21 November 2014

Five on Friday: Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I am so looking forward to celebrating with my family next week and getting to meet our new niece and nephew. I haven't been home since March and I know this is going to be an extra emotional visit for us because it will be the last holiday we celebrate in the house I grew up in. (I got kind of weepy just typing that out.) And since we won't be spending Christmas with my family, we're having a little family Christmas celebration the night before Thanksgiving. My mom even bought a fake tree so that we can help decorate :)
1. Isn't this the most stunning Thanksgiving centerpiece you've ever seen? I would be tempted to add in a few pheasant feathers, but wow. I can't stop looking at it. And it looks like it would be pretty easy to assemble, which is a bonus because I do not have a gift for floral arrangements.
2. When we do Thanksgiving with my family, the libations menu typically consists of beer, wine, and maybe a batch of our wedding cocktails (which, admittedly are the perfect festive fall beverage). The Kitchn posted this recipe for a pitcher of Amber Rush cocktails last week and it just looks so fun! I love the way the star anise looks floating in the pitcher and the combination of rye, citrus, and spiced honey syrup (with the suggested addition of a little ginger beer) sounds pretty spot on.
3. As a rule, I don't think the Thanksgiving menu should be messed with. This meal is not the time to trot out newfangled recipes. It is all about the humble classics. With that said, I am making something a little bit different for dessert this year. There will still be pumpkin and apple pies (duh) and I got my pecan pie fix at our Worksgiving celebration yesterday (pictured above), but I'm trying out a recipe for Buche de Thanksgiving. I typically make a Buche de Noel log for Christmas every year and when I saw this recipe in my 'Cold Weather Cooking' cookbook, I knew I had to try it. Pumpkin cake + cream cheese and toffee filling? Hello, yes please! I'll be sure to snap some pictures and if it's any good, I'll share the recipe. (I've looked everywhere online for it with no luck.)
4. I am in love with the idea of hosting Thanksgiving one day. It's one of those things that I dreamed of as a little girl (is that weird?) and I feel like I still won't really be a grown-up until I've hosted a Thanksgiving of my very own. While our current situation doesn't make that likely to happen anytime soon, I can still dream. Right now those dreams pretty much take the form of setting the table (again, probably weird). I have a thing for china and serveware and my current dream table setting includes this pheasant gravy boat, the turkey platter that goes with my beloved Spode Woodland china, and these rustic glam servers.
5. Stuffing or dressing? This is a hot debate in our house. I come from a family of people who are decidedly dressing only. My grandmama makes the most amazing dressing from old biscuits, rolls, and Saltine crackers. I cannot wait to dig in next week! M's family is dedicated to stuffing. (M does make an exception for oyster dressing.) I'm normally not very squirmish when it comes to food, but I am completely scared of and grossed out by stuffing and absolutely will not touch it. So what side of the aisle do you fall on?