My Thanksgiving menu doesn’t change much from year to year. It is made up of tried and true family favorites, but they are not all considered traditional Thanksgiving recipes.
Making my menu early allows me to start picking up some of the ingredients early as I find them on sale. I recommend making your menu plan as early as possible (today would be a good idea) so that you can start looking for the ingredients at the best possible prices in your weekly sales ads. Look for coupons and match them to sale prices to save even more.
Be flexible on your menu! Many of the traditional Thanksgiving ingredients will on sale, but it is still a good idea to create a back up plan in case an item is too expensive (or is out of stock) to be included in this year’s menu. Life will go on even if you serve apple pie instead of pumpkin or pecan.
Take your time and life circumstances into consideration when making your menu plan. I prepare for our celebration over several days to make it easier. If your time is limited, consider spreading out the cooking like I do, having your extended family help out by bringing a dish, or cutting back on the number of dishes you make. I like to make all the dishes when it is my turn to host, but my sister-in-law is an aeronautical engineer with limited spare time, so when she hosts she has a potluck Thanksgiving. When my mother-in-law hosts Thanksgiving, she makes a turkey, a green vegetable side dish, and a potato side dish. It isn’t the traditional feast, but everything my mother-in-law makes is amazing, so it is still a wonderful holiday dinner.
Thanksgiving is about spending time together with an attitude of gratitude. The actual dishes served at dinner are a distant second!
My Thanksgiving Dinner Menu:
Before Dinner Snacks:
While I am preparing dinner, I set out a veggie tray, nuts, and a plate of fudge for guests to snack on. I know fudge is not an appropriate appetizer, but it has become a tradition since I brought it to our first squadron Thanksgiving party as a newly wed. When I was asked what I brought I said, “an appetizer” and the other guests, who didn’t quite get my sense of humor, took me at my word.
Turkey basted with olive oil and generously sprinkled with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and poultry seasoning.
Gravy made from the turkey drippings
For Dessert I will serve:
What is on your menu for Thanksgiving this year?