Chef Confidential

…every pantry has a story

One Month Until Thanksgiving!!!


Yes Thanksgiving is in one month and I am so excited, it is flat out my most favorite holiday. Better than Christmas, happier than a birthday, Thanksgiving has them all beat.  It’s all about being with people you care about, love, or depending upon the mood are related too.  Oh wait and on top of all the goodness that is Thanksgiving, an additional benefit is football, oh yeah all day football three games worth. How awesome is that? There are no presents to buy, and the menu, well in my opinion the menu is written in stone.  I don’t care what is served for any other holiday, but don’t mess with Thanksgiving.

One huge turkey butter basted, cooked to a golden crunchy brown w/ dressing, some cooked inside the bird, the balance cooked in a baking dish.  And yes I taste it when it is raw, and it has an egg in it, but there is no way you can get the seasonings right parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and poultry seasoning, fresh parsley, onion, celery. Oh yeah at least a stick of butter, depending upon how much you are making. All that folded together with good ‘ol white bread, cubed the night before, and tossed about to ensure even staleness. You have to be sure to have enough for leftovers, like soup it always taste better the next day.  Moving on to the sides, sweet potatoes boiled or steamed, then bathed in a blend of brown sugar and butter. Not to be outdone a huge mountain of fluffy steaming white potatoes, whipped into heavenly perfection with butter and milk. Of course we have amazing pan gravy, my Mom makes the absolute best gravy on earth. Some warm from the oven fluffy rolls, one basket for each end of the table. Even though many people think of Thanksgiving as something of a fattening meal, for the most part it really is a lot of vegetables.  Next up vegetables string beans simmered with bacon, cauliflower steamed and coated with a cheddar cheese sauce, brussels sprouts, carrots, and succotash.  Now for relishes, cranberry sauce, whole cranberries, green onions, gherkins pickles, bread and butter pickles*, black and green olives.  And of course my Mother standing at the end of table that is practically bowing, wringing her hands saying “do you think that looks like enough?”

Dessert are a toss up except for pumpkin pie which we usually have two, in addition there are at least two other desserts, sometimes pies such as apple or pecan, maybe a cake of some kind, perhaps chocolate or even maybe a cheesecake.  Regardless, they will all eventually end up being topped with copious amounts of freshly made whipped cream, and downed with a pot of fresh brewed coffee. 

There is a concession or two I would make as additions not replacement…


Right off the bat I would love to have a deep fried turkey I hear they are amazing.  So two turkeys would work, think of all the yummy leftovers you could have, and you would have four drumsticks to divvy up. I’m sure there will be other suggestions brought up for consideration, but I would never change the core meal. It’s rather Norman Rockwellian but that’s what I love about Thanksgiving, it’s all about honoring traditions, cherishing memories, good food and football.  It’s a dream to have a house bursting at the seams with family, and guests, tables laden with food and drink, conversation and laughter filling the air.

*Grandma Bailey made the most amazing bread and butter pickles which graced every holiday table for decades. One of my greatest hopes is that someday very soon I’ll have a kitchen, and storage space that I will be able to re-create her pickles, jams etc…

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This entry was posted on October 25, 2010 by in Coffee Klatch and tagged , , , , , , , .

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