@CaptAmehrican So if I’m hearing you correctly, your Thanksgiving table is in fact composed of two tables, and the thing that’s on it - the item that answers the primary query of this thread - is a tablecloth.
I’m sticking faithfully to my low carb diet, so I’m going with friends to the nearby mountaintop ski village of Cloudcroft to enjoy an upscale buffet dinner at a lodge. One off-plan meal, no spending all day cooking food I’m not supposed to eat, no leftovers. I do confess that no matter how good the food is, I love my own cooking best. I’m going to miss my biscuits and cream gravy, and my sweet potatoes cooked with tart apples and pecans.
This was my first non-traditional Thanksgiving. My Dad passed early last year, my Mom’s health is declining (she’s 90) and niece/nephew families all visiting in-laws up north. So this year it was just my Mom, brother and SIL. Mommy loves the slots so they came to Tampa, we had Thanksgiving dinner at the casino (Yep, turkey and dressing) .
For the first time in my life I didn’t have to hit the highway!!!
Oh, and I tasted my first 23 year-old Pappy Van Winkle. A very Happy Thanksgiving indeed!!! Yummmmm
It’s just the two of us. Neither of us like turkey and a ham is too much food. We’re having fondue and dipping veg. We’ll watch a movie and have a meal that lasts more than 15 minutes with minimal prep time. Relaxing and tasty.
I’m allergic to birds (fowl is foul to me) and no one else coming to Thanksgiving has a childhood tradition of American Thanksgiving food (my parents came here as adults, then worked in hospitals most Thanksgivings, so neither my sister or I have any Thanksgiving memories worth relishing.) Last year, my sister hosted a Very Untraditional Thanksgiving for the four of us, and now it’s my turn now that I live on my own.
My friends in high school called me Gluttony (we all chose deadly sins for ourselves), and I intend to live up to that name.
There’s a cheese plate for me to snack on while things cook and/or in case someone shows up early - Murray’s brie, plus aged Manchego and honey goat cheese from Cheese of the World, some crackers, some pears, some green grapes.
I (re)stocked on a whole lot of booze and not-booze drinks - Reed’s Extra, lemonade, rum, rye whiskey (Bulleit), honey whiskey (a local brand that was gifted to me for my birthday that I love), multiple amari (Aperol and Averna), cheap Prosecco for drinking with or without the Aperol, port, some red wine I got from a Casemates split a long time ago and never opened
I don’t know what my sister will bring, but she’s a food nerd like me, so I’m excited to find out.
All the food is going to be on my coffee table and radiator, because my dining table is small. On my door and on the coffee table are cheap cutout paper leaves. I bought some flowers from the grocery store for the centerpiece at the dining table, which I stuck into a tin that originally had stroopwafel in it. I also put out the one tablecloth I own, and draped placemats the coffee table.
Can you tell I took a few days off work to make all this happen? Can you tell I’m nervous? Ahahahahaha.
@Kawa Sounds wonderful - I love it. I remember when living back east that the radiator was the handiest thing to keep food warm while the rest was still under way - we had pans of various things scattered throughout the flat.
Traditional. Roasted turkey with stuffing and dressing (Alton Brown preheated stuffing method so its safe). Mashed potatoes (with added sour cream and tons o butter). Fresh corn. Home made cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Deviled eggs and chips with home-made clam dip as appetizers.
The decor are some of my Mom’s blown glass and other ornamental pumpkins and harvest/autumn leaf garlands . The table is an inherited buffet to hold all the food and a shared oversize TV tray we eat at.
Savory nut loaf
roasted brussel sprouts with red grapes
fingerling potatoes (yukons and reds)
cauliflower in garlic cream sauce
root vegetable gravy with fresh Chanterelle from the yard
maybe artichoke if we’re feeling hungry
jellied cranberry sauce (the only way - fresh from the can!)
a couple of few nice white wines
homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream and a couple chunks of dark chocolate.
What’s on the table is a lot of gratitude for the moment to appreciate what we have before the crazy world comes crashing back in tomorrow.
Afterwards, a hike through the woods and field to see the wild turkeys.
/image wild turkey
@stolicat lol. Thought the same after he posted (below) but the whole thing sounds way to vegetarian for me. Not sure what “savory nut loaf” is. Sounds suspicious. Like something you’d try as a side and have to finish if it was meh.
