The First Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. That day, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag together made a first festive dinner at Plymouth Colony. Tradition said that they served venison, ham, wild turkeys, waterfowl, fish, clams, and lobster at the dinner table. Dessert made of pumpkins, berries, and squashes were delicious, but they couldn’t have cakes on the table because they spent the stocks of sugar brought from Europe.
Years later, Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the US, said that citizen of the United States shouldn’t refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Benjamin Franklin believed that the wild turkey is an American icon. After Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, the turkey finally became a central dish at the festive table. But that’s not all. Today, this holiday is unthinkable without pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes, and our festive dinner is undoubtedly entirely different than the one the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians shared in 1621.
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Favorites Set Thanksgiving Table Ideas
For many women, setting a Thanksgiving table is harder than preparing a meal. There are so many ideas and variations, and you can be confused what to pick out. However, there is no reason for concern. It is enough to choose plates and cutlery, add unique details that symbolize this holiday to the table, and serve dinner. Always keep in mind that secret ingredients for every holiday are a family, a lot of smiles, joy, and good mood. These are my three favorite ways to set the table for Thanksgiving:
1 – Simple Thanksgiving Table
The natural beauty is always the winning combination. This type of Thanksgiving table includes simple elements such as pillar candles, glass bowls full of apples and pears, and scattered autumn leaves all around. White tablecloth and humble plates will make your festive table beautiful in an extraordinary manner.
2 – Glamorous Thanksgiving Table
If you prefer glamour and want your festive table looks sophisticated and extraordinary, you should choose gold and chocolate! Simple gold spray can make a miracle and transform simple objects in the room to extravagant pieces. Golden pumpkins, golden pine cones, and golden candles will look unreal among turkey-shaped chocolate truffles. The great thing is that your guests can eat these mini-desserts in the end after you share a pumpkin pie.
3 – Country-Casual Thanksgiving Table
Who doesn’t like this classic style? Decorate your festive table in a farmhouse way. Use a lot of sunflowers and white enamel, put bandanas instead napkins on the orange plates, and spread an oak-leaf garland across the table. It is beautiful, isn’t it?
Thanksgiving Dinner Menu
Have you ever thought about why the Thanksgiving table has always had the same certain meals? The recipes can be various, you can add different spices in green bean casserole, combine different fruit in a pie, and drink many varieties of wine, but basically, it is hard to imagine this day without a turkey and a pumpkin pie, right? Let’s see why this is so.
1 – Turkey
Oven roasted turkey is so essential part of the Thanksgiving dinner that this holiday is often called ‘Turkey Day’. The fact is that Americans every year eat approximately 46 million turkeys on this day. The average turkey on the family table weighs up to 18 pounds (8.2 kg). The most common way of preparing is the roast turkey stuffed with a mixture of bread, onions, and chopped carrots and celery. However, these days many other ingredients, including chestnuts, bacon, apples, and cranberries can be added to stuffing.
2 – Green bean casserole
This dish, made of green beans, French fried onions, and cream of mushroom soup, is a bit new on the Thanksgiving table. It was created by the Campbell Soup Company in 1955 because most Americans in those times always had green beans and mushroom soup in their homes. From 1972, it is possible making this dish by using sour cream instead of cream of mushroom soup.
3 – Mashed potato
This traditional dish is prepared by mashing precooked peeled potatoes and mixing with garlic, butter, and milk until blend becomes smooth. The first recipe of this dish dated from 1747 when Hannah Glasse included it in her ‘The Art of Cookery’.
4 – Cranberry sauce (jelly)
This traditional dish is made out of cranberries, and its flavor can vary depending on the geography. Unlike Europeans who prefer slightly sour-tasting, Americans like more heavily sweetened sauce. For the first time, this sauce was served in Hanson, Massachusetts in 1912, and since then it has become a popular dish nationwide.
5 – Pumpkin pie
The most popular dessert pie in the US is probably this one. It is traditionally served for Thanksgiving as a symbol of harvest time. It is usually made of pumpkin-based custard filling and pumpkin pie spice.
6 – Pecan pie
In the US, this Southern origin pie is made of pecan nuts, butter, sugar, corn syrup, and a filling of eggs. Sometimes, chefs add bourbon whiskey and chocolate in the recipe to make it more decadent. The best way of serving this pie is spilling it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
7 – Beverages
There is no specific type of beverages which has to be served on Thanksgiving. Selection of drinks depends on the choice of side dishes and tastes of present guests. You can start dinner with a cocktail or a spirit. Traditionally, unfermented apple cider should always be on the dinner table, but many people prefer wine. On the other hand, it is impossible to imagine Southern tables without pitchers of sweet tea.
