Grant and I have been married just over a year. Needless to say, we have both always been surrounded by lots of family on Thanksgiving, which for me always meant leaving the planning to someone else (though I would help out in the kitchen).
We knew on moving out to Wyoming that it’d be hard to make it home for Thanksgiving and Christmas (we were supposed to be spending Thanksgiving in Texas this year, as we alternate every year and last year was Iowa), so we decided to make it a solo Thanksgiving.
It would be easy to just shrug it off with only the two of us. Who really wants to go to a lot of trouble for only two people? Thanksgiving is supposed to be a family affair, after all. But Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and while family is really whats makes it wonderful, I still want this to be a special holiday, even if it means celebrating only with husband (I mean, he is the most important person in my life).
So this Thanksgiving I am planning a little soiree for two, and I’d like to share for you what is on my menu – a mixture of memories, traditions, and new ideas.
Every Thanksgiving morning growing up my mom would get up super early and make monkey bread, filling the house with a buttery, sugary, delectable fragrance. That smell is Thanksgiving to me – the one year she didn’t make it everything was all off. So I decided to continue this tradition but make it a little my own. We still have a bag of farm fresh apples left from that time we picked them (read here), so apples made sense. I also decided to forgo the apple pie for other dessert options, so this brings in that classic Thanksgiving aspect without overdoing it on the desserts (well, this is really like dessert for breakfast, but whatever).
I am a vegetarian and my husband is only one man, so obviously we do not need a whole turkey. I thought the cornish hen was a good alternative, and it is a definite plus that it is made in the slow cooker. I’ve never made anything like this before, so hopefully it turns out!
For sides: Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes; Martha’s Simple Stuffing with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash; Roasted Asparagus and Fennel
Thanksgiving requires certain flavors, such as garlic and cinnamon and rosemary. It also requires certain dishes – mashed potatoes, obviously, stuffing, obviously, some sort of sweet potatoes, etc etc. The roasted asparagus and fennel is an experimental dish, born of the contents of our Bountiful Basket this week.
For bread: Sweet Potato Corn Bread
Again, I stress the importance of sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving. They are good all year round, but if you don’t have them on Thanksgiving it’s practically a sin.
For dessert: Chocolate Sweet Potato Torte; Pumpkin Eggnog Pudding
Grant is addicted to chocolate so I definitely wanted to do a chocolate dessert for him. I have made this torte before, and I love how it melds the traditional sweet potato flavor of Thanksgiving with the decadent flavor of dark chocolate. It is also a step away from a pie without being a cake or cookie or something lame like that. I love tortes. As for the Pumpkin Eggnog Pudding – this dessert is really more for me. I simply cannot imagine Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Pie, but I wanted to make a healthier dessert. So essentially, this is pumpkin pie without the crust, maybe a little creamier, and kicked up a notch with low fat eggnog instead of cream. I am experimenting with it, but I am confident that it will be delicious!
And that’s the whole of it. I’ve got to say I am super excited to be planning my first solo Thanksgiving!