home for the holidays

Thanksgiving 2015

This year, I wasn’t the host. Had I been, this blog would’ve been jammed with stress and planning for at least a month. We spent this year’s Thanksgiving with my mom. Party of 20. All family.

Roast Turkey

Brined at home. Cooked on a V-rack, butter beneath the skin, covered in cheese cloth that’s been drenched in melted butter

Apple Sausage Stuffing

Granny smith apples, celery, white onion, sourdough bread, golden raisins, breakfast sausage from butcher. Mom forgot to add the nuts!

Brussels Sprouts

Sliced in half, tossed with olive oil, added to a sheet pan with chopped onion and raw sliced bacon (cut with scissors), season and roast in the oven until bacon is crispy.

Cranberry Sauce

Mom didn’t make my slutty strawberry cran-pinapple, shaved apple sauce (I missed it). She made one with Amaretto. It was different but very good, mostly because my mommy made it.

Sweet Potatoes

The best thing on my plate (tie with the corn pudding). My mom does it best, she really does. Of course, she has no recipe, but she’s promised to walk me through exactly what she did while I was off swimming!

Green Beans

Sauteed green beans were served alongside the more traditional green bean casserole.

Giblet Gravy

Man, was this good. I used a cup of the fat from the turkey pan drippings, heated it up and added flour, cooking until brown, then added a cup of the pan drippings without the fat (the juice), whisking constantly. Added neck and finely chopped giblets that had been cooked in chicken stock.

Mashed Potatoes

My aunt made mashed potatoes, but I didn’t try them with all the other carbs on my plate. I never need mashed potatoes AND stuffing AND sweet potatoes AND corn pudding. It’s too much. So, I skipped these.

Featured Dish

The Dump & Run Corn Pudding



Pumpkin Pie

There was no pumpkin pie on the menu, just my mom’s homemade pumpkin cheesecake. Her husband said it’s not Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Pie. I happen to agree. She complied and bought one. Win, win.

Pecan Pie

Abigail tasted this for the first time in her life, and said, “This wins.” Then later, “Mama, how good is that goo?”

Fresh Whipped Cream

Not overly sweet! That’s the key to a good whipped cream.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Mom’s homemade pumpkin cheesecake with walnut crust

Apple Pie

Homemade by my cousin Vanessa. Ice cream a la mode.

Lemon Squares

Using the floral Meyer Lemons from my aunt’s backyard, Lemon Squares were the first to go. Easy access while everyone else mucks about with serving knives.



  1. It’s so nice to see you relax over this holiday. Also, I think it’s hilarious to see Phil sitting at the kid’s table!

    BTW, I DID make your slutty strawberrypineappleshavedapple sauce and it has been a hit and favorite since you first mentioned it. LOVE IT!

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