I’m thankful I only have to make a dessert for this year’s Thanksgiving Day meal – the first in quite a few years or at least it feels that way. Last year my mother-in-law had rotator cuff surgery the day before Thanksgiving so my mom and I made the meal for both of our families in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. Trying to locate items not used very often like a gravy boat or large enough platter for a turkey was interesting since we truly had no idea where to find anything in her kitchen. And she was too out of it thanks to pain killers that we couldn’t consult her. All-in-all we managed to find what we needed or made due with another item.

This year my mother-in-law invited us to dinner and the best part is she’s making everything except for dessert, which is fine by us because my mom’s specialty is dessert. I’ve been debating what kind of dessert to make – go traditional with a sweet potato or apple pie or I saw a tweet about a Pinterest recipe for vegan maple pecan pie and I myself thought of the maple custard cups recipe I’ve had forever. Based on the fact that we have to transport whatever we decide to make, I decided I would go for the maple pecan pie but without the vegan part and maybe put honey and sea salt on top, similar to a chess pie I love so much from PieBird here in Raleigh.

If I were making dinner this year, I have a few recipes I would pull out of the ol’ recipe collection while trying a few new ones, maybe even a few vegetarian items. One of my favorites is this pancetta-sage turkey and gravy. And how about this wild rice and cranberry stuffing with walnuts. A few years ago my mom and I decided to use all new recipes for a traditional turkey day celebration and it was by far one of the best meals we’ve ever enjoyed. We tried to recreate that day the next year but it just didn’t live up to all of the deliciousness we experienced.

I might also throw in some steamed kale or maybe this kale salad a co-worker of mine made this past Monday for a Thanksgiving themed department meeting. It was delicious especially since the kale was fresh and very tender.

kale salad babble 300x222 Healthy Kale Salad with Parmesan and Dried Cranberries

For an appetizer, a nice selection of various cheeses and homemade crackers would be nice. Although, I’d have to find a recipe for the crackers.

Thanksgiving would never be the same for our family without some olives. Back in the day, the Cawley family would have a relish tray every year full of sweet and dill pickles, hot peppers, and green and black olives. My aunt Chrissy would put the large black olives on her fingertips and encourage me to do the same while she acted like an octopus. Olives are a must!

Yeast rolls is another must – made from scratch of course. The ones I’ve made ever since I learned how to make bread in high school are cloverleaf rolls just like the what grandma used to make.

To wrap things up I would make my mother-in-laws wonderful cranberry and orange relish. It’s better than the congealed can of mystery cranberry sauce.

Whatever you decide to make, I hope your Thanksgiving is an enjoyable one.


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