Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving in the Yellow House

I have a dirty little secret. I am not much of a Thanksgiving fan.

I love being surrounded by family. I love the idea of a day of thanks. I love food. Just not Thanksgiving food. I blame this lack of feeling on the many classes I teach in the weeks prior to Thanksgiving. By the time the last class is over, the last thing I want to do is prepare another feast even if this time, it's for my family. I have memories of wonderful Thanksgiving meals as a child so why am I the Thanksgiving version of Scrooge?

It should go without saying that Doug's favorite meal is Thanksgiving. Of course the kids are following in his footsteps. As the fabulous wife and mother I strive to be, I try. A few years back when we settled into a meal including just our family of six, I came up with a plan. Everyone is involved in the meal planning and preparation of at least one dish.

Doug's job is the turkey. There is always one smoked and always one roasted indoors, for gravy.
Truly, no one smokes a turkey better than Doug.

Max, is preparing a brussels sprout gratin with caramelized shallots. Really tasty. So tasty it has turned many Brussel sprouts haters into lovers. Really. Even Doug.  I made my own caramelized shallots instead of using the jar but either is really delicious.

Jake's number one job is comedic relief. He is dishwasher extraordinaire. This year his crowning glory was the Sausage, Fennel and Wild Mushroom Dressing. Delicious.

My most favorite part of this preparation plan is the making of the cranberry relish. The first year my Grandmother was without my Grandfather on Thanksgiving she came to stay with us. Jake was just over two and they worked together to make fresh cranberry relish with her meat grinder. I still see them in my mind's eye working together - a snapshot I'll always cherish. This year Henry handled Grandma's grinder. Fresh cranberries, quartered apples and oranges go into the hopper unpeeled. Cranked through the grinder into a bowl and stirred with a few tablespoons of sugar. I love this stuff and eat most of it. I still can't get over "Can-berry" is the sauce of choice for everyone else. *sigh*

Ella has discovered an infinite love of pumpkin pie so she was on dessert duty. She helped assemble the crust and stirred all the filling ingredients together. It's so nice to have a partner in pie. Wasn't it considerate of me to share my insane sweet tooth with her? Through the many classes I have taught, I've tried many wonderful pumpkin pie recipes all creative, flavorful and interesting. Regardless, every Thanksgiving I turn to Libby. Nothing like the pie recipe from my youth topped with copious amounts of softly whipped, lightly sweetened cream. YUM!

Doug's turkey was the best. The Brussels sprouts tasty and taste changing. Our stuffing delicious. I love the Grandma's cranberry relish but the proud and smiling face of it's maker is the best. I can think of nothing better than sharing a pie with my daughter.

We have a lovely tradition happening here in the yellow house. I just may be growing into a person who really loves Thanksgiving.

I am so thankful.

1 comment:

Emily said...

What an awesome post. This is what Thanksgiving is all about...spending proper time with your dear sweet ones. Great job Jenn. Looking forward to taking your winter soups class in December!!!