Yes, I have already started decorating for Christmas. That said, this week I’m talking turkey. Thanksgiving. I am not a good cook nor do I like to cook. But years ago Joe and i took his Dad to a restaurant on Thanksgiving and it was so not the same. We had no leftovers to nibble on later. We had no smell to wake up to in the house. We had no fire roaring and football or classic movies playing. It was a huge learning. Cook. Even if it's a hot mess and takes forever and tastes marginal and is a cleanup nightmare…Shawn, just cook. So this year, decided I would share with you my menu and my guest list. But first, for those of you who don’t eat or like turkey, c’mon…
Pat James Dementri with my kind of turkey
This year I am hosting for the first time. I’m a little nervous. I’m horrendous at timing all the dishes and keeping things warm etc but I’m excited bc Thanksgiving is just better, with lots of people. So, it will be Joe and I, his two sons Robby and Joey, my dear friend Ginger Walt (QVC home and holiday guest), her husband Antoine, their little munchkin Charlotte, and Antoine’s parents who are flying in from France and don’t speak a lot of English. (So we will communicate through food and drink). My dining room table seats 8 so I’m hoping Charlotte is tiny enough that we can squeeze in a 9th. That or someone will have to levitate. Just kidding.
My dining room table
The menu, oh that was tough. Mainly because I am not gifted enough to pull this off without “heat & eat” help. I also wanted to have enough options such that everybody felt like it was a great spread. Here’s where I landed:
Appetizers (starting around 1p)
Pate French family recipe, Ginger is bringing
Champagne French tradition with pate, Ginger is bringing
Aunt Trudy’s Spinach & Feta Fillo Pockets from QVC
Dinner (starting around 3p)
Emeril & St Claire Mac & Cheese from QVC
Green Bean Casserole, Ginger is bringing (MY FAV)
Creamed spinach with Gouda from Neiman Marcus Gourmet Food
Maple Butternut Squash with Pecans from Neiman Marcus Gourmet Food
Butter Mashed Potatoes
Stuffing (Cant decide what kind)
Tenderloin of Beef
Roast Turkey Breast (We normally only eat the white meat so I’m sick of cooking a whole bird for two breasts)
The Essential Baking Company Rosemary Bread from QVC
Junior’s Pumpkin Cheesecake from QVC
Dockside Market Key Lime Bundt Cake from QVC
Yes, a lot of this menu is already cooked and only requires heating…but I find heating even stressful. Years ago when Joe and I were first married I cooked everything from scratch. The upside is that it looked like this…
Turkey with the trimmings
The downside is that it was so overwhelming to me that Joe and I fought most of the day and didn’t speak for several hours because a sort of jekyll persona came out in me when I had to figure out how to juggle all the dishes, pots boiling over, and checking the turkey to know if was done (which ultimately required a visit from my wise old neighbor ****** who knows a thing or two about carving and cooking birds). So this year, the wine will flow, and I am leaving the actual scratch cooking to most of the experts. Just making the main meats will be my big role on the day. God bless food by mail. There’s one amazing thing I am thankful for this year.
Hey if anybody has an easy recommendation for a great stuffing recipe, let me know. That’s the only thing that hangs in the turkey balance.
I am so hungry right now I could snack on my left arm.
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