The Thanksgiving Report 2011: How Did It Go?

Well, another Thanksgiving has come and gone. We've cooked and feasted, and now we're officially launched into the holiday season. But before we dive into the winter holidays — how did Thanksgiving go? Did you try new things? Did you enjoy your feast? Tell us how it went, and take a peek at a few photos of my own Thanksgiving.

We had 12 total to dinner — the limit that can fit in our modest dining room! It was a mix of friends and family, young and... mature. There were folks around the table from other parts of the world (China, India). So I made a mixed feast: There were the traditional dishes of turkey and dressing, but I also made a lamb curry and one friend brought a scrumptious biryani. It was colorful and fresh, and the best Thanksgiving yet.

I set the table with simple white china and tablecloths (I never regret having white basics around!) and I laid striped wrapping paper down the center. It was an inexpensive find at Anthropologie. For flowers we had purple kale, berries, and a spray or two of orchids. It looks fancy but it was so simple and inexpensive — kale is incredibly gorgeous and sculptural all on its own.

And, then the menu. Here's what we ate:

Thanksgiving 2011: The Menu

Nibbles
• Ina Garten's fabulous nut mix
• Bacon-wrapped shrimp
• Citrus-Spice Celebration Punch (recipe here)

To Start
• Persimmon and pomegranate salad with pine nuts and cilantro
• Sweet potato rolls (recipe here)
To drink: A sweeter Riesling, with the spicy salad

Soup
• Tangy, spicy rasam soup (sipped out of a teacup)

Main course
• Roast turkey and gravy
• Garlic mashed potatoes
• Sweet potato gratin with caramelized onions (recipe here)
• Sausage, leek, and mushroom bread dressing, plus a plain sage and onion dressing
• Kerala lamb curry (recipe here)
• Caramelized onion biryani
• Eggplant curry
• Cranberry sauce with port and figs
To drink: The Qupe Syrah that Mary loves, and a mix of Belgian beers and dry cider.

Dessert
• Ginger pumpkin pie (recipe here)
• Molasses cake (recipe here)
• Platter of sweet nibbles: Pumpkin rice krispie treats, date-coconut rolls, pumpkin crumb cake, orange slices

To finish
• Coffee
• Fernet Branca with tonic water

Whew! It was a long meal, and so fun — folks were here all day long.

Your turn! What did you do, what did you cook — what did you eat? And how did your festivities go?

Related: Smoked Turkey & Dinner for 12: Our Thanksgiving Report

(Image: Faith Durand)