This is a very exciting time. We are vaxxed; kids are vaxxing; we are ready to be socially awkward in public with people again. And all of this just in time for Thanksgiving. Love them or hate them, we’re all about to be thrown right into the deep end of family engagements on the holiest of holy food days in North America.
And we need to have a plan. We all want to make and eat a delicious meal, drink one (or four) more drinks than is advisable, and survive the day without bursting into tears. Never fear. Let me be your buddy in the buddy-system of Thanksgiving survival. I happily bring you my fool-proof Thanksgiving menu of very simple, classic recipes, complete ingredient shopping list and my 3-day timeline so that you will make it through this feast with your sanity and your dignity in-tact.
Let’s be clear. If you are bringing one side dish to the proceedings at someone else’s house, then by all means, go to the culinary mountaintops to source ingredients and wow your fellow diners with your prowess in the kitchen. If, however, you are the primary feast provider for your family and friends, you should feel no such obligation.
Sure the food is front and center and you want it to be good, but really… really this day is about being together. This year more than ever. We just want to be together with the people we tolerate. We want to snuggle our nieces and nephews and awkwardly laugh at our dad’s weird jokes. We need the classics, we need the comfort, but we need them to be as low-stress as cooking a 20 pound fowl can be. We don’t owe anyone pizzazz; we merely owe them the pleasure of our company. Company which is sure to be improved by unfussy food that we can make and serve without losing our collective marbles. I promise you, this line up will get you there.
These are some of my family favorites that my mom and I have been making together for years, passed around from friends and family. AND as an extra special treat, my delightful mother-in-law shared two of her truly spectacular pie recipes.
Now go forth to find your nicest pair of elastic waistband pants and get cooking!