I don’t know if you’ve noticed (you probably have) but Thanksgiving is a week away.
This time of the year always throws me into a panic. Maybe it’s because it is the official start of the holiday season; maybe it’s because now it’s socially acceptable to inundate people with Christmas music, decorations, and gift buying. Heck, I already have New Year’s Eve plans. I don’t know why this would freak me out… I like planning.. Maybe it’s the fact that THE YEAR IS ALMOST OVER! But I digress…
Thanksgiving is a great holiday. People get together and eat and drink and be merry. Wait. Wrong holiday. People eat until they have to unbutton their pants and need to be rolled home. Yup. Nailed it.
It’s never been my favorite holiday as I have always had a love-hate relationship with food and because I get so overwhelmed with needing/having to eat. Thanksgiving is that friend who is constantly peer pressuring you to do things you don’t want to.
“Eat potatoes! Eat stuffing! Eat everything on the table!!”
“No Thanksgiving, I don’t wanna!!!”
Or something like that…
Also it’s a dinner. You sit around starving all day because you obviously aren’t allowed to eat anything you can smell being cooked in the kitchen so come meal-time you gorge. It’s just bad form, Thanksgiving. Don’t be a honey badger*, Thanksgiving. You’re supposed to be about giving, Thanksgiving, but you never give until I’m passed out on the couch from a hypoglycemic dizzy spell. Also, because I take after my dad, I get quite grumpy when I’m hungry..so there’s that.
If I could host Thanksgiving (which i really want to when I have the counter space to and when people decide that coming out to The Valley isn’t that bad) I’d hopefully do it differently. Not like order in or anything.. although turkeys suck to cook. Maybe a very tapas thanksgiving. Yeah. Making tiny plates of things so no one has to go hungry or eat too much of anything. Ugh. But then I’d have to make dozens of tiny things. Scratch that. I would have a traditional turkey feast. Even though I’m not a big fan of turkey. Yeah. I said it. Turkey is overrated and it’s a pain in the ass to defrost/cook.
Let’s say I had a fully defrosted turkey and my electric oven/stove was having a spot-on day and I had pumped all my friends and family with healthy pint glasses of Celebration Ale and topped off flutes of bubbly this is what I would serve… (thanks to my unhealthy obsession with Pinterest) I give you my version of A Very Valley Thanksgiving.
So let’s imagine you buy a turkey and you have some friends over and, even though it’s not fully defrosted, they got super drunk and decided it would be an AWESOME idea to smoke the turkey. So they put it under water, defrost it, and then take it outside. After realizing they needed to take the insides out, they make you do it since you’re the only one who’s ever cleaned out a turkey. Then everyone passes out an hour later and leaves you to smoke a turkey**.
So we will do that except just when it’s almost done we will cover the top in bacon and cover the bacon with melted butter drenched cheese cloth.
My favorite ever. I can eat potatoes forever. When I’m sick, all I want to eat are mashed potatoes from a pouch. Classy. For A Very Valley Thanksgiving I think we would go a little pretty to look at/ lighter than mash and make this Potato Bake I found here.
I am a sucker for a good cranberry sauce. Trader Joe’s has a great cranberry orange relish i used to eat straight from the container. Yes, I did just admit that. Moving along… I’d make this because it has such easy ingredients and I love whole berry sauce.
I love a good side dish. And I think it’s so important to balance out turkey and potatoes with a couple good veg options. I love Brussels Sprouts. I love how their color really punches things up. Also, they’re delicious. Try them. I’m serious, they’re great.
Maybe a little more root action. Look at the colors. I love a good roasted veg.
You need a good roll. People like rolls. For like putting butter on and stuff. Or the next day for Leftover Sandwiches. These probably suck for sandwiches but how awesomely delicious do they look.
I am a HUGE fan of the dessert. The key is to keep is classic and not too heavy. People will be so stuffed that all the effort you put into your dessert won’t be appreciated. So make it pretty enough for them to be intrigued by it and make it take-away friendly (preferably have it packaged up before dinner). Like this apple pie. Also a good way to shove stragglers out of your house so you can take your shoes off and put your feet up and admire the mountain of dishes you have to clean.
Or maybe package something for their Black Friday morning.
What good family get together is without it? So grab some Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale or some of your favorite bubbly and start toasting to being thankful! Or you can get fancy and make a signature concoction with all the flavors of fall.
So, happy Thanksgiving countdown. Relax, grab a cocktail, and start planning!!