Thanksgiving ideas and traditions


Thanksgiving is a holiday when we are getting together and enjoying the company of those we love, reflecting on the year in the rear view mirror. It should be about cozying up to the scent of Fall wafting through a warm house and gorging on the feast of the year. Unfortunately relaxation is the last item on the agenda. We suggest, instead of complicated Thanksgiving to complete with classic dishes made with seven ingredients of fewer. Here’s what’s not on this menu – stress, fussy techniques and complicated directions. Open a bottle of wine and enjoy this day of many thanks.

1. Menu Cards

The menu is all laid out for you. We’ve printed our menu cards on thick stock paper (and cut them out to four-by-eight cards) then propped one up against potted plants and a votive candle. Print out the Thanksgiving menu, we are suggesting so you can do the same!

2. Serve the Feast Buffet Style

Passing dishes is a lovely tradition if there is room at the table. But if there’s not, find a long countertop to act as a buffet table and let guests serve themselves.

3. Herb-Butter Roasted Turkey

This turkey receives its flavor from an herb butter compound (chopped-up herbs whipped into butter). Plus the cavity is stuffed with more herbs and lemon wedges to amp up the aromatics in your kitchen.

The recipe: Herb-butter roasted turkey

4.Turkey Accoutrements

Don’t skip the gravy.. This easier-than-instant version is made in the roasting pan itself with the turkey drippings, flour, and some stock.

The recipe: Pan Turkey Sauce

5. Warm Dinner Rolls With Compound Butter

The same recipe for the compound butter (that is used for the turkey) can be cut into rounds and served at the table on little pieces of parchment paper. Sprinkle some flaky salt over the top and garnish with a thyme leaf. It’s Michelin-star quality! Serve warm dinner rolls, or use a pan d’epi (pull-apart baguette) as a table centerpiece. Each of the “petals” can be tugged apart to form individual rolls.

The recipe: Herb Butter

6. Garlicky Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple. This classic, creamy recipe receives a flavor update with the addition of a full head of roasted garlic cloves. But if that seems too much to handle, mash in a teaspoon of minced garlic to the hot potatoes.

The recipes: Roasted garlic and creamy mashed potatoes

7. Green Beans With Caramelized Onions

Green beans and onions go together like . . . Need we finish that saying? But rather than make a creamy casserole, simply steam up the veggies, toss them in olive oil, and top them with sweet caramelized onions.

The recipe: Green beans with caramelized onions

8.Cornbread and Bacon Dressing

Bacon truly does make everything taste better. It’s the key ingredient in this cornbread-based dressing. Yep, even this recipe has seven ingredients.

The recipe: Cornbread and bacon dressing

9. Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Parmesan

It’s time to put the marshmallows away. These sweet potatoes are roasted in butter and then sent to golden perfection with melted Parmesan cheese. It’s Thanksgiving, impress your guests.

The recipe: Sweet Potatoes with Parmesan

10. The Plate

Now is the moment where you must agonizingly wait for everyone else to serve themselves and sit down. Fill your glass with some wine and try to take some deep, relaxing breaths.

11. Pumpkin Pie With Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving is not complete without pie! After you’ve taken a turkey nap, brew some coffee and serve up slices of whipped-cream-topped pumpkin pie (made with graham cracker crust instead of pie crust).

The recipes: Pumpkin pie with cream

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