I'm feeling the pressure of the holidays already. It's less than three weeks until Thanksgiving and I haven't started making my lists. I've got the menu pretty well figured out (considered an Ode to the last Gourmet magazine - cooking their entire Thanksgiving dinner, but can't give up my favorites.) Now, it's time to get organized.
There will be a list for grocery shopping, a list of serving dishes and utensils. Lists of table setting needs, flowers, vases. Lists outlining breakfast and dinner Tuesday and Wednesday, as we have houseguests. And a timeline of what must be done in the kitchen every day of that week.
Thanksgiving is relatively easy. Only seven at the table, all good friends and family.
Friday is a whole different animal. It's our annual party - The Dead Poultry Society. It's always a great get-together, with somewhere between 50 and 75 friends, friends' families, out of town guests, and, pretty much anyone who shows up at the door!
The DPS was begun years ago by my parents and their Berkshire-weekend-home neighbors, who would have Thanksgiving at their own homes, and then gather on Friday sharing leftovers .
We've expanded the idea. While we encourage attendees to bring any leftovers they want to add to the table, mostly they bring wine. And, I plan the cooking with both days, and all those people, in mind.
Frankly, I'm so exhausted by the time dinner is on the table Thursday, I can barely taste anything. I enjoy the food so much more on Friday. Certainly, there are foods that are prepared just for Friday's get-together. Most specifically - the SANDWICH BAR. Who doesn't love a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich? I bake breads and rolls, put out the pickles, sauerkraut and chutneys put up over the summer, and we all belly up.
There's one other reason to host the Dead Poultry Society. Eight desserts. I can never decide between cherry pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pecan pie, cranberry tart, lemon meringue pie, and heaven knows what else.
Today, we're attending a family wedding in Michigan. We'll head home tomorrow and I intend to start those lists on the plane. While I have already ordered two turkeys, I'll place orders with my favorite farmers for fruit, vegetables, fish, and dairy, butter and cheeses this week. Sadly, this will be the last time I see most of the farmers until next Spring.
I love this time of year. And I love Thanksgiving most. It's such a nice holiday - no religious significance, no gift-exchanging awkwardness, nothing but the celebration of food. My kind of day.