It makes me so sad to think that Thanksgiving will indeed still happen back home even though I am not there to enjoy it. It's one of my favorite holidays, because even though my family has had many different ways of celebrating it through the years, it's always so memorable and fun. For many years I spent Thanksgiving night on a plane home from Maui, because my dad broadcasted the Maui Invitational college basketball tournament every year, which ended the day before Thanksgiving. We would sit by the pool and order Thanksgiving sandwiches and frozen beverages in the Hawaiian sunshine after having enjoyed an incredible week in paradise. Anthony is currently back in Maui for the week because he's actually playing in the tournament! Who would've thought he'd get to take part in the tournament that brought us so many fun memories of playing in the pools and seeking out flamingos at the Westin Kaanipali for so many years! I wish I could be there to support him but sadly I'm on the complete opposite side of the world! Once high school became too demanding to simply take time off and run away to Maui for a week, my mom and brother and I began going to Greensboro for our big family reunion version of Thanksgiving. While it involved a few more layers of warm clothing typically than the Maui years, it was always so much fun to see everyone from my mom's side of the family and catch up after so much time away from each other. The food was always incredible as well. Everyone contributes a little something, and we spend the whole day watching the meal slowly come together while all the kids run around the farm and play and the men watch football. I'm so sad to be missing out on that fun affair this year as well! This year, my immediate family will be in four completely different locations on Thanksgiving day. I'm here in Spain, where the word Thanksgiving won't be muttered by too many people sadly, my brother will be in Maui, my mom will be home in Charlotte, and my dad will be in the Bahamas, broadcasting a newer college basketball tournament. Since I'm so sad about not all being together (and let's be honest-- about missing out on all the amazing foods that make Thanksgiving what it is), I am going to share with you what my ideal Thanksgiving menu would be if I were to serve it myself. Maybe it's not everyone's favorite, especially since I tend to avoid meat, but hopefully these recipes can offer some inspiration to anyone planning to take on some thanksgiving cooking this season! (Just be sure to save me some for when I'm home!)
Enjoy the holiday, your families, and (most importantly, maybe) the FOOD!
Arugula Salad with cranberries, pecans, and feta
Cauliflower with capers, raisins, and breadcrumbs
Parmesan mashed potatoes
Maple-glazed Salmon (because who said every Thanksgiving needs turkey?!)
Butternut squash and kale-quinoa stuffing
And for dessert...Pumpkin Snickerdoodles!
I very likely may be making this meal for my family a few weeks late!