Friday, November 25, 2022

A Crowd-Sourced Thanksgiving Meal

To all who celebrated Thanksgiving this week, I hope it was a good one! My sister and nephew were visiting for the week and we had a wonderful holiday together. Thanksgiving is a feasting holiday, a cook's holiday, and I enjoy planning my menu weeks in advance. This year, time slipped through right my fingers. A week spent in Seattle for work, assorted minor respiratory illnesses going through the family, some volunteer commitments on Saturdays...all of that left me blinking last weekend, wondering how Thanksgiving could already be around the corner. 

Pumpkin pie!

I decided to crowdsource the menu this year, and went around asking each family member what one or two things they would love to eat at Thanksgiving. These were the responses- 

Husband: Mushroom Wellington

Daughter: Mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy and cranberry sauce

Son: Mac and cheese

Nephew: Pumpkin pie

Sister: Apple cobbler

Me: Turkey-less roast from Trader Joe's, because we get that each year, and some vegetables to round out the meal

Portobello Mushroom Wellington

And just like that, we had our menu-

  • Two main dishes
  • Three sides
    • Mac and cheese, a stovetop version
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Roasted green beans and Brussels sprouts
  • Two must-haves
    • Cranberry orange sauce 
    • Mushroom gravy
  • Two desserts
  • Two drinks
    • Apple cider (spiked with rum for the adults)
    • Coke (requested by the kids, a rare treat)

I went for a grocery shopping run on Tuesday and made sure we had all ingredients on hand. I made cranberry sauce on Tuesday. On Wednesday, my sister made the pie crust and I made mashed potatoes. We spent Thursday morning cooking at a leisurely pace. My sister made both the desserts. 

Apple cobbler- tastes like pie,
but so much simpler to make

Everyone was eager to dig into the food so we ate our Thanksgiving meal as a late lunch at 1:30 PM. This turned out to be a great idea because we were all done with cooking and could spend the rest of the day relaxing. My sister and I took the dog for a long walk and then did some sewing. V took the three kids to a movie- Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile- which they all thought was kinda strange and not their favorite. Then we had coffee and dessert and more Thanksgiving food later in the day. 

The rest of the week leading up to Thanksgiving was a lot of fun too. We watched movies- like Enola Holmes 2- and played our favorite board game, Codenames, and a memory game with the 6 year old. There was playground time and quite a bit of eating out. My sister and I assembled two jigsaw puzzles while listening to our favorite music. 

A quick seasonal decoration, made by wrapping
fabric around bath tissue rolls!

We sewed some mini stockings
as gift card holders for teachers

What did you make for Thanksgiving this year?


  1. That’s quite the spread and it looks amazing !!
    I wasn’t hosting but was bringing a large tray of roasted veggies with dips to a friend’s place. It always ends up being a lot of work with all the cleaning and chopping and then all the grilling and roasting that I felt exhausted. Or maybe I’m getting old lol. We ended up sleeping in and then taking an afternoon nap to recoup. I think these viruses may have to do something with it too coz both mine have had two rounds of sickness in the past 3 weeks and we are all exhausted from it.
    But thanksgiving is always fun and we love to celebrate with our friends !
    Are you going to make Xmas cookies ? I want to venture but I’m not good at the cookie decorating thing that my 6 yo is so keen on !

    1. Hi Archana- The viruses are absolutely walloping families this Fall. No one I know has been spared. Kids bounce back quickly but adults are left with a hacking cough that lasts for weeks.

      I'm glad you had a celebration with friends- roasted veggies are always such a great addition to the heavy meal.

      I've never made those beautiful iced/decorated Xmas cookies- a lot of it is because I think they look pretty but are too sweet/bland and I will go for taste over looks every time ;) but I will make my usual variety of holiday treats- buttercrunch candy, almond biscotti, gingerbread, shortbread cookies.

      One alternative is to buy the cookie decorating kits. Like Trader Joe's has a cute holiday sweater one. Most stores have a version of those- Aldi has an adorable and funny ninjabread one. I might get a gingerbread house kit for my kids to get their annual icing and sprinkles fix.

  2. That last comment wirh xmas cookies and all that was from me - forgot to sign it.

  3. i am always blown away by your enthusiasm and talent :). Now i see it runs in the family .
    That pumpkin pie - does it use coconut sugar

    1. Hi Jo- Thank you for saying that :) and I will say that my sister and each of my parents are absolutely brimming with enthusiasm and talent, way above my level honestly.

      The pumpkie pie uses regular sugar but I don't see why you couldn't sub coconut sugar. (My sister reduced the amount of sugar in the recipe anyway.)

  4. Hi Nupur, I loved your blog and was one of your earlier readers in 2006-2007..I happened to stumble upon your blog after years and had complete nostalgia reading your posts. Congratulations on your lovely blog & my best wishes for you and all your endeavours.. The best part about your blog is food related content of course but I loved your book related posts as well being a voracious reader by myself..

    1. Hi Rujuta and welcome back :) I hope you're doing well! I truly appreciate your kind comments. Book related post coming up next...

  5. The pumpkin pie looks beautiful and I love your menu. I didn't realise thanksgiving dinner is usually later in the day - Christmas day lunch is always a late lunch and then we rest and just need snacks. Do you also have a big Christmas dinner - I can never quite get my head around the Thanksgiving and Christmas being so close together in the US. Interesting to hear what your kids thought of Lyle Lyle Crocodile - we are planning to go see it soon.


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