Thanksgiving is my holiday. I own it – I always have and I always will.
It’s my favorite holiday, my favorite time of year and for me, Thanksgiving, never feels like a chore. Being the systems girl that I am, I find enormous comfort in the planning, organizing and prepping of our annual holiday meal. Because I run my kitchen like I do my business, the satisfaction I get from setting a goal (getting that meal from concept to table), breaking that goal into milestones and then further breaking those milestones into tasks is exactly what I do in my business and how I guide my clients and groups to do the same.
In my opinion, this is truly the only way one can achieve massive success in reaching a goal as lofty as this. Because let’s face it – making a holiday meal for 6 or 60 takes organization, thoughtfulness and patience. And for me, this is about making mouth watering dishes, but it’s more about feeling that accomplishment. And if no one else is going to validate your efforts, I always give myself permission to pat my own back!
I made my first Thanksgiving dinner back in 1985. I was newly married and my husband was the oldest of 3 so it made sense for me to adopt this holiday. We lived in a small, 2 bedroom duplex, but with perfect planning and execution (and one oven and no dishwasher) – I made a delicious meal for 24 and it was the beginning of my love affair with the event.
Many recipes that I make today have adorned my table for over 30 years and those that didn’t make the cut are still in my “Thanksgiving” binder and will forever be apart of my archives.
Although I am always the go to girl amongst my friends for recipe, dinner and holiday inspiration, but this is the time of year where I feel if I had an advice column – it would be as popular as Dear Abby in the 80’s!
Here’s a sneak peak into how I get it all done!
roasted crispy brussels sprouts
cranberry raspberry relish
mac n cheese
herb roasted stuffing
roasted honey yam wedges w/parsley pesto
cheesecake (seriously the best thing you will ever eat)
apple hand pies
3 weeks and counting
all my people what dishes they want and create the menu(see below).
start grocery list
check inventory on hand
the week before:
clean out and organize the fridge
grocery shop for everything sustainable and root type veggies
organize serving platters and linens.
cut and chop all mier poix type vegetables (onions, celery, shallots, garlic, scallions)
shop famers market for all fresh veggies, flowers and table decorations
wash, chop, and store brussels sprouts, veggies for stuffing, etc
cut bread for stuffing and store in fridge
make cranberry sauce
make custard for ice cream
make dough for pecan tassies
make dough for pies
filling for apple hand pies
dinner: chicken teriyaki, brown rice, cucumber salad
prep for monday night dinner – season tri tip
kids friends for dinner
make chimichurri, caesar dressing, wash lettuce, make croutons, assemble handpies
monday night dinner: bbq tri tip, creamed corn, caesar salad, apple hand pies, homemade ice cream.
shred cheese for mac n cheese
make cheesecake crust
make coffee cake
assemble and bake cheesecake
make biscuit dough
cook veggies and assemble stuffing
assemble mac n cheese
blind bake crusts
make filling for pecan tassies
dinner: zucchini noodles bolognese and italian meatless chopped salad
early morning beach walk
bake pies and tassies
take turkey out of fridge
boil potatoes, assemble mashed potatoes and set over double boiler to warm up later.
cut yams and prep with honey and olive oil, spices
preheat the oven and let the baking and roasting begin
4:30pm – sit down to dinner