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(Table setting, Preparing food (with our new baby “Cipollina” in the background), Turkey platter and green beans, Roberto carving the turkey)…

I am not ashamed to say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I love the idea of a huge public harvest festival where people are showcasing meals using seasonal ingredients on their tables all over the United States without even thinking about it! This tradition of giving thanks for the harvest is an old one, and one that I try to celebrate in our home throughout the year. It very much defines my relationship to the natural world and to the food we eat. For me, that is what Thanksgiving is – the last openly public harvest festival. It is not a celebration of the friendship between pilgrims and Native Americans because frankly, that Thanksgiving is a myth and the reality of it is not one that I would want to celebrate.

That being said, I love the food at this time of year. On this blog I often talk about my love for autumn foods , and at Thanksgiving, I can have many of them on my table at one sitting. I was very fortunate this year to have the baton passed to me, to host Thanksgiving at our house. In past years we have spent Thanksgiving with either set of parents, but this year, they decided I should be the one to host everyone. Honestly, this was a long held dream of mine, to be able to prepare a seasonal harvest menu that incorporates family favorites with my personal touch. A meal made in heaven! :)

We were very thankful that my stepmother, Kayzie is a wine distributor, and checked 6 bottles of wine onto her flight for us to enjoy at dinner.

I hope to have many opportunities in the future to prepare this meal for family and friends. I am sure that it will be especially seasonal and full of ambiance when we move to Vermont. Especially when we can showcase foods we have grown and harvested ourselves, or at least those harvested within our community.

So I see a future of varied Thanksgiving dinner menus based on what is available and delicious that year, much like a harvest festival should be.

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(Pumpkin ravioli, cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole)

This was our menu this year:

Pre Meal Course:
Roasted Chestnuts
Cabot Vintage Reserve Cheddar Cheese
Clementines
Smoked Almonds
Hot Bourbon Toddies

First Course:
Homemade Pumpkin Ravioli with Sundried tomatoes in oil and toasted pine nuts with Vermont (organic) Raw Farmstead cow’s milk Feta
Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc

Second Course:
* Vermont Pasture Raised Turkey (“Henrietta”) from Applecheek Farm (a farm down the street from our place in Vermont)
* Sausage Stuffing with Pumpkin Oatmeal bread from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (made with wheat flour from Butterworks Farm (a farm in Vermont)
* Reclaimed Green Bean Casserole – made with all organic ingredients (including the onion rings)
* Mashed Potatoes with traditional turkey gravy (with bourbon)
* Cardamom-Orange Cranberry Sauce
* Sweet Potato Casserole
Oregon Pinot Noir

Dessert:
Indian Pudding with Bailey’s Whipped Cream

I hope all of my US based bloggers and readers enjoyed their own Thanksgiving Day celebrations! Happy Holidays!