How was your Thanksgiving? Wonderful, I hope. Ours was just about perfect, although I’ll admit to still being in a food coma today. The festivities started last weekend when we hosted our annual small group Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite days of the year: I get to choose the menu (which works out well with my control-freak nature!), everyone comes early to hang out, and we sit around the table reminiscing after we’re finished. This year, we handed out little cards as everyone arrived and asked everyone to write down three things they’re thankful for over the last year. Then we shared them over dessert. It made the whole “thankful” thing a bit more thoughtful and less rushed. I think we have a new tradition!
As for the menu, here is a rough sketch of my plans. For big meals like this, I have to write out times so I don’t get confused and totally leave something in the fridge (which has happened
once or twice several times). I’ll share more recipes in the next few weeks, but we started things off with sweet potato and pear soup, which was quite tasty. It would make a great soup for this week as you recover from the overindulgences from the holiday weekend!
After the small group festivities, we continued the fun on Thanksgiving day at my Grandma’s house. She served all of the traditional stuff: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, beef and homemade noodles, and at least three different kinds of dessert, including my favorite, butterscotch pie. My dad always cuts the turkey, and my uncle always whips the mashed potatoes. Of course, they have to critique each other’s techniques for the entire rest of the day.
Fortunately, Mom was smart and asked if we could delay our family Thanksgiving until Saturday, so that we were all hungry again after the Thursday festivities. Thanksgiving at my parent’s house really is my favorite day of the year. My mom is an expert at all things Thanksgiving. I keep telling her that she should write a book. This year was no different, although I am pretty sure that she did something different with the cranberry salad because it was even tastier than usual. My plate was a work of ART!
Mom also started a new tradition this year, borrowing a bit from the DALS idea. She made a questionnaire for us all to complete and discuss after we finished eating. I liked her version better than the DALS one, and it made for some great discussion while we let our food settle. Of course, as Grant said, Mom started with the waterworks almost immediately, but that’s why we love her! If you want to steal her questions for next year (or these would work for Christmas too, I’d say), check out this link.
sweet potato and pear soup
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 lbs sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and chopped
- 6 pears, washed, cored, chopped (I left peels on)
- 6-8 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
- 1.5 cups of white wine (I used Pinot Grigio, just because it was already open)
- 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
- Roasted pumpkin/winter squash seeds, as garnish (optional)
- Put the butter in a large pot. Once hot, add your onions and sweet potatoes.
- Sauté for about 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes start to soften. Then add your pears and cook for additional 2 minutes or so.
- Add your broth, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add your wine and heavy cream (if using). The soup definitely doesn't need the cream, but it is obviously richer with it.
- Using a hand immersion blender, blend the soup until creamy.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with fresh sage and roasted pumpkin seeds.