Whole Foods Thanksgiving Dinner 2018
Haven’t yet decided what kind of dishes and delicacies you could make for Thanksgiving? For how many Thanksgiving dinner recipes have you heard? Some chefs claim that a turkey can be prepared in sixty different ways. I believe that the number of methods for making soup and a pie is much higher.
Each one of us wants our festive dining table to be unique and our meal to be most delicious. The problem is how to choose exactly the right one, the best, the most exciting, and the most original recipe of all. Would you like to create a menu based on proven recipes? Here are some of the Thanksgiving dinner ideas I have prepared just for you. I am sure your family will be thrilled with the food made by combining the grandmother’s old recipes and new ways of preparation. Enjoy your meal.
So, let’s get cooking!
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 3 pounds butternut squash
- Unsalted melted butter
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 ½ tsp ground white pepper
- ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup heavy cream
Place the squash onto a pan, mix with a little butter, salt, and one teaspoon of pepper. Cook it at 400 degrees F for half an hour. Use the roasted squash, add the broth, ginger, and honey and place the mixture over medium heat for about eight minutes. After that, carefully put it in a stick blender and make a puree, stir it in the heavy cream, and put to a low simmer again. Add the rest of seasoning and your soup is prepared.
Depending on whether you prefer a stuffed or roasted turkey, choose one of the two recipes I have selected for you for this Thanksgiving Day.
- 10-pound-turkey (4.3 kg)
- 4 cups broth (preferred chicken)
- 4 to 5 slices bread (cut into cubes)
- Two eggs
- ¼ cup dried mushrooms
- 1 cup celery (chopped)
- 1 cup onion (chopped)
- 1 cup green pepper (chopped)
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup pecans (chopped)
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tsp salt
- 3 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp drained sage leaves
- 2 tsp dried parsley
Heat the broth and pour it over mushrooms (preferably in a glass bowl) for half an hour. Meanwhile, combine the celery, onion, green pepper, salt, and oil and roast them for approximately half an hour in an oven. Near the end, spread the bread over the mixture and continue cooking. In the end, add soaked mushrooms, whipped eggs, and rest of seasoning. Stir the stuffing together and heat it in a microwave for six minutes.
Put the turkey into a deep bowl and rub it with oil. Fill a bird up with the warm stuffing and place it into a preheated oven. Roast the meat at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes. After reducing the heat to 350 degrees F, cook the turkey for one more hour.
- 12-pound-turkey (5.4 kg)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Bunch of fresh thyme
- One lemon (halved)
- One onion (quartered)
- One garlic clove (halved)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted, melted butter
Place the fresh, washed, and dried turkey in a roasting pan. Stuff the bird’s cavity with the lemon, thyme, onion, and the garlic, and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the butter on the surface of the bird, and season it with salt and pepper.
After tying the legs together with string, put the turkey into a preheated oven and roast it at 350 degrees F for 150 minutes. From time to time, do basting the meat with pan juices. After you take out a turkey from the oven, cover it with foil. Meat will be tastier after resting for half an hour.
- 1 cup heavy cream (or 1 ½ cups milk)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 large potatoes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Put the potatoes into a saucepan full of water, add salt and place it on the stove. When water boils, you should reduce the heat. Keep simmering uncovered potatoes until become tender. Let the potatoes dry, and then and mash them. Pour the preheated cream with the butter over potato and mix them until become smooth. Season obtained mashed potatoes with pepper and olive oil. Add chives on the top.
5.GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
- 6 cups green beans
- 4 cups mixed mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- A crusty loaf of bread
- 2 shallots (sliced)
- 3 tsp fresh thyme leaves (chopped)
- 3 tsp fresh chives (chopped)
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves (chopped)
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Put the green beans into boil water with a pinch of salt. After about five minutes, remove the beans from a pan, drain them, and add a small part of the butter in. Put the bread, torn into pieces, in the bowl and add chives, thyme, rosemary, Parmesan, and olive oil. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake it about ten minutes.
Melt the remaining butter over medium heat and add olive oil, shallots, the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cook this blend and after about ten minutes add the heavy cream. After cooking for another five minutes, add the green beans. Stir well, put the mixture into the baking tray, put the croutons on the top, and sprinkle Parmesan on it. Bake about 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. Yummy!
- 5 carrots
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp honey
- ¼ tsp Togarashi spice mix
- 1/8 cup parsley (chopped)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Cut the carrots crosswise and each piece lengthwise as well. Put created spears in a cast-iron skillet with hot oil and cook for about six minutes without turning until become very dark. Stir carrots with 1/4 cup of water, the honey, and Togarashi spice mix. While stirring all ingredients constantly, cook until almost all the water evaporates. Add salt, pepper, and chopped parsley to the meal.
