Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nailing Down The Turkey Dinner

Well, I bought my turkey yesterday! It's just over 22 pounds...think that will be enough for 12 people? I couldn't resist. Andy's employer sent us a gift check for a turkey, so I used that and ended up paying a whole $2.00 out of pocket for the bird- that's not too bad for a girl on a budget!

Anyway, here is how dinner is shaping up so far. I'm still on the fence about the salad. I was going to do a fennel and orange salad which is awesome with turkey dinner, but I really wanted to be able to include the pears I canned this year, and the best place for them is in a salad. So the salad will instead be a spinach-walnut-pear salad with an orange vinaigrette. Not quite the same, but it will do- I think. We actually kind of have a theme this year when planning out the meal. As much as possible, I want to use food that I've frozen or preserved or canned somehow. It just feels right to do so. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for what we have, and in the spirit of being thankful for a bountiful harvest, how could I not use what I've been putting by. I'll have to buy a few things, but my grocery list is surprisingly small when I include what I have on hand already. So without further ado, here's my dinner:

Appetizer: Hot spinach-artichoke dip with crostini

Dinner: Apple-Cider Brined and Glazed Turkey (a new recipe this year!)
Make Ahead Gravy
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Streuseled Sweet Potatoes
Balsamic Glazed Baby carrots and Brussels sprouts
Autumn Harvest Succotash
Pear/Walnut/Spinach salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Cranberry-Pineapple Sauce
Mom's Stuffing (which she's bringing)
Pickles and Hot Pepper Rings

Dessert: Pecan Pie
Cranberry-Meringue Pie
Apple Pie (Mom's bringing)
Pumpkin Pie (Mom's Bringing)
Cherry Pie (Mom's Bringing)

The Gewurztraminer will be flowing during dinner, and I'm not sure what will be flowing before dinner yet. If I can find a Shiraz-Grenache yet, it will be that, and for sure a bottle or two of Riesling. Coffee will come with dessert. I'm actually thinking about setting the table up in the next day or two to make sure I have room for everything. I also need to figure out where I'm going to stage the appetizers in the living room. It should be a fun next couple of days.


Melissa said...

Have you ever made the sweet potatoes using fresh sweet potatoes instead of canned? The recipe sounds yummy!

Erika W. said...

Absolutely Melissa. In that case I would bake the sweet potatoes in their skin first, allow them to cool for a few minutes, slip the skins, and then proceed with the recipe.

Usually I prefer fresh sweet potatoes, however, I just read an article that did a side by side taste test, and testers could not tell the difference between fresh and canned sweet potatoes in a casserole type application like this. So I'm going to use canned. :-)

Mimi said...

Can I come over?

Erika W. said...

Lol! Anytime Mimi!

swirlingnotions said...

Erika, I love what you said about using the foods you've preserved throughout the season . . . what a wonderful way to honor the true meaning of Thanksgiving! Have a wonderful one! I've got to get cracking on the shopping list myself . . .

swirlingnotions said...

You know, I was scanning through the cranberry recipes I did for Cooking Light last year (Cranberry Harvest was the name of the article) and found this Cranberry Vinaigrette that might work really well with your salad. It's got a nice sweet-tart flavor to it and, if I recall correctly, a beautiful ruby color.

Anyway, here's the link to the recipe on my site, if you want to take a look.


Erika W. said...

Lia that vinaigrette looks perfect! That's exactly what my salad needs- something tart and tangy to bring a little refresher to the plate. It will balance out the sweet pears nicely.

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving as well! I hope your first one with Noe is just fantastic and memorable.