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The First Thanksgiving

For years, I’ve mocked my mother for the insanity that ensues when she preps for Thanksgiving dinner. I would officially like to say I am sorry Mom! Karma has caught up with me as I just found out that I am hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people.  And my mom will not be here to help me!

You may be wondering how such a small apartment and kitchen could hold such a group. Well that is the other big news. Not My Mother’s Kitchen has moved to the suburbs after nearly five years of urban living. Yes, the kitchen is bigger. But it is also in two rooms (don’t ask) so this should be interesting. The cook in me is delighted with this Thanksgiving challenge. The neurotic in me is in full panic mode. I may like to cook, but I am: 1.) a control freak and 2.) a perfectionist so I want things to go well. Actually, I prefer that things go so well that people talk about this dinner for years to come.  In the end, I’ll probably settle for no one getting sick, no fights, and no nervous breakdown.

Today, I took to the internet to find some tips for hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner and cooking your first turkey (yes, I’ve never cooked a turkey before). But the first thing I discovered was the importance of a good Thanksgiving cocktail. So please enjoy the benefits of my research…

Thanksgiving Cocktails

Cranberry Old Fashioned

Thanksgiving Martinis

Helpful Articles


Survival Tips: Hosting Your First Thanksgiving

How to Host Your First Thanksgiving

A Bonus Recipe

For my Ryan who loves brussels sprouts…

Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin (adapted from Alice Waters)

  • 1  pound brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed and stems trimmed
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the brussels sprouts in the water for 10 minutes, then drain. Chop them roughly, and transfer to a small casserole or gratin dish. Pour the cream over the brussels sprouts, then the parmesan, then the breadcrumbs, and then a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Dab the dish with pieces of butter, and bake for
20 minutes.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Cheri, having done this, i can say this, get a turkey that has the button!. Get a big one, not a frozen one. If you are making stuffing( the old fashioned bread kind) let the bread lay out overnight to stiffen a bit( dry out). Personally, boxed mashed potatoes, boxed stuffing mix, and canned cranberry jellyor whole berries, and a basket o’ buns from Giant Eagle or another big store…or bakery makes it sooo much easier, ’cause the this should be a really nice gathering time and the less stressed the cook, the nicer it will be for all…ps, pumpkin pie is really easy with the pumpkin mix from Libby, etc and a store bought crust! I am making pumpkin rolls and will have aboutabout 8 of us…Patty and theresa will bring side dishes to keep my part ( actually Terry cooks the turkey) to a minimum…LOL it took me 50 years to get to this…

    November 15, 2011

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