Planning for Thanksgiving started about a month ago. Yes, A month. I fall solidly into the “crazed” category when it comes to this food holiday, and I don’t care!
Part of planning for this epic day (which will include appetizers served with champagne as guests arrive, followed by an anti-pasti course served at the table, a soup/pasta course, the main event, then fruits, and then dessert) includes running some “test” dinners to ensure that the choices that I have made are sound (aka can be prepared and cooked under the conditions Thanksgiving puts our refrigerator and stove- we only have one oven!), and most of all taste good.
For a dish to qualify for our table it must also be great. Last year we made too many things. Mostly because I viewed each dish as one of my babies and I just couldn’t pick who would not get to be featured! Every magazine and show I watched featured a dish that I simply HAD to make. It worked out OK, but I have less time this year and therefore I am trying, really trying to reduce the quantity of the main event.
What to make this year is now the question. We’ve had some dietary changes in our family that require gluten/grain/dairy/legume free dishes (in general these dishes fall under the “paleo” category)- but at this point I won’t be making the entire dinner Paleo. It will be close though, because aside from inviting some white potatoes and bread to the table (and the pasta course, but we’ll get to that later)- just about everything else is Paleo without even trying!
Which leads me to today. Today we are:
- Dry Brining a Chicken. We usually do a wet brine, but I am just too curious about this space-saving technique to not give it a shot.
- Making squash soup… in volume. I already know that I am doing a soup alongside the pasta course (as an either/or… or I guess both!) option. Today we will be making the entire amount needed and sending it down to our chest freezer so we’ll have a piece of Thanksgiving already done. Winning! (What if we hate it? Unlikely, but if I don’t think it will work for Thanksgiving I will still freeze it, but then load it up with veggies so I have easy dinner for when Mike travels for work. No waste in this house!)
- Testing what I think will be a “new” flavor combination for green beans. Weeee! If it works, I’ll share the love.
- Paleo Pumpkin Pie. I’ve consulted the great and powerful internets, but I already have an idea of how to un-dairy/gluten/grain this classic. I’ll be making the crust this morning. I bet you can’t wait to see what I look like making crust pre-run in my PJ’s!
- Mike is making breads. We will be getting through as much of this as possible and sending them to the freezer- this frees up the oven in the days leading up to T-day.
- We might try some new appetizer recipes. TBD depending on what I see at Whole Foods today.
There are probably some other miscellaneous things that will get tested, but also fun to be had! Because this is going to make a lot of food, we recruited some friends to be our test subjects. They have all promised to be honest. They swear.
Later today I’ll post a bunch of photos of the process- I think you all will like the dirty kitchen/no make-up/still in running clothes look that I sport while getting things together. It’s a great look.