We are just a few days from my absolute favorite meal of the year. I look forward to Thanksgiving for many reasons. Obviously, the food is a big part of that but it’s more. This is the one holiday that’s just about good food, family and being together (and 24-hours of A Christmas Story).
For as long as I can remember, my mom has hosted Thanksgiving. When I lived at home, I loved waking up to the smell of the turkey cooking in the basement (she has a small kitchen downstairs, which is much needed given the size of our family and amount of cooking she does). That tempting smell would linger for days. Even now when we arrive for the holiday, one of the first things I do is walk downstairs to take in the aroma and peak at the turkey. This ritual instantly brings back 100 memories.
I keep telling Jamie that I want to deliver early, but not before Thanksgiving. I don’t want anything to come between me and this meal. He says if I do, he’ll make me my own Thanksgiving feast complete with all the trimmings. As much as I would enjoy that, it wouldn’t be the same. I love all the dishes my mom whips up, especially the lima bean soup with veal meatballs that starts the dinner off. This soup is a long-standing tradition in my family and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, like it. Everyone that tries it is instantly hooked. It’s that good.
I usually bring a few dishes with us, but this year was given the pass and told not to do anything but show up. Since I can’t go anyplace empty handed, I found a super easy dish to bring from this month’s Food & Wine: fennel gratin with crispy bread crumb topping. I like that I can make this dish the day before and bake the day of. I hope it comes out as good as it sounds.
I’m also going to bring two types of salami from Salumi, the mole (my personal favorite) and salumi salami (house specialty). Last year I put my order in too late and it almost didn’t arrive in time. This year, I called in early October to ensure I could get my hands on the wonderful mole, with chocolate, cinnamon, ancho and chipotle peppers. There is nothing like this. And if you’re looking for a good holiday gift, or doing any entertaining this season, check out this Seattle shop’s (and Mario Batali’s family) basket of products.