Simple Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

This year when our family planned the menu for thanksgiving dinner, I had to fight for my turkey. I, against the young hip generation, disagreed with whether or not we should have turkey for thanksgiving dinner. They wanted leg of lamb, or a standing rib roast, and I wanted my turkey.


It didn't take long for me to end this squabble. I just declared my verdict: "Don't take away my turkey from me!" End of story. I explained later on, that a Moroccan Leg of Lamb or a succulent Standing Rib Roast sounds delicious, but we only cook a whole roasted turkey once a year, and only on thanksgiving day.

We have agreed on the menu, and my son was chosen in charge of cooking the main dish, the roasted turkey. My daughter made Tiramisu for dessert, a recipe shared by her sister, who got the recipe from Cordon Bleu in Paris, where she studied culinary arts. My granddaughter and a neighbor enjoyed removing the brussel sprouts from the stalk which was made into a side dish.


We all helped in setting the big dining table for 12 family and friends with my daughter in charge of the decoration. Although it's tedious to wash all the special china, silverware, wine glasses, and serving plates by hand, we all shared the work. There is something beautiful about this sharing, a giving of oneself to a special celebration. We shared a feast prepared by everyone and we were thankful for all the blessings.

With my son in charge of the event, I sat back and relaxed, reminiscing when I used to do everything by myself. I remember having to wake up early in the morning to prepare everything so we could have a good thanksgiving dinner. Now that my children have grown up, they have learned the values and tradition I have tried to inculcate in them all these years.

We had a simple thanksgiving dinner, fine enough to have reason to use our special china, silverware, and wine glasses. Our menu of traditional roasted turkey with simple side dishes, and dessert were easy to make, just right for our budget, and were enjoyed by everyone.

Thanksgiving Menu

Appetizers : Sliced Baguettes with Triple Creme Cheese
Soup : Cinnamon Pumpkin Soup
Salad : Herbed Butter Lettuce with Sprinkles of Goat Cheese
Main Dish : Rosemary Roasted Turkey
with Cranberry Sauce and Turkey Gravy
Side Dishes : Brussel Sprouts, Brocolli flowerettes, Carrots, Corn, Corn Bread Stuffing, Mashed Potato
Bread : Dinner Rolls
Dessert : Tiramisu, Lazy Woman's Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie
Beverage : Apple Cider (for kids)
Santa Rita Cavernet Sauvignon RESERVA 2005 D. O. Maipo Valley, Chile
Freshly Brewed Newly Ground Coffee

The roasted turkey was crispy outside and juicy inside. It was cooked at 350*F throughout. My son was planning to cook the turkey in a lower temperature like most people do (at 325*F), but he knew most of us preferred the skin crispy and the turkey still juicy inside. He stuffed the turkey with onions, carrots, celery, salt and pepper, and rosemary which he snipped from our herb garden.

The salad was easy to make, just a whole bunch of butter lettuce broken by hand in big pieces strewn with pine nuts and sprinkles of goat cheese. The mashed potato was made with yellow potatoes, butter, sour cream, salt and pepper, and romano cheese. All the vegetables were steamed separately. He also made the gravy from scratch by boiling the neck, the gizzard, and the liver of the turkey, and then he made roux to make the gravy.

The recipe for the Lazy woman's apple pie is actually the same recipe as my regular apple pie. The only difference is, we did not use a pie pan. The pie was baked on a cookie sheet. The round pate brisee crust was set in the middle of the sheet and the pie filling was plopped on the center of the crust, the sides were folded toward the center of the pie. Hence the name, Lazy Woman's Apple Pie.

The wine we served at the dinner was a fine wine from Chile. It was a cavernet sauvignon reserve wine from Maipo Valley Vintage 2005, with superb quality and craftmanship, well structured, fruity and youthful style, perfect for any occasion.

Comments

Chef E said…
I am going to try the tiramisu recipe, my son just ask me to make it for him...I love the post!
Chris Nyles said…
Hello Chef E,

Thanks for visiting my site and good luck to your making the Tiramisu.

Chris
I love seeing kids in the kitchen. They look so busy...
Chris Nyles said…
Me too, plus it's a good way for them to learn how to cook.

Thanks for your comment.

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