Le menu

The first year Mike and I lived together we decided the best way to see all of our families for Thanksgiving was to have them meet in Des Moines and have dinner at our house. It was a smashing success, and after cooking for 11 the first year, we invited the grandmas and had 13 the next year.

Some photos from Thanksgiving #1:

This year, we’re a little leaner — just 10 total — but we’re super excited to host and prove, once again, that being vegetarian doesn’t mean you have to miss out.

No one is going hungry at our table.

Being the Martha wannabe that I am, I decided I wanted to steer away from some of the traditional dishes this year and do a bit more gourmet menu. So here’s what we’re having, barring disaster, with family members providing two kinds of pie, brownies, lemon bars, and of course, wine.

Appetizers
Grape tomatoes, carrots, celery, pickles and dip (about where the healthiness ends)
Black bean and rice chips with hummus
Crab and shrimp toasts
Artisan cheeses and fancy crackers with grapes and jam

First course
Curried pumpkin soup

Main
Cranberry Quorn roast
Tofurkey with Shitake mushroom gravy
Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing
Mashed trio: garlic golden potatoes, butter turnips and cumin sweet potatoes
Green beans with shallots and lemon
Homemade rolls (!!)

Each guest will also receive a mini loaf of zucchini bread (Paula Deen’s recipe) as a takeaway.

For breakfast on Friday we’re doing crepes with Nutella and fresh fruit. I should say Mike’s doing crepes; he’s the expert there.

The only advice I can really give to other cooks is to do as much as you can in advance. Inevitably things will be hectic right before you sit down to eat, but if it’s a half hour instead of 6 hours, you’ll be a lot happier. Cut veggies, bake casseroles, even set up your table the day before. Then open the door, and dig in.