Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays of the year and we are happy and thankful to be back home to celebrate it with family. Mona and I have enjoyed putting out a spread for this holiday and this year it was no different. In fact it was bigger and better than before.
We had nearly forty people (families are big where we come from!) over for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. The menu was massive and included the usual special sides such as mashed potatoes (cooked in butter milk this year), chipotle sweet potato casserole (a new twist on a traditional dish), the green bean bake (Mona's specialty that is always a hit), cranberry sauce (a must-have at the table but nobody really likes it) and a green salad with an Asian flavor (Seema's culinary contribution to the dinner). The centerpiece of course was the 18-pound turkey - dry brined for 3 days and cooked with a mixture of herb butter and cayenne pepper! Mona made her classic stuffing to go with turkey. And then there was the gravy to accompany the turkey and of course a generous serving of a variety of bread rolls. Dinner also included ham (a traditional American favorite), Armenian chicken (from our favorite take-out - Zankou) and Tamales. Yes, it is an American holiday but these dishes are essential to reflect our multi-cultural identity! No Thanksgiving is complete without a pumpkin pie and we had three (enough to feed eighty, I think) along with ice cream.
It was lots of work before and after the party but all of it was well worth it. Ayaana was a huge help and served as the sous chef for Mona and me. We even put the reluctant Aanish to work (taking out trash and other stuff requiring manual labor).
The party was a hit and will go down as another one to remember and hopefully beat next year.