We hosted our very first holiday dinner in 2015 — a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people. As our dinner took place the weekend before Thanksgiving for our friends, we were free to experiment as we pleased, without the pressure of meeting everyone's holiday expectations. Plus, we usually go camping over Thanksgiving and hadn't eaten an official Thanksgiving dinner in years, which left us feeling unbound by tradition.
We cooked nearly everything from scratch. We also had to buy nearly all the plates and silverware, as we only had four of everything.
Our first Thanksgiving menu
Roast turkey — Alton Brown
Gravy — Alton Brown
Bread salad — Zuni Cafe, with homemade whole wheat bread
Fig cranberry sauce — Kitchn
Green bean salad with fried almonds — Smitten Kitchen
Maple coriander roasted carrots — Date Night In
Roast butternut squash and red onion — Ottolenghi (brought by a guest)
Kale salad with pomegranate seeds — Epicurious
Sweet potato rolls — James Beard
Pumpkin bread — adapted by Steph from Joy the Baker, recipe below
Pecan pie — Smitten Kitchen
Bourbon pear crumble — Joy the Baker/Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Bourbon ice cream — Brooklyn Supper/David Lebowitz
Buttermilk pie crust — Joy the Baker
3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (120g) whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of cardamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Big pinch of black pepper
1 large egg
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup light packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan, line with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt, and pinch of pepper.
3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together egg, olive oil, and pumpkin puree until well combined. Add sugar, honey, orange juice and vanilla extract and whisk well.
4. Pour the wet ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients. Stir until thoroughly combined, and no pockets of flour remain in the batter. Batter will be thick.
5. Spoon batter into the prepared loaf pan.
6. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the bread comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.