After just wiping the remnants of turkey soup from the front of my shirt, I thought this would be a good time to offer a brief recap of our Thanksgiving weekend. We hosted – for the second year in row – with my wife’s mother, sister and her two kids joining us for three nights beginning on Friday and ending yesterday morning around 10:00am.
Now I actually like hosting (don’t tell Steph, it provides ample leverage for poker weekends and other future bargaining sessions) because mostly I like to cook. I don’t see cooking as a chore, I used to, but now as the beard is peppered with more grey, I treat it more like a hobby.
Taking a cue from my recent meal planning exercise, I planned the entire weekend menu for the nine of us, including a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday evening. There were fresh bagels and fruit salad on Saturday morning, followed by homemade meatballs and sausages on buns for lunch and roll-out-the-dough three cheeses and salami and red pepper pizza for dinner. All big, easy, sit around the table with angry red wine-type of meals, letting the kids make silly jokes with tomato sauce smeared on their faces only to disappear into the basement for some fort making and tickle trunk adventures. Thus providing the time for the adults to clean up, catch up and chat.
After the conversation began to die down, it also afforded me the luxury to pop out to my local for a quick pint.
Funny to note that Hudson is at the age where he pops in between the two groups, joining the younger fray for a spell and then coming up to sit quietly among the adults, waiting for a swear word or other titillating piece of intel before tee heeing back down the stairs.
What a wiener!
Sunday was chocolate chip pancakes and fruit in the morning and thankfully, the throng took off to Yorkdale to see a movie leaving me to organize the big meal. I like cooking turkey, but the accompanying dishes eat up all the time. Thankfully I made a roasted butternut squash soup on Saturday morning and tore up some bread and buns for the stuffing. But I still had to peel a mountain of potatoes, red, sweet and white, for roasting after the bird was done.
The stuffing is my mother’s recipe, pretty standard, but so good. Mostly just poultry seasoning, celery, onions and some nuts and fruit I found in our cupboard, but when it’s jammed into that turkey and cooks and crisps all up, add some gravy and boo ya, it’s a party in my mouth and everyone is invited!
The rest of the meal included a green bean casserole contribution and a broccoli and cauliflower Gruyere cheese dish that received some pretty solid reviews. Steph made two desserts: Apple granola crumble and pumpkin pudding with homemade pecan brittle and whipped cream. So with belts unbuckled, we had a fire after dinner and drank way more red wine than we should have. We invited Hud’s buddy and his mother over so she nicely added to the family conversation mix.
Steph sets a mean table.
It’s a busy three days and I could not do this every weekend (although this weekend we are heading up north with three other couples and seven kids so my time in the kitchen shall continue) but the best part about hosting is come Monday, when all the food is neatly placed in the fridge for future eating, every one else has to drive home, leaving us to make leftover plates and watch movies.
Which I was truly thankful for.