It's taken some doing, but I've managed to explain to family and friends that we're doing Thanksgiving at home this year. Just the wife and I and one friend. Everyone else has their own family, and besides, our place is too small to have a big group, so the just the 3 of us.
Smoked Turkey brined in apple cider, rosemary, clove and thyme as well as the usual salt/sugar solution.
Sausage dressing muffins. Basic old fashioned sausage stuffing but portioned into a muffin tin. Gives every serving a little crispy exterior and a little moist interior.
Croissants. Home made, using the dough from the Amish white bread recipe.
Baked brussels sprouts with bacon and bleu cheese. My own recipe, and I must admit they're INCREDIBLE.
Broccoli and brie casserole. My brother's recipe. It's one of the best things I've ever tasted.
Candied sweet potatoes. My Mom's recipe. Basic, old fashioned and entirely non negotiable. It's not Thanksgiving without it.
Cranberry sauce. Fresh cranberries, orange, cinnamon, clove and candied ginger. Worth the hassle.
Baked mashed potatoes. Sandra Lee's recipe, with cream cheese, cheddar and bacon. We've actually made this and nothing else for dinner. AMAZING.
Coleslaw. Again, my Mom's recipe. Heavy on the mustard and very creamy. Again, non negotiable.
Gravy. Lots, but I'm considering using jarred this year as it was on sale 2 for 1. I'll probably change my mind and make my own however.
Egg nog ice cream. Looking forward to trying this. Basically it's Borden's super premium egg nog with rum added. The Borden's egg nog is essentially a thick egg custard. To be made in our ice cream maker.
Rum pecan pie. My sister-in-law's recipe with a little rum added. It's the best pecan pie I've ever had. Possibly the best pie.
Most of this can be prepared well in advance. So by the time Thanksgiving dawns, I'll have everything prepared in disposable aluminum baking pans. My buddy and I will start the smoker at noon across the street in the park, and my wife will be putting the baking tins in the oven at predetermined intervals.
Dinner will hopefully coincide with the Redskins victory.