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Thanksgiving Menu and Beverage Planning

This year Jim and I are hosting Thanksgiving. Menu planning is contentious as Jim and his children are uber-traditionalists and persnickety eaters. When I suggested au gratin potatoes instead of mashed, I was met with the horror reserved for news that I had run over the family cat (if we had one that is) – “You have to have mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving! Pause. Pause. Pause. Sigh. We could have 2 kinds of potatoes I guess.”

Yeah, no. I played that game last Christmas and ended up in the kitchen for 7 hours to be met with a number of dishes that persons who shall not be named didn’t even try. Although I tried to rise above it as any good hostess would, I’m seriously contemplating getting those in question Emily Post’s Etiquette for Christmas this year.

My brother-in-law Dave will be co-cooking with me, Jim will be making the sacred mashed potatoes and the remaining side dishes are all secret so Thanksgiving Day cooking won’t be the drudgery that is cooking dishes you don’t want to make. Here’s how things are shaping up:

Cheese plate of Cougar Gold cheddar, blue cheese, triple cream brie and herbed goat cheese served with pita crackers and baguette.

The Main Event
Sacred Mashed Potatoes
Herbed Stuffing
Sausage Stuffing
Dave’s homemade dinner rolls
Apple-cinnamon cranberry sauce
Secret side dish no. 1
Secret side dish no. 2
Secret side dish no. 3

Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Pecan Pie
Apple Gallette

Which leaves me to ponder drinks. For the cheese plate, I’m pairing my Dad’s Renegade Sauvignon Blanc. If I didn’t have that though, Roederer Sparkling Wine, Murphy-Goode’s Fume or Conundrum would all work as would a white bordeaux.

As most of the family favors red wine, with dinner I’m debating between Hard Row to Hoe’s Double Dip, Murphy-Goode’s Terra Lago Cabernet Sauvignon or my Dad’s pinot noir (which is on the bold side unlike normal California pinots). For Thanksgiving dinner a pinot noir, a barbaresco, or a lighter bordeaux pairs well. Above all, I’m following my winemaker bro-in-law’s rule – “with great food, drink great wine.”

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5 Responses

  1. I see where you are coming from, which is exactly where your “picky” eaters are coming from. I am not cooking for the first time ever, and still have to have a second dinner of my own on Saturday, because I want it my way. Maybe you could do the same and have it your way next week. I know you will have an enjoyable, wine induced, food filled evening regardless. Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  2. Mashed potatoes really are sacred at Thanksgiving. A few years ago my wife’s sister-in-law didn’t make them and I was pretty unhappy. My wife blamed it on her Chinese heritage. Funny thing was we went to the sister-in-law’s parents house (born in China Chinese) the next day and they had the world’s largest bowl of mashed potatoes!

    I love the wine suggestions and the idea that you might need to try a few things to see what works. That’s what I do!

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  3. Isn’t it funny to try and organize a Thanksgiving menu. Some people love to experiment, while others are adamant about family traditions! I loved hearing about those “sacred mashed potatoes”. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your menu. I hope you have a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving!

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