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- Juice and zest of one orange
Combine water, cranberries, and sugar in a pot and stir the mixture to blend. After a blend boils, you need to reduce the heat to simmer. Add the cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and allspice and simmer for more five minutes. In the end, add the orange zest and juice and cool the dessert before serving.
When it comes to bread, you can choose traditional cast-iron skillet cornbread or make adorable spoon rolls for example. It’s up to you.
Cast-Iron Skillet Cornbread
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- ¼ cup sorghum
- 1 cup milk (regular or almond)
- ¼ cup applesauce
- An egg
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
It is necessary to keep milk, an egg, and applesauce at room temperature for half an hour before making cornbread. Put one half of the oil into a cast-iron skillet and heat it in the oven for eight minutes.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a bowl with a whisk. Use the second bowl to mix the applesauce, milk, sorghum, egg and the other half of the oil. Pour the mixture in the center of the dry ingredients. Carefully pour hot oil in the batter, put it in the skillet, and return to the oven for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees F.
- 2 cups warm water (100 degrees F)
- 4 cups flour
- 1 packet dry active yeast
- An egg
- ¾ cup melted butter
- ¼ cup sugar
Add a little sugar in the yeast and dissolve it in the warm water. Use an electric mixer and mix the butter. Add sugar, an egg, and the yeast. While mixing, gradually add the flour. Put tightly covered batter in an airtight bowl and store it in the fridge overnight. The next day, grease the muffin tins and fill them with the dough. Bake spoon rolls about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
It is not possible to imagine traditional Thanksgiving dinner without pumpkin pie. This is my favorite recipe for regular pie. Try it, and you will want to make it, again and again, every next year.
- 3/4 cup gingersnap cookies
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
Mix gingersnap cookies, ginger, and brown sugar in a food processor until entirely grinding the cookies. After adding the butter and mixing well all together, put the gingersnap mixture in a 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie dish. Press it into the bottom of the plate and place a baking paper over it to prevent the dough rise. Put the crust in a preheated oven and bake it for ten minutes at 350 degrees F. Keep in mind that you need to cool crust before filling.
- 3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree (If you want to make pumpkin puree yourself, see instructions for preparation at the end of this recipe)
- 1 cup Half-and-half
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Two eggs
- An egg yolk
Put the pumpkin puree made of one rinsed, dried, and salted 5-pound baking pumpkin in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat. After cooking the puree for a few minutes and stirring occasionally, add the Half-and-Half, salt, and nutmeg. Remove the mixture from heat as soon as bubbles start to make and cool it a bit (approximately ten minutes).
Put eggs, yolk, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. After adding cooked pumpkin puree in the mixture, pour the made filling into the warm crust. Bake the pie about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let the pie cool at least two hours before slicing.
If you prefer a mini version of the pie, just divide the crust mixture to 5-inch pie tins and bake them for five minutes. Fill and bake mini pies in the same way as you do with a regular pumpkin pie.
You need one 5-pound baking pumpkin. After rinsing and drying the pumpkin, split it in half starting from top to bottom. Remove the seeds from the middle of the pumpkin by using a large metal spoon. Salt the flesh and put both halves on a sheet pan. Roast the pumpkin approximately half an hour at 400 degrees F until it becomes entirely soft. After cooling it for an hour, remove the skin and grind the flesh into a food processor until getting a smooth puree.
Unique Thanksgiving Ideas for Your Home
No matter how important Thanksgiving dinner menu is to us, food is not the only thing we need to think about. There are so many new sundries which will make our home more elegant and amusing and complete this beautiful and joyous holiday.
- If you have discovered the secret of decoupage, make a ‘happy turkey’ plates set.
- Do you prefer a more classy style? The white dinner plates with harvest wheat will be a perfect choice.
- Create a unique oak leaf garland and put it on the festive table.
- To accelerate the joyful atmosphere, add a few knick-knacks on the table. For example, make a handmade fall pumpkin centerpiece. It will be an excellent decor for the festive table. Plus, your little ones will endlessly enjoy.
- Put white or orange candles into simple glass candleholders, and you will get a perfect, stylish, and sophisticated Thanksgiving table without much trouble.
- If you prefer the warm autumnal colors on your table, make a fresh fall-themed bouquet with sunflowers, yellow leaves, roses, and the grain of wheat.
- And, of course, don’t forget to put fall harvest wreath made of leaves and berries above the front door.
Remember! Thanksgiving is one of the most remarkable and most patriotic holidays for every American. Be grateful for all the benefits accomplished during the previous year, pray for the gift of faith, and believe in the blessing of hope. I send best wishes to you and all the people you love.
Happy Thanksgiving Day!