WIAW 69: Thanksgiving 2013

Happy (What I Ate) Wednesday, friends!

Even though Thanksgiving has come and gone, I’m still trying to hold on to it. In fact, Greg and I roasted our own turkey yesterday and had a second Thanksgiving!


Let me explain. We went over to our friends’ (John and Tiffani) house for the big Thanksgiving meal last week, so we didn’t get to have our own leftover turkey to enjoy. I remedied that by picking one up last Friday, thawing it out in the fridge for four days (!!) and roasting it last night. I’m so excited to have turkey every day for the foreseeable future. :)

I’ve decided not to post photos of anything that I ate before 3:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day.. because they’re pretty boring.

If you really want to know, I had a KIND bar early in the morning before we went hiking at Mt. Sanitas and my current favorite breakfast (minus the toast) after we got back home.

Greg and I planned to bring three different side dishes to John & Tiffani’s house. They had invited a group of people over and created a spreadsheet for everyone to type in what they planned to bring (so that we didn’t end up with 6 different green bean casseroles!). They had requested a salad, so I offered to bring that, along with two other sides.

And of course, we brought along some of our favorite local beer!

upslope cooler

Some drank wine and others drank Red Bull & Vodka (ew!). Greg and I opted for Upslope while playing a few (hundred) rounds of cornhole in the backyard.

We also snacked on various veggie, cheese, meat and cracker plates.


veggie tray

When it was time for the big show, various dishes were set up buffet style (which is much easier than passing everything around!

There was turkey and ham:


(John & Tiffani had all of their wedding guests write a message to them on a tablecloth when they got married and use it for special occasions. Love that idea!)

Sides included mashed sweet potatoes and mashed (non sweet) potatoes:


And the three sides that Greg & I brought: mixed greens (from the Boulder Farmers Market) with pears, goat cheese and pecans:


and roasted Brussels sprouts (with BACON) and roasted butternut, delicata squash, garnet sweet potatoes and carrots (in a glaze of maple balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and olive oil):


I have to admit: the roasted squash, carrot & sweet potato medley was my favorite dish and it was so good leftover!

My plate:

thanksgiving plate

It was really funny to see that (actual) plate- my grandmother had the exact same china and passed it on to me (it’s currently sitting tightly bubble-wrapped in various boxes until we move again). We actually used to eat on it each Thanksgiving while I was growing up. Tiffani had also inherited hers from her grandmother!

I forgot to take a picture of my actual dessert plate, but it had a slice of this pie on it:


As you can see, it was a delicious BIG meal!

I’m not complaining by any means- but have to admit that I did miss some of the traditional things that my family always makes. It sounds strange to most people, but we’ve always had sauerkraut with our Thanksgiving meal (which I hated as a child but love now!). I also missed my mom’s broccoli casserole (which is like green bean casserole, but uses broccoli instead and is SO much better) and my stepdad’s cranberry sauce. On the other hand, there was definitely enough food to eat and I don’t know where I would have fit anything else in my stomach!

Have a rockin’ day- and stay warm if it’s cold where you are!

What are some (atypical) traditional dishes that your family serves at Thanksgiving? And- what’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?


  1. Wow, everything looks great! Especially the sweet and regular potatoes! Have a great day!

  2. My mom makes a delicious broccoli cheese and rice casserole!

  3. OMG! I have lived in LA for the past 13 years, but grew up in Baltimore and sauerkraut was a major turkey day tradition for us. I miss that. It’s considered weird here, apparently, so I don’t force it on people. But now you’ve inspired me to do my own thanksgiving redux. Thanks for stringing up great memories and inspiration!

  4. We always have chimel (probably spelled wrong) for Thanksgiving and Christmas–it’s an Italian cookie, and my grandmother or uncle always makes them. I think I like them so much because no one else I’ve ever known makes them, and no one else seems to make them the same way we do, so they feel like they “belong” to my family. And now I’m trying to figure out how to make them, through a handed-down recipe (and a lot of trial and error! :) )

  5. Those platters with salami and cheese look so delicious. But so does everything else you had. My mom always makes grilled salmon, just for me, in addition to the turkey. I don’t know if its atypical but I love that she does that.

  6. We went to my bro’s house for our traditional vegan Thanksgiving (he and his wife have been vegan for about 11 years now). Nothing like mushroom meatloaf to celebrate the season, eh? :-/

  7. We were at a neighbor’s house so I wasn’t sure I’d walk out of there with leftovers…I did get to take some turkey home. Since my mom makes (in my opinion) the best turkey, my mom bought a 25lb turkey that she’ll cook for my birthday dinner in January :)

  8. First time we’ve ever had Brussel sprouts at our Thanksgiving dinner. I would totally prefer beer over Red Bull & Vodka – I feel super sick with all that sugar!

  9. My mom would make three types of cheese-sauced veggies – broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts – and I’ve never been able to recreate it just right!

  10. Mmmmm all of that food looks delish! And makes me want Tday all over again ;)

    My sis makes an amazing cranberry salad….so I missed that. But the rolls I love I made for my inlay fam. They were a HUGE hit.

  11. Aside from turkey and ham, we also do pork and beef tamales! So good.

  12. I think I only learned about sweet potato this past year and seriously don’t know what I was missing out on. All those years without the starchy goodness ;)

  13. We always make noodles, which to me is weird… they are these weird Pennsylvania Dutch noodles and holidays are the only time we eat them. Oh, and dried corn!

  14. Flyover Belle says:

    Would you share the broccoli casserole recipe, if you can? My husband much prefers broccoli to green beans so having that option would be super. :)

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!