Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is a week away; that means it's about time for me to start cooking. As usual around chez VM, I'm whipping up a 7-course Thanksgiving meal for 12 people. Or is it a 12- course meal for 7 people? Ah, who cares as long as the Cabernet Sauvignon holds out and, believe me, there's plenty though I'm still working on the wine list.

I cook part-time for a week and full-time from Tuesday through when we sit down. I make my own chicken stock. I bake pumpkin bread from scratch for the turkey stuffing. All this effort results in a dinner that's hours long and, for me, the family highlight of the year though I'm usually too tired to do more than graze. We'll also use it as a birthday celebration for Tri-Daughter #4 who was born on Thanksgiving day 18 short years ago. That's right, she's turning 18. Holy banana cakes.

Here's what I'm thinking:

  • Appetizers (probably 3): Pear & goat cheese bruschetta; prosciutto-wrapped hearts of palm; vegetable crudites with a yellow pepper & garlic dipping sauce.
  • Soup: Carrot, ginger & jalapeno with thyme and creme fraiche.
  • Intermezzo: a cranberry & raspberry sorbet...if I can find an ice cream maker.
  • Main course: Roasted turkey glazed with maple & Calvados; pumpkin bread, herb & wild mushroom stuffing; cranberry-orange salsa; creamy mashed potatoes; caramelized shallots; green beans with a honey-mustard glaze. Probably a few more. I haven't decided.
  • Salad: Arugula & red onions with oranges and a raspberry vinaigrette.
  • Desserts (probably 3): Mom's apple pie; pumpkin cheesecake with Frangelico; something chocolate for those of us who can't do without.
  • Later in front of the fire once the stupor wears off: Selection of vintage cheeses and fresh fruit with a nice, vintage port.
These old favorites are substantially the same menu I've planned for nearly 15 years of Thanksgiving blowout extravaganzas. Each year I try to change the menu slightly. Each year the changes are met with choruses of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Don't change ANYTHING!"

This year, damn the torpedos, I'm serving something chocolate for dessert whether they like it or not. Thank God someone else does the dishes.


Comm's said...

oMG that sounds so delicious.

tarheeltri said...

What an awesome menu! Having been born on Thanksgiving myself, I have to say it's my favorite holiday.

mipper said...

can i come to your house? wow! and he cooks too. anything you can't do?

Keryn said...

I love it when men do all the cooking on Thanksgiving...more time for me, a beer, and football! Sounds delicious!

Oldman said...

i have a french ice cream maker with a sleeve that you freeze, works great. nice menu where is the wine list?

Vertical Man said...

The wine list is still developing. Either a chardonnay or champagne with appetizers, maybe a zinfandel with the soup, 2 different cabs with the main course, a muscat or reisling with dessert, port and armagnac with the after-dinner cheeses, etc.

And several bottles for me to drink while I cook!

Batman said... do you finish this vertically?!?

Great run times too.

azfotog said...

um... dude. I know I'm new here and all, but am I pushing it to ask for an invite?


I promise I'll tell you everything you want to know about the PF Chang's course! Well, I'll do that anyway. Anything you need to know from AZ?

Trifuel Shane

Wil said...

Oh, how cool is that!!? Trifuel Shane is here!

And VM, did I ever tell you that I love that you can cook? Probably one of your greatest traits.

Shelley said...

Good gawd!! Can I come over too?

bunnygirl said...

Wow. I'm having Thanksgiving dinner at your house this year!

Iron Benny said...

Holy Crap, can I come? I think I will start my Thanksgiving with a turkey tri and then head to dinner with family. A nice dinner with teh old favorites. This years goal, no seconds. That's right, I'm gonna get a huge first plate!

tri-mama said...

If you post your wine list including vintage/label I won't ask to come to your house...though the Hungry Man's look a little bleak after that menu :) That's why I need good wine ;)

Comm's said...


No report on your feast yet? Get to VM, enquiring minds must know?