I've cooked a few meals in my life, ha ha! I've done numerous large Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter meals over the years. While I don't like everyday cooking, I do enjoy preparing a good meal to be shared over a table with family or friends. One thing I've learned is that simple is better when it comes to a meal. Planning, preparing, and cleaning up is more efficient when you begin with a simple plan.
After several Thanksgiving meals where I literally over did the food (lots of food, lots of complicated dishes, lots of calories) I decided that it was time to re-think the whole process. This year's Thanksgiving meal I think I got the process under control. It was very easy, I just had to remind myself that simple was better.
I made a cheese ball and crackers to munch on while we all gathered, note that you don't need several appetizers! Of course the turkey was the main dish. I buy a fresh turkey every year; they are scrumptious! I resisted the temptation to order a 20 pound turkey this year and only bought a 16 pounder, much better. I still had sufficient leftovers for sandwiches, soup, and some to go in the freezer. I even made a note to myself that I could probably go even a little smaller next year.
Sides were limited to 9 x 12 inch dishes: dressing, gratin potatoes, and a green bean casserole made by Stephanie. Erin brought a spinach salad and Carole brought brownies (made with our mother's recipe, they are sinful to say the least). Let's see, what else. Cranberry sauce, gravy, and rolls rounded out the meal. We opened several bottles of wine starting with the presentation of the cheese ball, too!
That was all we had, and we all had plenty! The dishes weren't complicated, they all blended together, and we didn't have an excess of eating or storing away leftovers. It was an enjoyable meal and left all of us with a pleasant memory of Thanksgiving Day. Simple is better.