One Last Thing I’m Thankful For

(Image credit: Kate Gagnon)

Last week, we hosted our first-ever, real-adult-people Thanksgiving. Of course, I’ve acted as the second-in-command to my mother at many a Turkey Day before, and even hosted twice previously in my New York apartment. This year was monumental though, as it was the first time my fiancée and I hosted jointly for a group of family and friends in our home. Did the turkey burn? Was the stuffing dry? Nope, it all turned out perfectly. So perfect in fact, there’s not a very good close-up shot of the whole spread to share.

To celebrate, I’m adding one more thing to the long list of things I’m thankful for: Thanksgiving itself!

As it was our first time hosting, we of course labored over the menu for weeks. In the end, the meal centered around a juicy dry-brined turkey and herbed salmon from the new Kitchn Cookbook. Classics like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy shared the table with modern favorites like Deb Perelman’s wild rice and kale gratin, maple roast carrots, and my mother-in-law’s famous tri-color soufflé. Pecan and pumpkin pies were topped with whipped cream three ways.

Even more than the menu though, we considered the traditions. Not only did we strive to honor family rituals — like the salmon, which long ago became a staple of my fiancé’s family table at Thanksgiving — we aimed to create new ones that would become our own for years to come.

The result was a joyous, happy, and hearty dinner. Hardly any photos of the meal itself remain, save for those that feature the lovely guests surrounding the table. And isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about? While we fret over the green bean casserole and make gravy in advance, it all falls into perspective when family and friends gather to give thanks and express gratitude. It was one of the most meaningful hosting experiences I’ve ever had and one that will surely be a tradition for years to come. (That along with the delicious sage stuffing I’ve been told is a must have next year.)

How did your Thanksgiving go?