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Thanksgiving Plans? Recipes?

(post, Annie Witkamp)

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Hello, Tuesday! I started planning my Thanksgiving meal yesterday. The snow we received froze me into the reality that the holidays are coming. I want to try most of the dishes before placing anything on the table. This year we’ll have less people to serve, 3 or 4. Last year was my first all-by-myself meal for 6. Our friend came up to visit and most importantly, to be a witness at our small wedding ceremony on November 24th. That was the first snow day, I believe. (We intended for the ceremony to be late August/early September, our favorite time of year but couldn’t get it together.) My parents came from Indiana to visit for Thanksgiving and we had a lovely time. This year, that same friend is coming and maybe one of Greg’s brothers-he has 3 (and a sister).

We have no one year anniversary plans and we don’t mind not being alone because we feel like we should be celebrating our fifth or sixth anniversary. We didn’t have the money to get married in college, when Greg asked on Christmas Day to my surprise so we waited for almost 5 years. Yep, 5 years of engagement. We still didn’t have the wedding we wanted but that’s what happens when you don’t have much money to throw that way. Granted, we wouldn’t have had a big wedding anyway but it would have been a beautiful outdoor setting- a forest, a field, by the mountains with family and friends. We didn’t have a honeymoon as well. I do not consider Minnesota much of a honeymoon, nor the several bars we went to that night as a reception. We did get a few well-wishes and a free piece of chocolate cake. We had our reception back home in Indiana in March which was the best part.

Thanksgiving table 2008

Back to turkey time, I’m talking homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, gratin and mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, an apple and pumpkin pie, brined turkey, a chocolate dessert. Am I missing something? The only issue is that I don’t want a completely traditional flavor for all of these dishes; I want a twist. Any suggestions?

I found a recipe for the main attraction-the turkey- from Food & Wine by Shawn McClain called Herb-Roasted Turkey with Gravy, which involves brining overnight. Have you brined before? How did that go? Any tips?