@unksol It’s a nut loaf that’s, um, savory! Hazelnuts and pistachios, savory herbs, butter, cream, maybe some pumpkin puree, baked into funny shapes depending on how much the cook has been sipping while working. Get that covered with the mushroom gravy and the garlic cauliflower all over a slab of cranberry sauce - ooooh. We’re veg, but not dull. No Tofurkey here. Wow - it’s almost 10 - I need to get cooking! Happy grat day!
My wife’s family had a tradition of going out to an upscale restaurant for Thanksgiving, which I always thought kind of sucked because I adore turkey leftovers. However this year we gathered the available relatives at Pop’s retirement community for the Thanksgiving buffet and it was pretty sweet: choice of turkey, salmon, or short ribs, four different salads and a wide choice of desserts - and no cleanup! It was kind of chintzy on the sides, but I’ll never miss creamed onions or a certain cousin’s Indian pudding. The gravy was… just okay.
@aetris my gravy was just ok as well. I don’t know what I did wrong. I always cook the giblets and neck and use the liquid to flavor the gravy. Ended up adding chicken stock and a bouillon cube to get some flavor in there. Still not quite right. Bland.
@aetris@RiotDemon The gravy at the buffet that I went to yesterday was just pathetic so I skipped it. Personally I’m a fan of cream gravy. I always made turkey gravy for everyone else and cream gravy for myself
@aetris@RiotDemon maybe some kosher salt? a tiny splash of some kind of vinegar, lemon juice, dijon or whole grain mustard? sometimes some acidity can wake things up. i know what you mean tho, once in awhile something just turns out “eh!” and who knows why.
@moondrake@RiotDemon - Not to pat myself on the back TOO hard, but I am a big fan of gravy the way I make it, which is the way my mother taught me the way my grandmother made it. It’s not difficult, but it’s all based on pan drippings for flavor - so you have to baste that turkey and get it out of the pan before you can make the gravy. I too boil the giblets for stock, but it’s not enough flavor - but the important thing is you do that ahead of time (with celery, carrots, and a little parsley), then let that liquid cool and later add flour to the cold stock. Then when the bird is done, pour as much of the fat out of the pan as possible, put the pan on the stovetop, and heat it as you pour in the stock. There’s plenty of fat still in the drippings to thicken it - makes a terrific gravy!
@aetris@jerk_nugget@RiotDemon I’m a fan of herbs, especially for gravy. I’d have gone with sage, some Penzey’s Fox Point, and if it still needed oomph, the old standbys rosemary, oregano, thyme. This stuff is also a great addition to sauces, gravies and pasta dishes. Rich with flavor, not very salty. Sold at Target.
@jerk_nugget@moondrake@RiotDemon - I love to play around with spices when it’s me and the missus, but for Thanksgiving there’s my brother who doesn’t like onions (!), my father who doesn’t like mushrooms, cousin D who can’t have too much salt &c &c…
@aetris@moondrake@RiotDemon i usually just go classic - pour the drippings into a measuring cup to see how much you got, then put it in a pan with an equal amount of flour. cook for a couple minutes then add homemade stock, s&p. whisk to avoid lumps and cook to desired consistency.
@aetris@moondrake@RiotDemon sounds like my mom’s side - last time she had her family for dinner she asked me to bring a vegetable dish. i emailed her half a dozen options that would please a variety of people but because of everyone’s various likes and dislikes and medical this and that, she ended up asking me to just bring plain trimmed green beans
PB&J sandwich. I had been invited to thanksgiving dinner at the place I volunteer, but the director got fired earlier this week and I wasn’t sure if I was then still invited and had no idea whom to ask. So as not to step on toes or make it awkward for the organization I didn’t go.
@llangley I wasn’t sure with someone else in charge they’d be upset or not because the old director invited me to the employee event. (The past director had invited me because she knew I wasn’t cooking a turkey and had no place special I was going.) The board of directors are doing petty, childish, stupid things like taking any photo off of facebook that has her in it, including the photos (well the entire post actually) of donations people have made when the old director is in the photo. That has upset some of the people who made donations (including a different group I belong to that had gathered up several hundred dollars worth of pet food, blankets, etc. It is from them I first learned the photo, which had been put up several days before this took place, had been taken down). So I decided better not risk making it unpleasant for the employees who would then be collateral damage on a day that was supposed to be nice for them. It wasn’t worth a turkey dinner (and leftovers to take home) over it.