I've been dreaming up menus for Thanksgiving today. I'm pretty obsessive about food and cooking and Thanksgiving is my big cooking holiday of the year. The first year that I cooked all the holiday meals alone for my family was a little depressing. As soon as Thanksgiving is over you have to gear up for all the holiday parties, make goodies for friends, plan menus for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and cap it off with New Year's Eve and Day. It's exhausting even for those of us who love to cook, in fact I would say especially for those of us who love to cook, because I'm very ambitious with my menus. The bottom line is that it wasn't very fun for me or for my husband who is a very gracious sous-chef.
As a result we came up with what we consider our family holiday traditions which include going all out for our Thanksgiving meal, eating a simple picnic at the beach on Christmas Eve, and cooking a nice breakfast/ brunch for Christmas Day (There are so many yummy options for breakfast which are usually much easier that dinner recipes, easier to clean-up, and then I have the whole day to spend with my family.)
So anyway, back to my original thought of this year's Thanksgiving dinner. This is the day, or I should say week of the year, when we pull out all the stops. We also generally serve our dinner is courses because after cooking for 3 days straight, planning table decor, and cleaning up a huge pile of dishes, it's a little disheartening to sit down to a 15 minute meal. Our meals are usually about 2-1/2 to 3 hours in duration. We also like to have a theme for our meal and create twists on the classics. In 2004 we did a French theme, 2005 was Southwestern, and this year I have Indian cuisine on my mind. Here are my preliminary thoughts regarding the menu:
Course 1: Curried Sweet Potato Bisque with crystallized Ginger
Course 2: some type of lentil salad
Course 3: Tandoori spiced turkey, stuffing made with naan, mashed potatoes and pan gravy, cranberry chutney, and some type of roasted cauliflower with typical Indian spices
Course 4: some type of dessert with rose water flavor
Course 5: some type of pumpkin dessert with Masala spices
Drink 1: Mango Lassi
Drink 2: Hot Chocolate with Masala
Now on to recipe research and development!