Cooking a big meal with someone really solidifies a relationship. Even if you’re cooking simultaneously but in all different kitchens (like this online seasonal holiday potluck) some how we all feel a little closer. Last year I cooked the big feast with my dear friend Anne. She taught me how to perfectly tie knots with dough for beautiful rolls and together we mastered several pies, side dishes, and took on the challenge of the most massive turkey I’ve ever bought, all for the cause of feeding our friends. We started a week or so ahead, prepping by making pie dough and freezing it, making cranberry sauce, and splitting up our grocery lists. Then on the day before we prepped veggies and make a schedule for the day of. On Thanksgiving day we cooked, sipped and sampled our way through creating a special meal. We talked all about our families Thanksgiving traditions, what we liked and what we didn’t and what we hope to change.
I think I’m going to make a habit of pre-Thanksgiving testing meals with friends! Aside from our online holiday potluck, this year a group of bloggers who all partner with our local grocery Harmons Grocery, got together for a in-person Thanksgiving feast. Our recipes we’re perfected, we shared a meal, and many photos were taken! All in the name of making this year’s Thanksgiving easy for our readers. And we’re not only giving you lots of recipe ideas today, we’re also giving away grocery money for the big feast.
For this Harmons Thanksgiving Feast, most of the actual cooking was done in advance but Si from A Bountiful Kitchen, Caroline from Armelle Blog, and I helped put the finishing touches on the meal for a complete spread. After whisking gravy, cutting herbs, and setting the table together, we all felt a more tightly knit as new friends. Food has a special way of doing that and cooking, even more so.
Here are all of the dishes that filled our table for our early Thanksgiving meal.
Si gave me an extra boost of confidence in my gravy making as she whisked up her gravy the exact way I do. She and I both like to place our turkey roasting pans, drippings and all, right over two burners on the stove. Then, add some stock and flour, maybe some extra seasonings, and you’re good to go. Here’s my full recipe for Turkey Gravy with one flavor boosting secret ingredient!
We are giving away 5 gift cards to Harmons Grocery, each valuing $100. The giveaway is until this Sunday at night. There’s a huge chance to win so definitely don’t miss out! Here’s how to enter:
For this super easy cranberry sauce recipe, just pulse a whole orange (rind and all) in a food processor with a full bag of cranberries (they are available and on sale right now at Harmons) and 1 cup of sugar. Store the relish in the refrigerator for up to a week prior to the big meal. I like to put the relish in several jars so everyone has easy access along the table.
I hope you all get to cook something delicious with new and old friends around the holidays this year. You may get to know someone a little deeper or make a old relationship a little sweeter as you stir gravy, prep a turkey or mash up the pot of potatoes! Cooking just has a way of doing that!
This simple recipe for Cranberry and Orange Relish is great alongside Thanksgiving spread or for turkey sandwiches.
- 1 bag of cranberries, 12 ounces
- 1 orange, seedless
- 1 cup of sugar, you may use less
Cut the oranges into quarters. In a food processor chop the raw cranberries and orange slices. Add in the sugar gradually and pulse a few more times. Taste as you add the sugar in because you may not want to use all of the sugar.
Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate. This will keep for 2 weeks. Leftovers can be combined with mayonnaise and used as a dressing for leftover turkey sandwiches.