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classic thanksgiving dinner

October 12, 2009
turkey for us turkeys

turkey for us turkeys

Us Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving this weekend, and no, it isn’t too early at all, with snow on the ground and a nip in the air.

This year, instead of hosting dinner at our house, we did something different.  We drove three hours to rural Alberta to visit my Grandma, who is 88 years old, and recently moved into an assisted living facility.  And we pre-cooked Thanksgiving dinner and we brought it to her.  In the back of our Pathfinder.

This catering stuff is harder than it looks!  Hats off to the caterers I know. I prepped and cooked everything the day before, and then packaged up the various dishes and put rewarming instructions on a sticky affixed to the top.  Except for the turkey.  I got up in the wee hours to put that darn turkey in the oven so it was done cooking by 11 am, when we left.  I did not stuff the turkey because I am afraid of stuffing.  I made dressing separately instead.

So I’m all about cooking for my audience, instead of being all fancy-ass and showing off my cooking skills (which are minimal, anyways).  My grandmas has had 87 Thanksgiving dinners, and they have all revolved around turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, gravy and pumpkin pie.  So I did not want to disappoint by putting kale in my sweet potatoes or some crazy thing.

I did attempt one little twist per recipe, and so the menu looked like this:

  • Ina’s Perfect Roast Turkey, with lemon and lots of thyme
  • Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs by Giada Laurentis – that had mozza cheese snuggled in the potatoes
  • Sweet Potato Supreme, from the good ole Best of Bridge – sweet potatoes swimming in butter, brown sugar and pecans, yum
  • Sesame Broccoli, again from Best of Bridge, which my older kids love.  They actually fight over who gets more broccoli.  It is weird and also embarrassing when we are amongst company.
  • Of course, dressing from Chatelaine (the recipe I won’t link to because Chatelaine has sooooo many pop-ups on its site that it drives me MAD, so I won’t subject you to that), white bakery buns and butter, gravy made with chicken broth, chips and dip for appetizers, the coveted POP that is only purchased for holidays and/or parties, and the grand finale, Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake.
  • This cheesecake was found by Ella and came way of the Smitten Kitchen.  Only Ella wasn’t around to actually make this cheesecake, as she normally would.  So her mother had to do it, cursing the whole way.  The thing about cake is that you cannot actually taste it to see how it turned out until everybody is sitting around the table with forks in hand.  So this made me nervous.  Very nervous.  Although, with addition of bourbon, how could you go wrong?

My absolute favourite part of the meal was the plain ole dressing, even though I burned the bottom.  If you scraped off the stuff on the top, it was good, especially soaked in gravy.  I also loved that pumpkin cheesecake.  It was mostly cheesecake and flavoured with pumpkin, so the pumpkin taste nice and subtle.  And the addition of bourbon made it smoky, and the graham cracker, butter, pecan and sugar crust was delish.

dressing

dressing

pumpkin bourbon cheesecake

pumpkin bourbon cheesecake

Dressing swimming in gravy and pumpkin bourbon cheesecake.  That pretty much sums up my sophisticated culinary tastes.  Happy Thanksgiving folks.  I’m very thankful I have a grandma that we can spend Thanksgiving with…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2009 4:01 pm

    This sounds delish! Lucky Grandma. Hope you had some nice leftovers too. That’s one of the best parts about Thanksgiving!

  2. Mom &/or Dad permalink
    October 13, 2009 10:52 pm

    What a great daughter we have! What a great grand-daughter my Mum has! Thank-you for doing all that Sue. xx

  3. October 15, 2009 1:27 pm

    I was going to say…didn’t know Canadian celebrated Thanksgiving earlier than the Americans. You learn everyday. The menu looks great too. This Thanksgiving, I think I’m going to do as I did for Christmas and make a Turkey roulade rather than roast a whole turkey…see I’m Nigerian and I wasn’t raised on big ole birds in the oven that take half a day to cook 🙂 LOL

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