Show me someone who loves to cook and I’ll show you someone who loves Thanksgiving. (Right? Tell me if you are an exception.) For people who feel happily at home in the kitchen, there is nothing like having a whole day dedicated to food. The once-a-year opportunity to plan, execute, and, of course, eat this amazing meal is reason enough to celebrate.
And I haven’t made Thanksgiving dinner in three years! Last year Dave and I were in Paris.
The year before we were in Montreal with Dave’s family.
So this year I should have been raring to go. But strangely, I was feeling uninspired. I knew it was just going to be the three of us, so that was probably part of the Thanksgiving blah feeling. It’s not nearly as much fun to cook a feast for three people as it is for 6, or 8, or 10. (Beyond a dozen, it’s not as much fun either!) I toyed with the idea of suggesting we go away for the long weekend, or, gasp!, even eat Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant.
Then I hit upon a solution, a plan to put the culinary fun back in my Thanksgiving. The mission: to make all new dishes for Thanksgiving this year. No family favorites, no classics that I have been making for years and my mom making for decades before that. Each year I page through my favorite food magazines looking at all their mouth-watering Thanksgiving recipes knowing that I won’t ever cook any of them because I’ll be making (delicious) sausage-cornbread stuffing, maple-roasted sweet potatoes, and the rest of the reliable repertoire.
Since we’re not having guests this is the perfect year to experiment. No one beside my family will witness a flub, and neither Dave nor Rosa has a blog yet ;).
So I’m scouting around, trying to decide what to make. I’ve settled on the Roasted Turkey Roulade from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics.
It’s a whole turkey breast, boned, butterflied, and stuffed with sausage, cranberries, and figs among other tasty things. I think I will make one of Dorie Greenspan’s pumpkin pies, and I have my eye on a Brussels sprouts recipe from Martha Stewart’s test kitchen blog.
I’ll make the rest of my recipe decisions this week, probably. And I’m excited! Maybe one of the new dishes will supplant one of my classics. We’ll see…