Late last week, when I was writing my tips for a budget-friendly Thanksgiving for Domaine Home, I realized that this year is my 10th anniversary of hosting Thanksgiving dinner! I’ve never followed that rule that many entertaining experts always quote – the one where you should not make something new at a dinner party – because one of the first major dinners I did all by myself was Thanksgiving in 2004. In Spain. I was 23 and had never made turkey or gravy or pumpkin pie, but I was determined to introduce my Spanish friends to my favorite American holiday. I also had to source a turkey in a country that doesn’t traditionally consume them – luckily, I had already developed a great relationship with Diego, the local butcher who thought my request for a turkey was hysterical. My apartment’s oven only heated on the bottom or on the top broiler, so I had to cook the bird in a friend’s oven. All of these things and more made this Thanksgiving, my first, one of the most memorable meals of my life. I can still remember what I wore!
I’ve gone on to host many more successful Thanksgivings and dealt with plenty of bumps (burnt cranberry, gravy that doesn’t thicken, just made homemade stock strained into the sink, to name a few) along the way. One thing that remains consistent is the inconsistency of my menu: I change it up every year! Before I start to plan the current year’s menu, I look back over what I have served in years past. Since I’m figuring out this year’s menu this week, I’m sharing my last six years of menus and the recipes I used with you. All of these are the actual dishes I made and served, so they are completely doable menus. Happy Thanksgiving planning!
Thanksgiving Menu 2013
Fall Classic Cocktail
Smoked trout spread, warm brie, and artisinal crackers
Pomegranate gremolata, spicy greens, and pear salad
Perfect roast turkey
Thanksgiving Menu 2011
Foie gras on toast points
Spicy and smoky almonds
Thanksgiving Menu 2010
Appetizers by Inger*
Deep fried turkey and bacon dijon crusted turkey
Pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust and marshmallow topping
Sherry-cask Canadian whiskey
Dessert by Inger*
*Inger is my grandfather’s girlfriend, an integral member of my family’s annual Thanksgiving feast.
**I just realized my classic cranberry sauce recipe is not online anywhere. Looks like I will have to make it and share it here!