Thanksgiving 2021

Well, things are a little different again this year. Last year, we had no one over and I made a whole meal and dropped it on my Mel’s porch. And I did a google meeting for family and friends and made my husband and I Cornish hens with fixings. This year, we had all three girls, plus boyfriends and two grandbabies. It’s still not as big as it was two or three years ago, but it feels more like the holiday I love. We still do brunch because it has always worked better at not conflicting with other family schedules.

This year I planned a meal around the vegan, the vegetarian, the meat eaters, and the nut allergy. I also wanted to plan it around the fact that the husband and I were leaving right after to go to Arkansas. Yep, you guessed it. There are still going to be two Thanksgivings this year.

I found this awesome looking recipe for a vegetarian “sausage” wreath. Unfortunately, I bought the wrong kind of pastry, so mine is not as pretty as the picture as I had to adapt. But it ultimately tasted a bit like samosas, so I loved that. I totally forgot I had all the sauces from getting Indian take-out earlier in the week. The sauces would have made it even better, but we’ll hang on to this recipe.

We also had roasted asparagus, roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted glazed sweet potatoes. You know, you have to have your veggies. And all of my daughters love roasted veggies. But Katie prefers asparagus. Eleanor doesn’t really like asparagus but loves Brussels sprouts. Mel likes all veggies. My husband also doesn’t like asparagus or sweet potatoes. We got Eleanor to try a sweet potato, but she said it was too sweet. Yes, the kid who would eat nothing but chocolate all day if allowed said sweet potatoes were too sweet. Anyway, all this is to say we needed a variety of veggies to keep everyone happy.

And since this is a brunch, I made a vegan French toast casserole. I found several recipes online and I experimented with the one I thought looked best the weekend before. It wasn’t quite right, so I tweaked that a bit. In the end, the casserole I came up with was pretty close to tasting like the original, non-vegan version.

Oh, I also made roast chicken. How could I forget the bird? None of us are turkey fans, so we stopped doing turkey a few years ago. We usually do some version of chicken. I had originally planned to smoke the chicken, but then I realized what a logistics issue that was going to be now that my smoker/grill is not just a few feet from the kitchen.

For dessert, Mel brought pies. She’d made a peanut butter chocolate pie and a strawberry shortcake pie. They were a little messy, but both tasted delicious!

We had a beautiful brunch with everyone. I think my dishwasher was run twice during the preparation and again after. And then, we hit the road so check out the next post on the Arkansas Phipps Family Thanksgiving.

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