posted at 10/30/2008 10:28 AM EDTIt's good to see people talking about food again. I do Thanksgiving dinner for 25 to 30 people. This is my sixth year. It is an easy meal to prepare. It took me a few years to get everything on the table at once.
Pingo, I serve soups as the first course. That gives me and my "helpers" time to carve the turkey and put everything else in serving platters.
This is my favorite holiday. I am with friends and family.
There is another thread that has some Thanksgiving hints. I thought having a seperate section for Thanksgiving would be easier.
posted at 10/30/2008 12:03 PM EDTHi Jonath, my friend - nice to see you posting again.
So, when you have 25 - 30 people for dinner - do you have a sit down dinner or do you do it buffet style?
I imagine buffet - since you are serving soup, while you and your helpers are busy in the kitchen.
We have always had sit down dinners with all the silverware and the whole nine yards. I love my family and friends, but with the families growing, it just became too much for me. Especially since I am the only one cooking. Cooking was actually the easy part, but planning, shopping and getting it all together, did me in.
We broke the tradition last year by going to my son in Texas. We had TG on his in-laws' ranch. It was very different from our TG, but oh - so nice.
We are invited again this year - and I am so looking forward to it.
Christmas is coming up, and I would just love to hear, how you arrange a relaxed dinner for so many people without loosing it yourself.
posted at 10/30/2008 8:51 PM EDTWow, cooking for 25-30 sounds exhausting. I assume you have some advanced kitchen technology to help you do this.
Thanksgiving really is a great holiday.
I plan on cooking for my immediate family outside in my stone oven.
I will rotissetry one turkey in the center chamber and slow smoke a duck in the chimney. I will use an apple wood fire, which gives a light smokey flavor, but does not overpower like hickory or mesquite.
I have been roasting my turkey (or duck) outside for over 10 years and it always comes out great. I will marinate it in onions, garlic, herbs and white Zinfandel. I will marinate the duck in a similar mixture but I will add some orange peel.
This year I rebuilt my stone oven so that I have an overhead rack in the chimney that can be used to cook something more indirectly. I have had great luck cooking corn on the cob, sausage and ribs in the upper chamber. So I think the duck will come out great. I am thinking that the duck juice will drip onto and baste the turkey.
The only thing I miss when I cook turkey outdoors is the gravy that I make out of the juice when I cook it in the oven. But I compensate that by making a gravy from some of the home made stock.
After the meal I save the carcus to make more stock. I usually get at least 8 quarts of good stock from one bird. I love using duck stock in my cooking too.
posted at 10/31/2008 1:27 AM EDTOh wow old man, an out door stone oven? Sounds fantastic to me. But not everyone have that opportunity. I am really anxious to know how your duck will turn out. Duck is one of our favorite meals and I always cook two of them for Christmas.
I know what you mean about not having any gravy. I make my gravy stock well in advance from turkey necks and wings, that are usually available a week or so before the holidays. Simmer it down, then freeze it and add the drippings from the turkey the day of.
Well, you and your family have a wonderful TG meal. - Pingo
posted at 10/31/2008 5:05 AM EDTpingo, We have a sit down meal. Antipasti is served at 1PM, followed with soup, Turkey with stuffing, squash, green beans casserole and mashed potato. We then have fruit and cheese. Then coffee and dessert. We finish around 7PM. Everybody takes home the leftovers. All I want is some turkey,stuffing and cranberry to make a sandwich the next day.
Most food is prepared the day before and reheated. The turkey and squash are made the same day.
posted at 10/31/2008 5:58 AM EDTJohnath, you make it sound so simple - good for you!
Your meal is basically what I serve, Instead of squash I do mashed sweet potatoes with all the spices of course. I like your idea of serving antipasti, while heating up and preparing the rest. I don't think soup will do well here. My hubby, children and I love soup, but my husband's family is not soup eaters.
I usually do mulled apple cider (spiked if you want) and appetizers - then we sit down for dinner. I like to forego the cider and the the apps and just have plenty of wine and the antipasti. That sounds really good to me.
My european upbringing would just love a course of cheese and fruits - but again - it wouldn't go well here. If I serve crackers and cheese it is mostly left untouched. Like they say, you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. And even though they are not "old dogs", it is so true in this case.
I bake my pecan pies ahead of time and freeze them. Have done that forever. And we cannot have a TG without them.
This year we are going to TX to join my son and his in-laws and I am baking the pies, freezing them and bringing them with me in my luggage (just like we did last year). Laugh at me if you must.
I am not doing TG, but I am preparing for Christmas. Think I will make some changes.
Best to you my friend - Pingo
[Quote]pingo, We have a sit down meal. Antipasti is served at 1PM, followed with soup, Turkey with stuffing, squash, green beans casserole and mashed potato. We then have fruit and cheese. Then coffee and dessert. We finish around 7PM. Everybody takes home the leftovers. All I want is some turkey,stuffing and cranberry to make a sandwich the next day.
Most food is prepared the day before and reheated. The turkey and squash are made the same day. [/Quote]
posted at 11/2/2008 5:10 PM ESTIn the 1950's and 1960's we used to have a veteran from the US or from Europe come to the house during Thanksgiving. It was helpful to us,and helpful to me to see those men and women and give them something for all their sacrifices.
It might help our soldiers and the other veterans to see how much our nation appreciates their work,
posted at 11/3/2008 7:16 AM ESTI am cooking for a veteran almost every day of the year. Does that count?