Learning how to host...

I hosted Thanksgiving for what I call "Mom's side of the family," which is an easy way to explain a somewhat complex and ever complexify-ing description of my relations, which doesn't truly need to be explained here - though as I type that I think about how closely bound family and food are. I opted for a traditional Thanksgiving spread because of that tie - I remember countless Thanksgivings (well, perhaps about 25...) with the same dishes (times two, because "Dad's side of the family").

Somehow, I pulled off something akin to a Thanksgiving miracle - all my dishes came out simultaneously, deliciously, and with a minimal amount of stress for me.

HOW did this happen, you ask?

2 hours of prep work is the answer (and a lot of forethought).

First I made a pretty menu. Then I made a looooooong list of things to buy at the grocery store. Then I broke all my recipes down into a loooooooong prep list and schedule, spread across 4 days. What needed to be chopped, how much, what could be packaged together. The above resulted.

Come Thanksgiving day, all that needed to happen was the actual cooking part. As for getting everything out simultaneously - that was a result of my years of practice cooking things, and, I think, a lot of luck. I also did not cook the turkey - being vegetarian, my experience is limited to what I cooked in my early 20s, which was mainly chicken tacos, stir fry, and pan-seared...so I left that up to my boyfriend's mom. Apparently it was very good. My cat certainly thought so.

He also found dessert tasty?

Here's my spread, and the delicious, perfect recipes from whence it hails (a lot of Pioneer Woman. Can't go wrong with her).

Pioneer Woman Stuffing

Pioneer Woman Cranberry Sauce

Pioneer Woman Mashed Potatoes

Buttery Garlic Green Beans

Edible Perspective - Apple Sage Chickpea Burgers

Well Plated - 7 Layer Taco Dip

Well Plated - Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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