Thanksgiving is next week. I’m not going to be in charge of cooking this year. For that, I am thrilled and thankful. However, I am in full anticipation of the holiday anyway because I’ve had more than a few conversations with friends who are suffering from Thanksgiving dread. And I’m not talking about Thanksgiving food dread. I’m talking about Thanksgiving awkward-family-time dread.
One of my friends asked me the other day, “Why do I have to go to my brother’s in-law’s ranch in Texas? I’m going to be forced to watch football and talk about investment banking. I hate both of those things.”
“Maybe you’ll get to ride a horse?” I shrugged. His eyebrows lifted and I saw a glimmer of hope in his eye and his crest-fallen demeanor shift for a moment.
“Maybe.” he whispered to himself, already lost in the daydream of horseback riding somewhere in the Lone Star state.
Another friend told me that Thanksgiving is always depressing for her because the average age at her family’s gathering is about seventy-nine-years-old and she feels like she’s eating in a nursing home cafeteria. Then there’s my friend who has given up on the holiday entirely, and uses it as an excuse to go to Cabo every year with his girlfriend. Then there are my doctor friends who are on-call through the holiday but have confided in me that they secretly couldn’t be more thankful for this excuse, as their “tolerance” for their extended family has become lower every year.
But the truth is, if you don’t have to cook Thanksgiving dinner than you’ve got it easy. Just relax and enjoy. It’s the one day of the year, when that’s all you’re supposed to do; eat, do nothing and be thankful for it. Because someone has to do the cooking. So for those of you who do have to do the real hard part, I’ve compiled a list of Thanksgiving menu options from the 3mbb archive to help you out. So whatever your plans are, eat, drink and be thankful that someone is cooking for you.
When I was a kid, the hors d’oeuvres at Thanksgiving always stole the show. I remember often being full by the time we sat down to eat turkey because there’s only so much brie an eight-year-old can eat. So if you want to do more than a cheese plate for cocktail hour this year, here are a few appetizers to throw in to the mix.
- Pumpkin Risotto Cakes with Remoulade
- Truffle Oil Deviled Eggs
- Aunt Betsy’s Artichoke Dip
- Easy Baked Brie
We always had Nana’s Limpa Bread at our Thanksgiving table. I think you should too.
Soup is an elegant way to start the Thanksgiving meal. And the best part is that this impressive first course can be made ahead of time which will save you time and stress on Thanksgiving day.
There’s no better way to enjoy the Fall harvest than with a salad of seasonal fruit, cheese and nuts. All three of these will do the trick.
- Orange, Walnut, and Goat Cheese Salad with Citrus Dressing
- Pear Salad with Manchego and Cashews
- Arugula Salad with Grapes, Manchego and Toasted Pecans
Vegetables and Sides
Who needs plain-old mashed potatoes? Mix it up this year with these exciting side dishes.
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Cumin and Smoked Paprika
- Parsnip Purée
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Thomas Keller’s Leek Bread Pudding
- Truffled Whipped Cauliflower
- Green Beans with Carmelized Shallots
- Sweet Potato Purée with Brown Butter
- Potato-Fennel Gratin
There are no recipes for Thanksgiving turkey on Threemorebigbites.com. So here is a link to the turkey recipe I love to use on Thanksgiving. It’s always a huge hit.
Tired of pie? Add some variety to the dessert table this year with some of these festive fall desserts. (My favorite is the date cake!!)
- Warm Date Cake with Toffee Sauce and Whipped Cream
- Carrot Cupcakes
- Orange and Goat Cheese Cornmeal Cake
- Poached Pears with Mascarpone
- Tarte Tatin with Sour Cream Pastry
- Anna’s Pear and Raisin Apple Pie