My Thanksgiving menu is all set! My family enjoys the same traditional foods from year to year, so this is the menu we came up with to make everyone happy. Everything is made from scratch, including the chicken stock which I will make tomorrow to be incorporated in the stuffing and gravy. Side dishes include maple infused sweet potatoes and fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes which both go through a potato ricer for the best consistency. Never use an electric mixer, because the potatoes will end up gummy and not fluffy! My secret to moist turkey is to buy a fresh organic bird, not previously frozen. For years I would spend hours trying to thaw out my turkey and they would always end up being a little dry. I simply slather on some butter, salt and pepper. Inside, I include a fennel bulb, onion and maybe an apple or orange. I lay the bird on rows of celery stalks in the pan, instead of a rack. That way, all that yumminess from the pan, the drippings and veggies, go into my turkey soup for the weekend. All these recipes are in my head. I don’t follow recipes, except for the pies, but timing is so important in cooking the turkey. Figure out how many pounds your turkey is and time it correctly. For the cranberry relish, fresh cranberries are cooked in freshly grated ginger, a little brown sugar and the juice and zest of one orange. The addition of ginger is so good for digestion! I also use freshly grated ginger (and nutmeg) in the pies. Fresh ciabatta bread, mushrooms, apples, onions, celery, fresh herbs (lots of sage) and more go into the stuffing. This year I am going to bake it in a bundt pan, as seen on pinterest! The corn and brussel sprouts are cooked simply with butter (corn) and olive oil (sprouts) and salt and pepper. Pies are also made from scratch. Sweet potato chiffon, recipe found here and good old pumpkin pie, of course! Bon appetit!