The Feathered Nest

The softer side of MaisonBisson

Thirteen Days ’til Thanksgiving November 14, 2010

TowerGirl @ 1:27 pm
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I’ve spent the week perusing recipes and putting together a menu. It looks like we will have between 8-10 people for the big meal. This is less than I like to have, I believe in a big Thanksgiving, but it’s probably all I can accommodate. I think we’ll have a nice mix of family and friends, and I am pleased because we’ll get to spend the holiday this year with people we don’t usually get to share the celebration with. Of course, I am particularly excited that my family is flying out to join us. That means so much to me.

So here’s what I’ve come up with for dinner. I am trying to balance flavors. I don’t want too much sweet or too much savory. The only course I am not 100% happy with is dessert. I am afraid the two options are rather similar, but they both look so amazing I can’t choose!

I’ve created a prep schedule and I’ll share that later. I want to do all that I can ahead of time so I can enjoy my guests.


Time to Plan November 2, 2010

TowerGirl @ 10:22 am
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It’s November. This means it is time to start planning and prepping for Thanksgiving. I take Thanksgiving very seriously. Thanksgiving is all about food and that is celebration whose aims I wholeheartedly support.

This year my parents and brother are flying west to celebrate with us. We are also fortunate that my husband’s sister is local so she will join us for the festivities, which never happened when we lived back east. Our good friends from Santa Cruz will also be present. I like a big Thanksgiving. I’d invite more, but I’m not sure they’d fit in our small apartment.

The most pressing matter at this time is planning the menu. I have a basic menu I’ve followed for years, but I’m feeling the need to spice things up a bit this year. I will still do a salt roasted turkey, it’s too good not to repeat. You cover the turkey in salt and let it sit for 24 hours, before roasting you rinse of the salt and pat it dry before all the usual basting. I tried this a couple years ago after many years of brining. It is easier and the resulting bird is so incredibly juicy and flavorful.

I traveled over the weekend so I purchased the Thanksgiving issues of Real Simple and Bon Appetite to keep me company on the plane. I am thinking of adding the “Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro and Chiles” from Bon Appetite to the menu and the “Honeyed Carrots and Oranges” from Real Simple. I having been making a salad of mixed greens, tart granny smith apples, and shaved parmesan that I serve with homemade lemon vinaigrette. It’s a tasty and light starter. I think that will be my salad. There will, of course, be mashed potatoes. I like a little roasted garlic and lots of butter in my mashed potatoes.

What I still need to choose is a soup, a green vegetable, a stuffing, a squash recipe, and desserts. I also should have some pre-bird nibbles. I think I need to nail down a menu this week. Then it’s about figuring out what I can make ahead and freeze and what needs to be done the day of. I also need to figure out seating and table decor. Let the holidays begin.


Cocktail Manifesto October 7, 2007

Cocktail Manifesto.

We’re huge fans of The New Joy of Cooking by Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma S. Rombauer, and Ethan Becker. Hardly a meal goes through our kitchen that isn’t shaped in some part by the recipes and general information in its pages. A recent discovery was Joy’s description and defense of cocktail parties.

So, when a book as serious and valuable as The New Joy of Cooking raises alarms about the declining future of cocktail parties, we listen. Cocktail parties are important, they’re an American invention that should be honored. So, host or attend a cocktail party today and raise your glass in hopes that everyone may someday have the freedom to toast in peace.


Vicar’s Delight August 26, 2007

Vicars Delight.

Hot weather demands cool drinks. Lemonade is fine for the kids, but adults need a pitcher of something more entertaining.

  • 2 parts Vodka
  • 1 part Orange Juice
  • 2 parts Lemonade
  • dash Lime Juice

Prepare in a pitcher with ice and share. Adjust quantities to taste.

Enjoy safely.