Over the past several years, I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner twelve times. The two that I missed were when our house was under construction after some water damage, and when we were preparing to move. Other than that, it has been all turkey (and stuffing, and potatoes, and…) all the time. I loved it.
This year seemed different. I just wasn’t into it. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I wanted to have a good time, with good food and friends, but we had family going elsewhere and drama that I had no interest in. When talking to a friend about having Thanksgiving at their house, I quickly agreed it was a good idea.
Once my parents got wind of this plan, they thought it was a good idea, too, and decided that Key West was the place to be for Thanksgiving. But Thanksgiving just cannot happen without my mom’s apple pie. I have made the apple crumb pie, too, but somehow it is just better when she does it. So I volunteered her for pie baking, while I made my world famous (ok, maybe not) mushroom sage stuffing. I explained to my mom that my friends were very picky about who was allowed to bring what, and there was strict quality control. She wondered aloud how she got to make the pie since they had never tasted her food. I vouched for her, and explained just how good this particular pie is. Obviously I was correct, as I don’t think there was much left, except for a slice hidden away by the hosts for later.
Tangent: Yes, I call it stuffing, even though it does not get stuffed inside anything except a baking dish. I know that technically it should be called dressing if it is not stuffed in a bird, but I always think of dressing as something you put on salad, not beside a turkey. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts on this very important subject in the comments below.
But I digress… the mushroom sage stuffing is mostly mushrooms (crimini, shitake and porcini powder), with a loaf of challah thrown in for good measure, a handful of sage leaves chopped up and some mushroom stock to keep it all moist and delicious. It was, as usual, delicious. Of course, all of the food was delicious. There was a “retro” theme, and as such a retro version and modern version of each dish, including sweet potatoes (the retro version had marshmallows), green bean casserole (retro had mushroom gravy, modern take were just green beans) and there was even a lime green jello mold. I now remember why I haven’t had a jello mold since I was seven.
The best part about the holiday (aside from the lack of cleaning up on my part), was spending the holiday with family and friends. everyone was relaxed and happy, and the weather was perfect for dining al fresco. Is it bad that I have already invited myself for next year?