Every year for the past four Thanksgivings I have organized a Thanksgiving dinner with my friends. In past years we always made it a pot-luck affair, and even though I really wanted to have a nice dinner with everyone around the same table, it was never possible to fit 12-18 people around the same table. So we resorted to sitting on the couch, the computer chairs, the floor… until this year.
Since most of our college friends have graduated and moved on, our social circle is now limited to those few friendships we’ve been able to nurture with our limited time on campus. And since I now have my great-grandmother’s beautiful dining room table on extended loan in my dining room, and this fabulous table extends to fit up to TEN, I was finally able to fit all seven of our party around the same table!
Oh, and unlike in previous years, our current friends do not really have access to kitchens, so pot-luck was pretty much out of the question. So I took it upon my self to cook it all myself (except Edgar actually roasted the turkey)!
But I had plenty of inspiration.
I made Real Simple’s Goat Cheese with Pistachios and Cranberries and served them with Kashi crackers as an appetizer
My college roommate’s Pumpkin Pie recipe (made from a pumpkin! No canned pumpkin!) in Martha Stewart’s Shortbread Crust
Alton Brown’s Green Bean Casserole (except I chickened out and used French’s onion rings instead of making my own, but at least I thought outside of the canned soup!)
Food Network Magazine’s Classic Dressing (made with a 9-grain Italian bread!)
Plus some home-grown classics, such as garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, homemade turkey gravy, fresh whipped cream, and Pillsbury crescent rolls.
Check out the spread!
And the table!! *geeks out*
We served wine. A red and white (Gnarly Head Merlot and Kendall-Jackson Sauvignon Blanc)
And some sparkling grape juices, for non-alcoholic wine glass fun.
At 7:00, the feasting began!
I promise there’s pie under all that whipped cream!!
It was all wonderful! Which is amazing. Most the recipes I did not taste-test, nor had I ever made before! I’m a crazy woman for breaking the golden rule of hosting of never serving a new dish to guests, but I break that rule more often than not, and I guess my friends are used to it by now. It all worked out in my favor I guess! Even the non-sweet-potato-loving guests said they really liked my sweet potato casserole (which, by the way, is nothing more than boiled and mashed sweet potatoes and butternut squash, grade B maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, almond milk, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and an egg mixed together and baked until firm, then topped with mini marshmallow and toasted under the broiler very carefully).
After much feasting, laughing, and bursting out into song around the table, we wrapped up the night with a relaxed viewing of The Music Man in front of the fireplace.
I really couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration with my friends.
Now for the update on my Thankgiving grocery challenge!
*Drumroll while I add up the totals*
Doing great so far, I think!