purpose and task.
As for my dinner table, it will be piled high with big beautiful green, gold and orange gourds, white plates and white fabric will cover the table, a few random stubby white candles will pepper in between all the gorgeous produce. Instead of fancy dinner napkins, I’m using white and green striped dish towels at each place setting to ensure everyone can adequately clean themselves up between bites.
As for my menu, well, it’s a little bit of everything and changes daily depending on guest tastes and what I find at the farm and market. Here’s the latest draft of my menu. Have you tried any of this? What are you planning for the big meal?
Of course, in the midst of the madness, I’m trying to take moments to reflect on things I’m thankful for, so have included some great images from the recent past, oddball photos from here and there. Funnily enough, they all involve light or fire. I suppose I’m thankful for the lights I have in my life, and the fire within to be better, do more, help more.
Let me know your thoughts on the menu, and whatever you’re reflecting on at this time.
- Spiced Nuts
- Pecan & Goat Cheese Marbles (from Gourmet magazine)
- Three Big Hunks of Good Cheese
- Piles o’ Fresh Grapes
- Angelina’s Pepperoni Bread (a tradition from my early days in Jersey)
- Two Vermont Brined & Smoked Turkey
- Apple Leek Cranberry Sourdough Bread Stuffing (a combo from a few different recipes)
- Wild Mushroom Bundles (from Gourmet magazine)
- Fresh Green Beans with Leeks, Hazelnuts, Mint & Parsley
- Carrot Soufflé (from our friend Drew)
- Celery Root & Apple Puree (The Barefoot Contessa recipe)
- Angelina’s Corn Pudding (another tradition from those early days in Jersey)
- Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar & Pecans (Jessica)
- Mixed Greens with Pears, Walnuts & Cider/Thyme Vinegar
- Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce (from Food & Wine magazine)
- Fresh Apple Sauce (already made, vacuum-sealed and frozen in October)
- Apple Pie
- Sweet Potato Pie
- Molasses Cookies (a secret recipe from my days at Oleana)
- French Chocolate Bark (The Barefoot Contessa recipe)
[A fire pit in Big Sur, CA - my husband and I spend one glorious night drinking a full bottle of wine and reflecting on everything around this fire pit]
[A beautiful light fixture at our hotel in Manhattan Beach, CA - I wanted to bring this fixture and our warm weather experience home]
[Hand-made lanterns in Jamaica Plain, MA - lanterns made by our friends for their kids to lug around during the Halloween lantern festival; of course, the adults ending up holding the lanterns, the entire time, feeling like kids themselves]