Thanksgiving is a BIG deal in my family. I always fly home a day or two before, and stay through the weekend. I have a big extended family, so my mom and sisters and I (and my aunts) spend the day before baking, cooking, and prepping. The morning of Thanksgiving is always insane—my mom’s up super early with the turkey, then leaves around 10:30 to get down to my grandma’s. I get up a little later, go for a run, finish up all the remaining dishes, and head down around noon.
We eat a huge lunch, then graze all afternoon and have leftovers for dinner. We play football, watch football, play cards, and talk. Chase the kids around. We also usually get together Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday morning for brunch. It is a LOT of cooking all weekend.
When you’re cooking for a big crowd (anywhere from 25 to 50 in past years; usually around 25-30 these days), there are some realities in the kinds of dishes that make sense. Anything super time-intensive that doesn’t yield many servings is automatically out. So these are some of my favorite dishes that I’ve contributed. There’s no turkey or main dish here, because we always make a couple simple turkeys or turkey breasts. Nothing fancy, because it’s all about the sides, breads, and desserts. Hope you enjoy and everyone has a safe, happy (American) Thanksgiving with family and friends!