Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Cooking Marathon Begins

Mr.W has made it home safe and sound, and is pleased to find the new addition to our household. Here is our sweet kitty, who has been permanently dubbed, "Thundercat."

Now I can concentrate on cooking. I am expecting a crowd of 10 to stroll through at some point during the day. Dinner is scheduled for 4pm, but there are some folks who will arrive for dessert, come by for 2nds later in the day, and so forth. Here is my Thanksgiving Menu:

Appetizer: Hot Spinach-Crab Dip with Multigrain Crackers

Salad: Salad of Baby Spinach, Dried Cranberries, Grape Tomatoes, Crumbled Blue Cheese and Chopped Hazelnuts with a Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Entree: Orange-Roasted Turkey with Giblet Gravy, Quinoa-Stuffed Hubbard Squash

Sides: Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Pureed White Beans, Sweet n' Spicy Roasted Yams, Carrots and Onions, Macaroni and Cheese

Extras: Dinner Rolls and Butter, Cranberry Compote, Fruit-Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin

Dessert: Sugar-Free Pumpkin Custard, Assorted Pies and Whipped Cream

Beverages: Wine, Coffee, Tea, Bottled Water

Today I'll be making the stuffing, mashed potatoes, pureed white beans, maple-balsamic vinaigrette and the sugar-free pumpkin custard, as well as prepping for the other dishes and setting the table.

When I prepare a menu, I like to also plan what serving dishes and utensils will be used so that everything moves ahead easily. I'll be labelling all the serving containers with small slips of paper so that last-minute frenzies are avoided and any helpers I may be blessed with will know which dish to bring me when it's time to plate things.

Thanksgiving is quite a casual day at my house--paper plates and plastic cups. A little ghetto, maybe, but it makes my life much easier to keep my dish-doing to a minimum. After all, I don't have an automatic dishwasher!


Robin said...

Sounds delicious! I would definitely be doing paper and plastic too if I didn't have a dishwasher.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Oh yum! Your menu sounds wonderful--and like a lot of work. Hope you don't get too tired to enjoy the festivities. Thundercat looks like he's saying, "Drop one of those giblets down here, would 'ya?" Happy Thanksgiving.

Mrs. W said...

Thank you, Robin and Susan--and Happy Thanksgiving to you both!

Thundercat was in the bathroom sink when I took that photo, saying, "Please turn on the water." She doesn't like to be wet, yet likes to play in dribbling faucets. Go figure! And I tremble to see what will happen with all the food is on the table Thursday--I might have to lock her in the basement to avoid table-jumping.

Although my menu seems huge, most of the sides will either be completely made ahead today or quickly put together tomorrow--and with the turkey in my fancy schmancy countertop roaster, the oven will be free for the yams, hubbard and pumpkin.

Come 4 o'clock my cooking will be through with lots of time to relax and enjoy the remainder of the day.

Let the games begin!

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