Thanksgiving weekend just passed in Canada, and it was one of the most relaxed Thanksgivings I’ve had. No rushing around while my immediate family arrived after all the other families and my grandma’s glorious stuffed bird got cold. No stress when I started hosting Thanksgiving for friends many years later, stressing out about the timing of the turkey and the gravy and then realizing I forgot the cranberry sauce completely. And no innumerable friends-of-friends showing up, with someone crying in my kitchen and me actually leaving the house to get a drink (true story).
No, I’m glad those Thanksgivings have passed and that this week I got to go camping with some wonderful people, hike in forests so colourful that they looked like paintings, and breathe in the smokey air.
For our Thanksgiving dinner, M and I decided to do something just for us. Age and (so much bad) experience have taught me to plan ahead, so on Monday morning, I did the totally normal thing to do: I set up a spreadsheet and entered in all the recipes, staggering the time it would take for each step. Depending how you’re like, this may sound kind of insane or kind of wonderful. Anyway it worked and by 6:30 P.M. we were sitting down to dinner. Actually to be more honest, at 6:30 P.M. I was asking Max to hold two spotlights in an awkward position while I tried to get a shot of our Thanksgiving table.
I know, that is a crazy amount of food to prepare for two people, but there is something so satisfying to cook for yourself and your special person/people. I used recipes I’ve gathered from the past few years of hosting Thanksgiving, and since all of these recipes also transfer over to the rest of the season, I thought I’d share them with you here:
– Thomas Keller’s Favourite Simple Roast Chicken. Because it’s hard to justify a whole turkey for two. This is our absolute favourite – so easy and still impressive
– Heidi Swanson’s Spice-kissed Pumpkin Pie. I would actually amp up the sugar by adding another 1/3 c. to the ground hazelnut mixture. Also, I liked substituting roughly ground walnuts and pecans for the hazelnuts.
– Carrots simmered in a shallow pan of broth and maple syrup, leaving them sticky and sweet. Epicurious has some tips on glazing vegetables here.
– Ginger cranberry sauce, also from Epicurious.
– A good base for stuffing, upon which you can add all the odds and ends from your fridge. Here’s a last recipe from Epicurious.
I hope you’ve had just as lovely of a weekend with your loved ones. Happy cooking!