Thanksgiving is always an interesting experience. Or at least it has been since moving into Manhattan. My sister and I have both been here for three Thanksgivings now, and each year my parents have chosen to drive up, taking in the scenery along the way, and we’ve done Thanksgiving in my little apartment (bigger the first year for our drama courtesy of Jive Turkey, not quite so much at present). It just makes sense since both my sister and I will be packing up and boarding a plane only a few weeks later to head back for Christmas. And the holidays in general are just such a fun time to be in NYC.
My parents arrived with lots of the food items, especially those they figured would be pricey in the grocery store (loved the look on my mom’s face when she saw cereal for $6 in Gristedes – I think they felt that hauling many items in was a good call).
Last year, we did Thanksgiving in my new smaller place. It worked fine (thank you, Hill Country), but the tiny kitchen? Not so functional…
Over the summer, my sister moved out to Brooklyn. A bit more space (tons more for her) and a significantly bigger kitchen. So this year, we moved the celebration. As you can see below, made sense, right? I think my parents thought this choice was even smarter as we all proceeded to knock over countless food items and Dixie’s water bowl during the days prior. Yes space? Definitely underrated!
My sister made cupcakes, with Martha Stewart’s AMAZING buttercream frosting. Our appetizer? Honestly? Frosting. We didn’t want to waste. I’d also made my pumpkin hummus, which I just love with pita chips and carrots. Perfect. I also whipped up some pumpkin cornbread for us to enjoy with the meal. I made them this time around in a mini-muffin tin, which ended up being a much more practical way to serve them for a group. It made a ton this way.
Again, we ordered the turkey from Hill Country, having been very impressed with them last time. This year, the interesting challenge was figuring out how to maneuver up the streets and yet avoid the street closures due to the new route for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Finally, we made it there though. This year, we decided to do the sides on our own. The ones from Hill Country were good last year, but not quite our style. If your family has a tradition when it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m sure you’ll agree that side dishes are kind of personal to commercialize.
Ok, so growing up my mom always made this. And I didn’t eat it. Ever. Ew. I didn’t get it. When she’d bake the cornbread to make it, she’d chisel off a chunk for my sister and I. I loved cornbread with butter, plain, and did not understand why on earth anyone thought it was a good idea to mush it up, add a bunch of junk into it, and rebake it. Silly, I thought. I think I finally broke the stuffing seal when I ate a frozen dinner and decided to try it. The next Thanksgiving I decided I should try the real deal, and oh my, nothing compares. And it’s so so simple.
When I asked my mom for the recipe, her response was “hmmmmmm”. She didn’t really have one. She knew what went into it and how things needed to look and smell in order for it to be right, but anything beyond that? Didn’t exist so much. I’d followed her around with a piece of paper one Thanksgiving to jot it all down, a lovely piece of paper I promptly lost. So this year, I did it again, and this time, I’m putting it up here so it won’t be lost, and so you can see just how easy it is to do so much better than Stove Top.
Southern Style Dressing
- 1 recipe as per box directions
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery
- 16 oz chicken broth
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons of sage
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
First, you prepare one recipe’s worth of the cornbread. Be sure not to get one of the packages of that easy bake cornbread (it comes with its own little tray in the package). Get something normal and basic! Once it’s done, let it cool slightly, before crumbling it up in a regular glass dish (13×9 should work well). Mix in the onion, celery, chicken broth, and eggs. Add in the sage slowly. You’ve got enough when it smells of sage. 2 teaspons worked for us this year. You should be able to notice it – it’s a pretty unique smell. Sprinke in some salt and pepper, to taste, and put it on into the oven. Cook it on 400 degrees for about 50 minutes. It should be slightly brown on top.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!