Jackie sets a beautiful table. Because she actually has a dining room (and a really lovely one at that), she agreed to host, as well as prepare the core ingredients to any Thanksgiving feast: turkey, mashed potatoes (vegan), two pots of gravy (one vegan, one regular), stuffing (vegan) and carrots.
The spreadsheet I had made to keep track of who was coming and what they were planning to bring ended up coming handy in order to know what we needed at last-minute, but there were very few gaps. We ended up with just enough space to accommodate all the dishes brought, not to mention just enough place settings and seats for the dozen people who RSVPed.
I feel like a total dunce because in all the photos I managed to take, I did not get a decent snapshot of the turkey, which was perfectly cooked to a golden brown. Jackie generously offered to veganize as much of her dishes as possible, so the stuffing above did not actually reside in the bird. It was delicious – I don’t know why we don’t eat more stuffing year round. It’s one of those dishes that people only seem to bring out for more formal meals, but it’s easy to make and works with a ton of different main dishes.
The carrots were mildly sweet and worked really well with the other dishes, especially the mashed potatoes and the butternut squash-cranberry dish that Candace and Jason brought:
On the right, the butternut squash and cranberries. On the left, a cucumber salad that they also brought, based on a recipe from Candace’s family. Of all the leftovers, these two were the best the day after, when the flavors really had a chance to sink in.
Kait brought a wild rice pilaf with shaved almonds on top. This was another really good dish that got even better the next day, especially when served with the leftover cucumber salad and carrots. Its mildness and crunchy texture served to highlight the other dishes’ flavors while remaining distinctive.
Steph and Tim brought broccoli cheese casserole. What can you say about this? It was cheesy and had a great texture and was utterly delicious. As a kid, I assumed any dish composed primarily of broccoli would be gross, so I stayed away from broccoli cheese casserole. Knowing how good it can be, I’m not sure why I still don’t make it.
Tina brought two pumpkin pies. Despite having stuffed ourselves earlier, they didn’t make it past the night.
So. Much. Food. Everyone ate until they nearly exploded, then ate some more. We ate and ate and ate, conversed and ate, drank and ate.