Giving thanks for food and family

My family is pretty laid back when it comes to holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas usually consist of us in our nuclear, four-person unit. Although my sister and I pitch in one way or another, this year we decided to take on the entire menu.

Since I only rolled into town at 2:30 on Thanksgiving morning, I was thankful for the non-necessity of spending all day in the kitchen and opted to sleep until 10.

After taking note of the smaller turkey breast my mom had in the freezer and calculating the best order to prepare dishes in order to most efficiently use our one oven (and four dishes that needed its warm confines), we took ourselves and our Pandora playlist to the kitchen around 12:30 with an estimated dinner time of 4 o’clock.

Tuscan Roast Turkey Breast
Beer Bread
Roasted Red Onions
Roasted Asparagus with Toasted Breadcrumbs
Garlic Mashed Potatoes (boiled, mashed, and seasoned to taste)

(This being a slight deviation from the traditional, turkey, green bean casserole, candied yams, stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce (canned, of course), and mashed potatoes)

Some improvisation was necessary, as Martha’s turkey recipe called for a 7 pound un-frozen turkey breast while ours clocked in at 2.5 pounds and required cooking straight from the freezer. So we stuck our turkey in the oven enough to defrost it a bit and then smeared the rub on.

There was some uncertainty from the parents upon hearing that onions were on the menu. And indeed, the pile of tear-inducing root vegetables is not a frequent occurrence in this house.

But into the oven they went, and we progressed to preparing the beer bread.

Since the asparagus only required a brief broiling, we saved them for last and were getting them ready in preparation for the last push of activity. However, we quickly realized that our asparagus was not suited for consumption and a last-minute substitution was necessary. Bring in a search on and some easy Garlic Green Beans (with the toasted breadcrumbs from the asparagus recipe).

The last half-hour consisted of a frenzied pulling of dishes, seasoning potatoes, deciding that we love stuffing too much to skip it (two boxes of Stove Top, please!), setting the table, and arranging the plates.

(Roasted red onions – absolutely delicious and sure to make a reappearance!)

Sometime between 3:30 and 4, we were ready.

(Clockwise from left edge: beer bread, potatoes, turkey & stuffing, onions, and green beans)

Not a terribly grandiose meal, but a success nonetheless. Happy Thanksgiving? Check.


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