Last year this time I was thick in the planning of a Thanksgiving feast. We hosted it for Rich's entire family. This is no small feat since he's one of eleven children and almost all of his brothers and sisters have little families of their own. I think there were 25 people...maybe more.
The very best thing I did was to brine the turkey. It was a lot of work, especially since the bird was so huge (27 lbs). I awoke at 4 am because I was so afraid I wouldn't get everything done. I'm very good at cooking for the two of us but, when you're cooking for a crowd, everything changes. Rich's mother still cooks almost every meal as if it were feeding a crowd. She makes so much mashed potatoes that it looks like a joke. In fact, she was worried last year at Thanksgiving that I would have trouble peeling all the potatoes so she stayed over the night before.
This year we're having Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house. Both my mother and my father cook equal amounts for Thanksgiving and every meal. My mother follows recipes to a t while my father tends to improvise. I'm definitely more in the camp with my father. When I was little I thought all parents cooked together. There's a nice yin-yang about it. And every meal is cooked with love. After we ate, we always said "I enjoyed my dinner. May I please be excused?"
And doesn't every cook want to know that you enjoyed your dinner? In detail? I know I do.
My family's Thanksgiving standards are:
Turkey with gravy and dressing made into patties
Potatoes Au Gratin
Sweet Potato Pudding
Maybe I'm forgetting something. Boy, I'm getting hungry just thinking of it. Just a couple of days away...