For days now I have been loading the dishwasher, running the dishwasher, unloading the dishwasher and loading it again. Thanksgiving comes but once a year, and I cook, and cook and then cook some more. Not a lot each day, but a dish or two in preparation of the gathering.
Today the bro and fam travel here to assemble the centerpiece of our family feasting; the turduken. In years past there would be a family meeting to discuss who was bringing what to the feast. Over the years, and our ease with turduken assembly growing, this communication has backed off to a few emails and a final one or two phone calls. Honestly I don't know where the original recipe can be found. The general plan is: debone the birds: turkey, duck, chicken. (The bro is talking about adding a cornish hen to the mix...) Layer with stuffing. (I still have to make the fruit stuffing today.) Sew and truss birds like an onion, ie Onions have layers. Put birds into pan. Cook in a 190 degree oven until internal temp reaches 170. This last step takes anywhere from 11 to 13 hours. Hence the hour of assembly is around midnight tonight.
Tonight's dinner will be a reflection on our Italian heritage. Grammy's Parmesan noodle soup, ravioli with (Bosky Dell Farm) homemade ricotta and gorgonzola cheese, (Happenings on the Hill) homemade bread, salad, feasted off of my Great Nana's china. Through food, and place settings we will reflect on the importance of family and friends. We will draw them all close and hold them in our hearts.
To pass the time between dinner and midnight there is fivolity: Nana's whiskey sour punch, singing, dancing, game playing, big day dinner strategy discussions: family.
Come the big day, the bro and his fam must leave to visit "the other side", the inlaws. Of course we understand, it's not a problem. And there is a silver lining to their leaving, for today and tonight we will savore the importance of our time together. How greatful we are that they will share their time with us. For we can be thankful on more than one day a year.