Some of our best friends host a friend’s Thanksgiving every year. Sunday night was the 12th annual – I joined two years into the tradition, but Isaac has been around since the start. Our crew has changed over the years – we have added about 1001 kids to the mix and this year was the first “adults only” celebration. Raise the roof! Because, as awesome as all those kiddos are, they are kids. They are wild. So, we were thankful for an afternoon where they were neither seen nor heard.
Each year we compete for the best dish, which is based on a vote. This year the title went to my friend Fey who brought the roof down with Pumpkin Stuffed Shrimp. Don’t you even doubt the goodness for a second – it was absolutely amazing.
Other favorites included: smoked turkey, sautéed brussels sprouts with pancetta and caramel pumpkin cake a la Sweet & Saucy Shop. My contribution was none other than Isaac’s Famous Green Bean Casserole, which is a total misnomer. We bring this dish every single year. And every single year, since year three at least, I have made Isaac’s Famous Green Bean Casserole. It wasn’t until year five or so that I set the record straight. There is nothing famous about the casserole, except maybe in middle America – it’s the traditional, unhealthy, not very tasty (in my opinion) green bean casserole. And Isaac never makes it – I do. Once I took responsibility, I figured I had full license to switch things up and improve the quality and taste of the recipe. So I did. And I really like the direction it’s gone – very mushroomy, garlicy and pretty cheesy. But, we still call it Isaac’s Famous… mainly because I think it’s hilarious.
Anyhow, we had a great time Sunday and it kicked the Thanksgiving week off perfectly.
This year, we will celebrate Thanksgiving two times over the weekend. Thursday we will be with at my Grandma’s house with my dad’s side of the family and then Friday and Saturday we will be up at Isaac’s parents house with his side of the family. (My mom and brother are out of town, so we won’t be seeing them.) At both dinners, we are doing a potluck sort of thing with pretty traditional Thanksgiving fare. I don’t have much of a heavy load to bear this year. Mainly, I will be bringing veggies and salads – two things I love and am pretty good at.
While I’m all about healthy eating, I’m also a firm believer of moderation and delicious food. So, I’ll be making my dishes with high quality, excellent ingredients and maybe a bit more butter than usual. Because, it’s Thanksgiving and why the hell not?!
On Thursday, I am doing maple roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta and an arugula and maple vinaigrette and goat cheese salad. For Friday’s feast, I am trying these garlic and lemon green beans (and may dub them Natalie’s Famous Green Beans, wink wink), roasted acorn squash and coconut creamed corn. We are planning on going on a family hike earlier in the day, so instead of roasting a turkey we are going to do Cornish Game Hens. They’re perfect because they don’t require us to be at home for hours on end like a turkey would.
I am so excited for the week of festivities and gratitude ahead! Cheers to fun times, delicious food and wonderful people.
What are you making?