I’m super excited to host a huge meal for the Thanksgiving holiday at our apartment home this year. We will be hosting our young adults (Mister and I have three young adult children between the two of us; 22yo, 20yo + 19yo) and possibly some of their friends five days early in an attempt to get them all here and stuff their bellies with food made from love.
At this time, we’ve got confirmation from two out of three of our children and are wrestling to make the best of it.
Being an empty-nester is so wonderful in so many ways, but it’s also emotionally draining at times because well, you miss them but you don’t miss them. They are out stretching their wings and you may not miss their elephant-in-the-room sized selfishness but you miss laying eyes on them while listening to them share their best parts of themselves with you.
USING THE MENU TO ATTRACT OUR CHILDREN
In an effort to lure them into time with us at the holidays, we’ve whipped up quite the menu. Not even gonna ask, because I just know you’re not judging me.
This year’s “Gather with the Sathers” Thanksgiving Dinner Menu includes: Turkey, Macaroni & Cheese, Cranberry Chutney, Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, Potatoes & Gravy, Salad*, Stuffing, Rolls and Lefse (made by Mister + his daughter). And for Dessert? Egg Nog Cake + Pomegranate + Apple Cobbler with Ice Cream & Pomegranate Seeds (photos below).
New to me this year will be roasting the turkey (never too late to learn, right?), making my own mashed potatoes + gravy, stuffing, rolls and the egg nog cake. So yep, basically half the menu will be remnant of The Great British Baking Show’s technical challenge to me but hopefully great for everyone who eats.
Today is about shopping together – have I mentioned how much I dislike grocery shopping – and organizing the kitchen for almost 24 hours of cooking, baking, dancing in the kitchen and of course eating.
We’re making a big fuss about Thanksgiving this year because last year at this time, I was only a couple of days out of major surgery (still at the hospital, mind you) and I was at the mercy of others to provide something of the holiday fare. And while we had all of the support one could hope for, it’s not the same as making and enjoying your own.
The mess, the food, putting the smiles on the faces of those with the bellies you’ve stuffed; the holidays are the time I most enjoy being in the kitchen and cooking.
But, it’s a bit of a risk.
A lot of the dishes I’m making are not what they may be used to.
I was like this about my grandma’s pound cake. It was so wonderfully simple, perfectly sweet and beautiful to look at. I would eat and graze on that thing from morning ’til night because well, can you say spoiled. I was in such adoration of this pound cake that my grandma would make two – one for everyone to share and one for me.
It’s a regret of mine that I never got the recipe. I’ve tried to make others but to no avail. And in the last few years, I’ve let go of ever tasting it the way she made pound cake ever again.
PINTEREST – INSTRUMENTAL IN OUR THANKSGIVING FEAST
Which I guess is good for trying new things, adding one’s own twist, or better yet – for writing things down and sharing it with others. That’s what I so enjoy about Pinterest!
Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as ‘pinning’ on Pinterest) images or videos to their own or others’ boards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned. | Andy Meng
People use Pinterest to collect information, DIY insights or to drive their own business. I’m still learning how to use it myself (for all of the reasons above) but it has been most helpful in my baking and cooking support.
Much of my pinning time is spent on my baking board but when a home project (like our commissioned table) or a travel adventure comes up, I will start a board and pin away.
If you don’t have a Pinterest account yet, try it – it’s free – but I’ll warn you, it can be a little time consuming. You may find yourself needing to limit your time looking at what other people have done and put more time doing/trying the things you’ve pinned. (Four fingers pointing back at me.) Already a Pinterest expert, but don’t follow my account yet? You can do that too!
All of the recipes I’ll be using to make our version of a Thanksgiving Feast are included on my Pinterest Board: Thanksgiving. Two that aren’t (turkey + egg nog cake) are from the most recent edition of The Magnolia Journal: inspiration for life and home | winter 2018. I’ve baked a few goodies by Joanna Gaines before and they’ve never disappointed our taste buds, so I’m going there with her this holiday season. Plus, I have a great friend who accidentally ended up with two copies and graciously handed one over to me. The only item that isn’t on my Pinterest board (*) is a recipe I’ve made so often that I have it memorized; it’s tried and true and perfect to go alongside all of the yummy foods I’ll be making for this year’s feast.
If you have tried and true recipes or even new ones you think we might like to add to our own Thanksgiving experience next year, please leave them in the comments below. And be on the lookout for pretty portrait photos all over my Instagram stories as I play and prepare in the kitchen.