We hosted the family Thanksgiving dinner this year with my mom, Ryan's parents, my sister and her family. There were seven adults, two kids under 5, and two non-eating babies under six months. Like most of our big dinners, Ryan was the primary cook, but I played a surprisingly big role considering we also had our four month old to entertain! Here's our menu:
- French onion soup from How Sweet It Is. I had made a batch of this several months ago and froze some. Unfortunately, because I'm dairy free, I can't eat it, so we pawned it off on family. Note for next time: throw the kids' portions through the blender to hid the onions and call it 'cheese soup' or similar.
- Turkey - "The best roast turkey" from Jamie Oliver's Cook with Jamie
- Roasted potatoes, parsnips, and carrots from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
- Mashed yams - with cinamon and maple syrup
- Mashed potatoes - with olive oil, margarine and truffle oil (I'm currently dairy free so no butter or milk like we'd usually do)
- Gravy - part of "The best roast turkey" from Jamie Oliver's Cook with Jamie
- Cranberry sauce from Gordon Ramsay's Family Fare
- Mini apple pies adapted from Knit and Bake. I used tart shells from Costco and didn't bother with anything over top. Replaced the brown sugar with granulated because I ran out.
- Mini pumpkin pies adapted from Canadian Living. Again, I used tart shells from Costco. Also excluded the salt, and replaced some of the brown sugar with granulated because I ran out.
- Ice cream.
Overall, things worked out pretty well (cranky kids excluded). For next year things we'll change are:
- We'll go with two smaller turkeys instead of a 14lber so it will be easier to calculate the cooking time. This one went over by almost an hour!
- Ryan has suggested that he may follow the Christmas Dinner menu in Gordon Ramsey's Family Fare.
- I plan to make the desert the day before, so I'm not getting in Ryan's way during the cooking day. We'll have a toddler to wrangle, so that will be plenty of work on its own!
- I want to set up the dining room at least the day before next year.
- We should do the groceries at least two days in advance and put everything together by the dish it will be used in. Hopefully this will save us from a last minute run to the grocery store.
- On that note, we need to remember to check our tin foil stock before the big cook. It's used to tent so much we had just enough today.
- Finally, we need to remember to take photos next year. All that yummy food and not a single picture!
Things I really liked from this year:
- I got to use my grandmother's tablecloth. She gave it to me when she was out visiting a couple weeks ago and I'm thrilled I got the opportunity to use it already!
- I will use our china again, but I'd like to get a few more serving dishes in the set, so we don't have to use so many other random dishes. (Though I do love all my plain white serving dishes.)
- Having take-home containers for everyone to use worked out well. I should see if we can get a better price on them at Costco over the grocery stores. Or stock up on them from Dollarama.
- Getting to entertain our families in our house - and they suggested we do it again!