Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It's the 4th annual Davey Thanksgiving Extravaganza....

A little history:
Year 1: cooking for 7 in a tiny Austin apartment. Generally a success, despite such tight quarters. We used all new recipes, an adventure for us since we never hosted Thanksgiving before.
Highlights included Cornbread Dressing with Roasted Fall Vegetables, Cranberry Cornmeal Quick Bread, my mom's corn casserole (recipe later), and a roasted garlic-cauliflower soup.
Year 2: cooking for 12 in our new house. Such a difference in space. Equally a success. We used a lot of the same recipes from the year before, and added a few new ones, like poached pears and pumpkin creme brulee, and, in a nod to the Husband's Canadian roots, Smashed Rutabagas with Ginger Pears.
Year 3: cooking for 12 (not quite the same 12 as the year before). It was still generally a success, despite too-salty gravy because we salted the turkey. We added a cranberry sorbet and an amuse bouche of butternut squash ravioli (all handmade) with sage butter sauce. The Herb and Cheese Poppers as a mid-day snack were a huge hit.

And this year.
Year 4: Still discovering lists and menus from the previous years in the November issues of cooking magazines. I am much more relaxed than previous years, in part because the number of eaters at my table has dropped to 5. The menu this year features a lovely heritage turkey, the Husband's mom's stuffing, my mom's corn casserole, gold and sweet potato gratin, braised spinach, butternut squash ravioli with walnut-cream sauce, roasted root vegetables, carrot cake, my mom's pecan and fudge pie, Goode Co pecan pie, and an apple/pear salad. Oh, and multi-grain rolls and mini corn muffins. Not in that order, of course.

Unlike previous years, I have not written out a detailed timeline for Thursday yet. And it's Tuesday afternoon. I do know that tonight I will be baking. Carrot Cake, cranberry walnut scones, and corn casserole (for a pot-luck at work tomorrow) are on the list for tonight. I also know that tomorrow the Husband will make the pasta for the ravioli and go to the store for any last minute ingredients, including lettuce and other such delicate perishables, while our mothers enjoy a day of shopping at the San Marcos outlet malls and I try to make the time pass quickly at work. I know when I come home I'll prepare the dough for the rolls, and set it to rise.
I am not concerned about the schedule for the big day, and I'm trying to figure out why. I know the day will progress smoothly with a schedule, but I still haven't put one together. Am I that confident in our cooking abilities this year? Am I more relaxed because there are fewer guests? Have we done this Thanksgiving thing enough to have it down? Will I have a minor spaz tomorrow afternoon and quickly write up a timetable, only to discover I'm still missing some key ingredients (impossible, because the grocery list making process was ridiculous, but still)?

I guess I'll have my answer in two days. You'll get the full report, don't worry. You'll also get (hopefully) lovely photographs of our meal, with brilliant (ha) descriptions and reviews of each dish.

In the meantime, what are your plans? Are you hosting? Are you bringing your favorite dish to someone else's? More importantly, what are you cooking, or, if you're not cooking, what are you eating?

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