Thanksgiving Planning


When I was growing up, Thanksgiving at my Grandmother's was always a huge deal.  The entire family got together - my mother has seven siblings, and all of my aunts, uncles and cousins were always there for Thanksgiving.  My Grandmother woke up before dawn to start cooking the turkeys, and all of the pies and sides were from scratch.  Two rooms full of food and desserts on a table near the porch - it was definitely a sight I'll cherish in my memory forever.

In the past, if David and I weren't able to make it home for Thanksgiving, we were fine with having our turkey at a restaurant.  But now that we have a little one, we really want to start a tradition of a home-cooked turkey dinner with all of the fixings.  Even though Georgia is too little to remember her first Thanksgiving, I'm not.  And I want to make it special.  I want to know that while she was growing up, I worked hard to kick off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving my Grandmother would be proud of.

David and I chatted about our favorite dishes and came up with the menu below.  It is a bit ambitious for just the three of us, especially when only two of us will be eating, but we couldn't fathom the thought of Thanksgiving without any of these.
  •  Roasted turkey with gravy - which I just bought at the grocery about an hour ago. I'm super paranoid of going to the store next week and seeing a big sign that they are sold out of turkey!  I may try a sweet & spicy rub that I found in Southern Living.
  • Gruyere scalloped potatoes - I started making these for Thanksgiving before we were married and they're now a favorite.  A little time consuming, but worth it.  I'm going to buy a mandoline to cut back on some of the potato-slicing time.
  • Sweet potato casserole - David is requesting it to be made with no marshmallows (what?) but I think I will sneak them in by layering them in the middle of the casserole.  He will never know if he doesn't see them on top of it.
  • Green bean casserole - this is the one item that we could probably nix from the menu, but it's so easy.  And doesn't practically everyone have this on their holiday table?
  • Creamed corn - David said he hates creamed corn so could I please just buy a can of regular corn or cook corn on the cob?  I'm going to buy cobs of corn then cream it myself with a little garlic.  So decadent!
  • Dressing - this is where I'm not sure what route I'll go.  One with sausage and/or rice?  Chestnuts?  What are your favorite recipes?
  • Pecan pie - David's favorite.
  • Pumpkin pie - my favorite, but I may make a pumpkin mousse or other dessert since we're already having one pie.
  • Pomegranate cranberry sauce - the leftovers will be divine on toast!
  • Broccoli rice casserole - a childhood favorite of mine, even though I don't care for it anymore.  I'll be using my mom's recipe.
  • Yeast rolls - for these, I'll probably use the frozen variety rather than make my own.
Am I leaving anything out? What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes and memories? 

And what are your favorite recipes for all of that leftover turkey?  I used to love smearing mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, and cranberry on a roll, and stuffing it with cold turkey for a very tall sandwich.