I’ve posted before about keeping notes for Christmas dinners. I do the same for Thanksgiving – what worked and what didn’t, with little reminders to help me make it better (and easier) next time around. The one thing I’ve settled on that has made the MOST difference is to have my brother and sister-in-law cook the turkey! 😉
I’ve never been great at cooking turkeys. And they do a fabulous job.
I also buy Williams Sonoma’s turkey gravy. It’s hard to make gravy when you aren’t making the turkey.
In 2011, for example, I noted that I did the appetizers, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, buns, dessert, coffee, and booze. That was a LOT!! I noted that the dessert I made, Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake, wasn’t that great and I, subsequently, threw out the recipe. I also noted that the cranberry chutney our lovely-sort-of-step-mother-in-law brought was terrible and to never let her bring it again! So, last year, I had her bring an appetizer instead. I, too, did an appetizer and green beans and mashed potatoes (and made a note to cook and mash two bags of potatoes) and, apparently, stuffing (which I have no recollection of eating and may not bother with this year). I bought a prepared cranberry salad/relish from King Soopers that was VERY good. And, because everyone is so full by dessert, I opted for non-homemade ones – Costco’s pumpkin pie (always delicious) and one of their chocolate desserts. I don’t know if they had the tiramisu dessert they sometimes carry. I don’t think so. I should check next time I’m there. They are the BEST and they freeze really well. I also did coffee and booze.
I bought a couple of tablecloths at Target last year that go well with the good, gold plastic plates I’ve settled on. I decided to pick a color “palate” and stick with it. That way I always know which napkins and accessories will look good, and I’m always well stocked with the basics.
Anyway, my dinner is a little different every year and hopefully approaching perfection. Or, at least, the level of perfection that is acceptable to me. I am no Martha Stewart and never will be. But everyone is happy and grateful to come over for Thanksgiving and we’re happy and grateful to have them over!