Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Thinking back on my childhood, I can’t recall a single Thanksgiving that we spent with just our small family of five. It seemed we always spent the day with someone, whether they were blood relatives, or friends. The company of others was always more important than the menu. The more, the merrier was the philosophy we lived.
We had our traditions, of course. Growing up, Thanksgiving morning began on the couch, in front of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade playing on the T.V. The rest of the day was spent nearly entirely in the kitchen, turning from one culinary masterpiece to another, and another, until the final moment when we’d sit down at last, to enjoy the fruit of our labors.
The menu in my family has always been pretty static–turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, my great grandmother’s stuffing recipe, rolls, gravy, pumpkin pie and the much beloved, and often fought over–chocolate cream pie.
But as an adult, even though I have carried on many of the same menu items that we have always loved, I often try to add to our usual favorites with something new. A little Thanksgiving experimentation, if you will. A few years ago, I served Kristin Schell’s Cranberry Jalepeno salsa, instead of the more traditional jellied cranberries, and plan to make it again this year. Last year, I made these Maple-Burbon Glazed Brussels Sprouts, which didn’t last more than 10 minutes. Another year, I made this simple Whole Orange Cake, which even though it sounds rich, sits delightfully easy on a full stomach.