I have made a decision: this year we are going to be alone for Thanksgiving, and I do not feel obliged to make a big traditional meal that I don't care about. I don't particularly want to make a whole turkey, or any part of a turkey's anatomy. I'm not good at it, for starters. I do all the things you're supposed to do: I brine, I turn, I baste, and I even put the little cheesecloth sweater on the turkey to help keep it moist. I ignore the pop-out timer and I use my brain-surgeon-precise meat thermometer (although why a brain surgeon needs a meat thermometer, I do not know.) I rest under loosely tented foil. And whatever I do, my turkey is dry and dull and not at all appealing. There's too much leftover, and I feel obligated to try to use it all up. And I didn't like it that much to start with.
In fact, my favorite things to eat on Thanksgiving are the munchies that always get put out to stave off starvation. My mother has a tendency to go overboard and take forever to cook Thanksgiving dinner, which means more munchies than actual food. Maybe that's why I'm not that interested in Thanksgiving dinner: by the time it finally rolls around, I've filled up on an entire afternoon's worth of nibbles.
I've already declared my love of dip here. This year, on Thanksgiving, dip and I will be getting married in an intimate, romantic, and extremely joyful ceremony. Maybe on a boat. Among other things, this year I am giving thanks for dip.
So, here's my menu for Thanksgiving dinner. Also known as my wedding reception:
- Homemade mini crabcakes with Creole remoulade
- Chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce
- Tomato-basil bruschetta with balsalmic reduction
- Water chestnuts wrapped in bacon and tossed with teriyaki
- Hot crab and artichoke dip with homemade pita chips
- Crudite with garlic-dill dip
- A big-ass salad with black olive-thyme vinaigrette
I can't tell you how excited I am by this menu. It is not traditional or well-balanced or particularly nutritious, and I could not possibly eat this way every day. But, that being said, I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year, and it's been awhile since I did for any kind of culinary reason.