Thanksgiving is my favorite food holiday–both as a reminder of how much there is to be thankful for each and every day–as well as for the feast itself. I’m thankful for my family–the ones who chose to take me with them so many years ago from South Korea and raise me as their own. I’m grateful for friendships that somehow never fade even after years of being apart. For daily bread and the gift of language and beauty, the possibility of travel and the idea of home. I, too, am grateful for the woman who gave birth to me and chose, probably with much sadness yet love, to let me go. Below is a photo of me when I was first adopted and that was probably my first gingerbread house; a gift of sweetness of all the good things I would enjoy in life. And on a lighter note, I’m thankful that my hair has grown out and no longer looks like it does in this photo here.
As for Thanksgiving and food, I love planning the various menu possibilities. Yesterday, my friend Maya, the brilliant cook and voice behind Alaska from Scratch and I sent ideas back and forth about our dream dinner. What I love is that landscapes vary and each time I am someplace new, the flavors change depending on location and guests. This year, guests from Kentucky, Alaska, Georgia, Utah, New York, and more will be coming to celebrate and give thanks.
Aside from an organic roast turkey and gravy, we will be serving a prime rib roast, inspired from the cover of this month’s Food and Wine. Keri, from Simply Incredible is making her famous smoked salmon dip. We’ll also have Poppy’s oyster dressing, gratin of collard greens, a spoon bread of some kind, wild rice with roasted grapes, salad of Brussels sprouts with kale and pomegranate, yeast rolls and Sue’s Breakthrough Buttermilk Biscuits, my friend Allison’s cranberry fluff, cranberry-tangerine-ginger compote, a gratin of potatoes in cream with chanterelle mushrooms, a green bean casserole…not sure yet if it’s worth updating or just going old-school for guests who want that childhood memory of creamy mushroom sauce and fried onions. Desserts: I’m thinking a cream cheese flan from a Southern Living recipe contest winner; pumpkin mascarpone pie, chocolate cream pie, and some kind of pecan something. I’m open to suggestions.
More than anything, I’d love to know: What is on your Thanksgiving menu? And what are you thankful for?