It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. Yes, so early! Our leaves have turned and are falling rapidly, Autumn has found us already.
Living near cottage country as we do, we usually host both sides of the family here, with back-to-back dinners for 20-30 people. It'a bit manic, to say the least, but we live in the snow belt and our families don't always care to travel up here for Christmas, so Thanksgiving it is! In any case, we love to host a family dinner at holidays, those precious memories are what makes a house a home.
Being slightly decor-obsessed, you would think that the table would be a huge consideration, but really, it's all about visiting with family and the food! We usually have a few candles tucked in amongst leaves, maybe some pumpkins, this year a couple of owl statues made it on, courtesy of the girls. This week I managed to fall while skating with the kids and have been out of commission the past few days, so it look like we will be using paper napkins - no judging, lol! This is set up for the first dinner, so no salad plates, you'll read about that below! The kids have a tradition of gathering leaves for the table during our pre-dinner walk in the woods, but I threw on a fakie so you can get the feel...
My husbands family are former Butchers, and as such meat is the main element of our menu. The first year we hosted, despite my husband saying it wasn't necessary, I made several veggie dishes and salads - which were literally untouched. Lesson learned! We make roast beef, roast turkey and ham. Really. All three, and they are huge.
Let's just say the bbq and quite often a neighbours oven come into use :) When his Grandmother was with us we also made salmon, especially for her, but we've slowly let that go. There's always brussel sprouts (with bacon, of course!), a carrot/turnip mash that is a family favourite, and Mom's stuffing (containing bacon, among other things!). For dessert ah-mazing pumpkin pie from a family favourite bakery.
What about menu No. 2, you ask? My family are former Grocers, with an emphasis on organic goods and vegetarian fare. We make a roast turkey, and quite often have some ham from the previous days menu, but they are only eaten by some of us. Appetizers include prosciutto wrapped melon, pears, cheese and stuffed dates, then it's onto vegetable madness.
My sisters roasted glazed sweet potatoes, roasted asparagus, several salads, homemade orange-cranberry sauce and Mom's artichoke dressing. We are fortunate to have a raw food chef in the family, who always brings a different vegan pie to try each year.
Funny how all those foods that make my husbands family celebration feel special to him now make them feel special to me, as well. He hasn't learned to appreciate veggies quite as much as I have learned to appreciate meat :) but he definitely makes an effort!
Are any of you celebrating this weekend? What will your holiday be like? Hope you all have a lovely weekend surrounded by those you love, that's what we are thankful for the most around here - x am