In my previous post, I stated that “the change” all started with a sweet potato. The large orange tuber ousted it’s pale cousin one dinner as the “starch”. It was featured as a mash. Now, my husband has done lovely sweet potato mash many times, but this was the first time at home in Ireland. He adds a bit of cinnamon or worcestershire sauce, enhancing the warm and sweet flavors of the potato itself. Delicious. Needles to say, it went over well!
The next big step was the sudden decision that we were going to host a Thanksgiving. Two of my husband’s cousins are recent US passport holders and wanted to celebrate their newfound “Amercanness” by celebrating Thanksgiving. We all loved the idea and jumped on board. I had to be a bit firm about what was allowed at this Thanksgiving, lest it turn into a typical Irish Christmas meal (which is delicious, but we want Thanksgiving to be different and “authentic” American).
As the one true American, I diligently began planning the feast and finding the perfect recipes. I browsed countless recipes of Thanksgiving classis and picked the final contenders. It took more than just, “ah yes lets have that!”. It took planning. Going, “ok, we have one oven, one slow cooker and a grill (like a built in toaster oven). What will be cooked where and when?” It was a dance of dishes. And timing was essential. It was fun!
The Final Menu was:
Turkey (duh) (2 in fact and there was a bit of a competition between the two roasters)
Mashed Potatoes ala Irish “Potato Stuffing” (I had to concede in some ways and Irish Potato Stuffing is essentially what I would call mashed potatoes: potatoes with butter, cream, a bit of seasoning and some of the drippings).
Green Bean Casserole
Bread Stuffing in the Croc Pot
A sausage stuffing was brought (DIVINE)
Mashed sweet potato (I couldn’t bring myself to do the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top)
Balsamic and honey brussel sprouts
Lots of gravy (I ensured we used a different type of gravy packet rather than the normal one, just to spice things up a bit)
Super chocolate bars (brought)
and roast potatoes somehow found their way onto the table (that happened while I was away at work :))
The most amusing part about this particular Turkey-Day was that I have never made or tasted some of these very traditional and authentic dishes. I have never planned a Thanksgiving either. I have never had green bean casserole, I have never had pecan pie, and I have never eaten bread stuffing (although it has been there). My Thanksgivings have always been a roast turkey, mashed potatoes and then a bunch of very Georgian inspired sides dishes. Then the past few years I haven’t had a Thanksgiving.
So this would nearly be MY first really traditional Thanksgiving as well! The guests started to arrive, bringing a few side dishes or desserts or bottles of wine. And we feasted. It was a laugh! We had put two long tables together in the main sitting room and decorated the table with red, white and blue napkins and candles and even a few American flags. It was beautiful! Made me proud to be American…haha, it was a bit over the top, but fun nevertheless!
Everything was a success! We ate well past our fill and drank to match! As the night progressed guitars were brought out and the singing began! It was so much fun! Afterwards I had to give out a few of the recipes from the dinner, the green bean casserole was the biggest hit I’d say.
My first Thanksgiving in years, in Ireland and with some of the more traditional dishes, went splendidly! The cooking was fun, the hosting was a joy and the time spent with family was special. Overall, great Turkey-Day!