As much as I love my home state, I’m starting to appreciate our (seemingly) annual Thanksgiving getaway to warm destinations. This year, Dharma and I are spending a week in Florida at my parents’ new condo. It’s so nice to be relaxing in a warm and sunny climate. I find that a vacation this time of the year is well-needed. With shorter days and colder weather, the transition between fall and winter can be tough. Coupled with an insanely busy year at the museum, this vacation was badly needed. Fortunately, we were able to reserve the week for some adventure and relaxation down south.
To express our gratitude for their hospitality, we decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner for my parents. This was the first time that Dharma and I cooked a complete Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks to a great article from Taunton’s Fine Cooking, the dinner was both simple and fun to make. Fine Cooking describes the article, titled How to Make Thanksgiving Dinner, as an “all-in-one guide to making a delicious, stress-free dinner on the big day.” I’d say that aptly describes it.
What I liked about the article was that it broke down the process into simple, coherent steps. It included a menu timeline, shopping list, and a toolbox of kitchen tools/supplies. This certainly helped to create a stress-free environment in the kitchen.
The menu included:
- Dry-Rubbed Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy
- Cranberry Sauce with Caramelized Onions
- Bread Stuffing with Fresh Herbs
- Rustic Mashed Potatoes
We decided to forgo a dessert because neither of my parents eat sweets. Yes, this was difficult given that we have a history of going overboard with baking Thanksgiving pies. A small sacrifice to make… Here are a few pictures of the meal.
All in all, the meal was a great success. The recipes were easy to follow and the resulting dishes were delectable. I’m already looking forward to the next holiday meal we cook for family (perhaps an Italian-themed four course dinner for Christmas?). The joy of cooking a meal for the ones you love is a most enjoyable experience. For me, great food and conversation shared with family is what holidays are all about (sadly, as I write this, many people across the nation are gearing up for Black Friday; what a crass way to celebrate the holiday).
Cheers to all and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!