The Feathered Nest

Time to Plan

It’s November. This means it is time to start planning and prepping for Thanksgiving. I take Thanksgiving very seriously. Thanksgiving is all about food and that is celebration whose aims I wholeheartedly support.

This year my parents and brother are flying west to celebrate with us. We are also fortunate that my husband’s sister is local so she will join us for the festivities, which never happened when we lived back east. Our good friends from Santa Cruz will also be present. I like a big Thanksgiving. I’d invite more, but I’m not sure they’d fit in our small apartment.

The most pressing matter at this time is planning the menu. I have a basic menu I’ve followed for years, but I’m feeling the need to spice things up a bit this year. I will still do a salt roasted turkey, it’s too good not to repeat. You cover the turkey in salt and let it sit for 24 hours, before roasting you rinse of the salt and pat it dry before all the usual basting. I tried this a couple years ago after many years of brining. It is easier and the resulting bird is so incredibly juicy and flavorful.

I traveled over the weekend so I purchased the Thanksgiving issues of Real Simple and Bon Appetite to keep me company on the plane. I am thinking of adding the “Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro and Chiles” from Bon Appetite to the menu and the “Honeyed Carrots and Oranges” from Real Simple. I having been making a salad of mixed greens, tart granny smith apples, and shaved parmesan that I serve with homemade lemon vinaigrette. It’s a tasty and light starter. I think that will be my salad. There will, of course, be mashed potatoes. I like a little roasted garlic and lots of butter in my mashed potatoes.

What I still need to choose is a soup, a green vegetable, a stuffing, a squash recipe, and desserts. I also should have some pre-bird nibbles. I think I need to nail down a menu this week. Then it’s about figuring out what I can make ahead and freeze and what needs to be done the day of. I also need to figure out seating and table decor. Let the holidays begin.