Growing up, Thanksgiving was always a huge deal with my family. I recall wading through a veritable sea of aunts, uncles, and cousins just to get to my grandmother’s world-famous (well, Grand Island famous) sage stuffing. There was nothing I wanted to eat more than that stuffing. In addition to the stuffing, there were the usual suspects: turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy, homemade dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and always a pumpkin pie. So. Much. Food. Leftovers for days.
But things are different now. The cousins have grown up, moved away, and started families of their own. My brother is now married with two sons, and splits holidays between he and his wife’s families. I guess I always knew the time of huge family dinners would eventually end, I suppose I just didn’t want to accept it.
On occasion, Scott and I will join my family for Thanksgiving dinner, but not this year. We’re sticking around Omaha and will be spending the holiday with one another. It’s bittersweet – preparing and cooking Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us, as this will be our first Thanksgiving as a married couple. We are now our own family and we can start our own traditions. I love him very much and am thankful for all he has brought to my life, so I want to make sure this dinner isn’t just like any other dinner I might make any other night of the week.
He requested turkey this year, but I’m not ready to cook an entire bird just for the two of us, so I’m opting for an organic, bone-in turkey breast. I’m planning to brine it overnight and slow roast it to achieve the perfect juicy tenderness.
I’m sure I’ll come up with some interesting sides and of course, a dessert. Maybe we’ll even pop open a bottle of champagne to celebrate.
For those of you cooking for two, go crazy. Get creative. Prepare something extra special, decadent, even. Be thankful for the special person in your life, sitting across from you at the table, toast to one another, and dig in.