Thanksgiving is, in my opinion, one of the best holidays. Good food, friends and family, togetherness, gratitude...these are a few of my favorite things. This year I'm throwing my very first Thanksgiving gathering at my house with some friends and neighbors. My husband is working on the holiday, so I wanted to plan something to keep me engaged on a day I would typically be spending with my family -- plus, I thrive on throwing parties and hosting get-togethers, particularly when there's lots of awesome food involved.
I've already started planning for the big day: I've got some mini gourds for decoration, and a new tablecloth and seasonal linens on my wish list, and the menu mapping is in full swing. I'm thinking lots of seasonal produce, a classic butter-herb roast turkey, and plenty of grain- and gluten-free goodies for me and several other guests who are also gluten-free. Here's a look at what I'll be cooking and serving (or assigning guests to bring!) on Thanksgiving day.
Appetizers & Drinks
Butternut Squash Hummus & Crudites
Fruit & Cheese Tray (isn't this beautiful!?!)
Virgin Pomegranate Pear Punch
Red & White Wine
Mashed Potatoes and Umami Gravy
Gluten-free Dinner Rolls & Green Bean Casserole from American Classics Reinvented
Dressing and Corn Pudding
I'm thankful that, although the seasonal difference between autumn in the Midwest and fall in Hawaii are so different, I still have access to plenty of amazing local produce to help round out my Thanksgiving meal. I do the majority of my produce shopping twice a week at nearby farmers markets, picking up everything from Red Russian Kale to tiny bananas and backyard Meyer lemons. For my planned menu, I'll be able to purchase butternut squash, a variety of fresh fruits and veggies for my appetizers, potatoes, kale, mushrooms, root vegetables and herbs from local growers. I'll pick up the other big ticket items - like my turkey, cranberries and pumpkin puree - from my grocery store. Easy as [pecan] pie.
Are your Thanksgiving plans already in the works? I enjoy hearing what other people grew up eating on Thanksgiving day, so please share your favorite tried-and-true traditional dish in the comments. I always remember my Grandma Rosie's dressing and my Grandma Peggy's yeasted rolls, plus that weird jiggly cranberry sauce still in the shape of the can.
Open-source image via Unsplash.Com