The menu was fairly basic, but delicious. I started with a cheeseboard appetizer made of local cheeses along with some persimmons, local honey, olives, and crackers. The main course was, of course, turkey, which I brined. This was my first brining experience, and both my brother and I agreed that it may have been the best turkey I've ever cooked. I also invested (a whooping $12) in an instant read thermometer, which may have been the best thing I purchased in months. I was able to set an alarm so that as soon as the turkey reached the right temp, I could pull it out of the oven, virtually eliminating the chance of over cooking. Sides included gravy, mashed potatoes, dressing, two kinds of cranberry sauce, classic green bean casserole, glazed carrots, rolls, herbed butter, and sweet potatoes -- all the basics, really. I asked guests to bring dessert, which was great because then I didn't have to cook it! We ended up with pumpkin pie, chocolate cheesecake, and a classic Indian dessert that unfortunately I forget the name of (oops). What made menu planning especially interesting is that one of my guests is a vegetarian. I thought it would be more of a challenge then it ended up being, actually. I made everything with vegetable stock instead of chicken stock (except for the turkey and gravy, which I made with homemade turkey stock) and it turned out perfectly!
|A vat of dressing!|
|A locally-sourced cheeseboard.|
I spent quite a lot of time on the tablescape this year. I wanted to use my Pfaltzgraff Winterberry dishes, even though they're pretty Chirstmas-y. I added some pumpkins with holly to tie it together, and I think it came out really well! I ended up renting a table and chairs, which was an excellent idea and I would totally do again -- the company delivered them on Tuesday and picked them up on Friday, and it was less than $200.
|I've very proud of the tablescape!|