Did you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving? I hope you had just the most cozy, delicious, thankful day! We drove up to my sister’s house to have dinner with a whole gaggle of friends and family. JuneBug and I had to duck out of the festivities a few times because all the holiday cheer was a bit too much for a five month old’s sensory processing, but it was still a very successful first turkey day for the little nugget.
My sister has been hosting Thanksgiving for years now, and has it down to a science. She does almost all of her cooking ahead of time, and delegates a lot of the dishes (including delegating the turkey cooking to my brother-in-law, who did two turkeys this year—one grilled and one smoked). They’ve done such a great job of making Thanksgiving Day low-stress for themselves and their guests. That’s definitely not a skill I’ve learned when cooking a big family meal. By the time I finally sit down to eat, I feel like I need a nap!
My sister is so carefree about it, she has an annual tradition of running in the local Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving morning! How incredible is that? Runs 4+ miles in the morning and has a delicious turkey dinner on the table for 17 people by 2pm. She’s pretty much super woman. I’ve got a lot to learn from my big sister!
(Although, she did say, she had an issue with the chicken and dumplings this year and was wrestling with them still in her running gear—including her race bib—a half hour before all her guests arrived.)
For this year’s dinner, I was assigned two dishes—our family’s world-famous sweet potato casserole (which, I will, eventually share with you, but for now, let me just tell you that it has four sticks of butter and three cups of sugar—it’s delicious) and a veggie side dish. Balance, eh?
I knew I wanted to bring roasted Brussels sprouts, because I’m not sure there is a more Thanksgiving-y veggie than those tiny little cabbages. And, then, a few days before Turkey Day, my Dad handed me four big, beautiful parsnips they grew in their garden this summer, and I knew I wanted to make a beautiful pan of roasted veggies for the table.
Roasted veggies like this are so incredibly easy and so incredibly delicious. It’s really a perfect side dish to keep with the low-stress Thanksgiving dinner theme. It does take some time chopping, but I honestly find the rhythmic chopping nice and relaxing during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. And once the chopping is done, you just toss the veggies with some seasonings and oil, and pop them in a hot oven until they are tender, caramelized and absolutely delicious.
I actually did all my chopping the day before, and par-boiled the parsnips and carrots (just until they were a touch tender), and tossed all the veggies together with the olive oil and seasonings, and then put them all in a big ole zip-top bag in the fridge. Then, when I got to my sister’s on Thanksgiving Day, I just dumped the bag out onto a cookie sheet, threw them in the oven, and went and got a glass of wine. Easy. Peasy.
I have to warn you, I went a little bit crazy with the decadent, delicious Christmas treats this year, and I’ve got a ton of really great (but not so healthy) recipes to share with you over the next few weeks. So this will probably be the last glimpse of veggies you see for a while. Probably until around December 21st—which is right about when I normally get so sick of sugar that I throw all the cookies and fudge in the trash and run out and buy 20 pounds of spinach. I hope you’re ready to take a very merry, sugary journey with me!