I stopped by our local Hallmark Shop last week for a couple of sheets of fancy-looking Thanksgiving-themed paper. Actually, it’s the sort of pretty paper used to print party invites on. I use them to handwrite our holiday menus. Our daughter, Katie, has the artistic flair in the family, so she has handwriting duty.
Every year we audition a couple of new recipes for the holidays along with our favorite tried-and-true dishes. The menu this year kinda looked like this: hickory-smoked turkey with horseradish applesauce, mixed greens and goat cheese with bacon-wrapped figs, homemade orange liquored cranberry sauce, citrus-glazed carrots, sourdough dressing with sausage and dates, sweet potato rolls with honey butter, mashed potatoes and gravy … and for dessert pumpkin cheesecake tart and thick-as-mud chocolate pie. It all tasted as good as it reads … except for … well …
This year I’ve decided to make some notes on the back of the menu like who attended the Frantz family festivities and a couple of memories of the day. Yep, memories like the sourdough dressing with sage-inspired sausage and dates (the recipe called for figs) was the best stuffing ever. And where have bacon-wrapped figs been all my life? Oh, and the delicious pumpkin cheesecake tart from her new Smitten Kitchen cookbook our daughter crafted from scratch that almost wasn’t. Katie didn’t like the thinness of the pumpkin part of the recipe and almost threw the whole thing in the trash. Thanks to our new son-in-law the tart was saved.
Did I mention there was a very important football game on while the finishing touches were being put on the Turkey Day meal? It was the Texans vs. the Lions. We had survived one tense overtime just the week before. Would we survive another? The citrus-glazed carrots were on the grill when the game went into overtime. And you know how long “overtime” sometimes takes in a football game? Let’s just say it was way more than the four to six minutes needed for adding grill marks to carrots.
One of the reasons we make up holiday menu cards is somewhere between the blessing and going through the buffet line, I run a reality check to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. One year a batch of rolls got left in the oven for a week because I just forgot them.
“Where are the carrots?” I remarked in alarm.
Two sets of eyeballs opened wide, my husband and son-in-law, as they realized they were still on the grill. Let’s just call the citrus-glazed carrots this year’s most blackened and memorable dish. Funniest thing you’ve ever seen! It further lightened the Thanksgiving mood as family stories would soon make it around the table.
In a few days I’ll make my way back to our local Hallmark shop. I need some of that pretty paper for makin’ Christmas menu memories.