My husband and I alternate holidays - it's our own way of attempting to maintain balance between families and also not stretching ourselves too much when it comes to travel (it can be a tricky part of marriage, that whole holiday thing. Some great discussion about it here if you're interested). This year it was "my" family's Thanksgiving, and my family traveled down from the East Coast to stay with us as we hosted our first Thanksgiving. Let me just say this outright: My husband is an awesome chef and I'm a super-lucky woman (he claims you have to be professional to be a "chef" - so I'll just say he's a kick-ass home chef). He and his father and brother went hunting for geese, forgoing the traditional turkey for another very holiday-esque bird. He also has butchery experience, so it was really great for him to be a part of the process from beginning to end - to hunt, kill, butcher and deliciously prepare the bird.
He did the menu planning...
I did the other planning, including our very rustic tabletop decorations, the pies, and the overall oh-crap-I-have-to-do-a-ton-of-cleaning-and-laundry stuff that always arises when your entire family is coming to town. Lists were made and crossed off (I am a planner, after all) - and with family having arrived, we were ready to feast and celebrate.
The meal eventually consisted of multiple courses, stretched throughout the day and well into the night. It was pretty darned awesome:
An oyster toast (freshly shucked by both my husband and my brother-in-law). Salmon pate. An amuse bouche of roasted black salt oyster with pancetta, fresh horseradish and chorizo oil on a bed of carrot top salad with lemon vinaigrette. Butternut squash soup with blue crab, garlic sage croutons and fried sage. Braised wild goose hash with sweet potato, chorizo, crab, bay oysters and winter herbs. Seared goose breast with rosemary potatoes and brussels sprouts, garlic sage and carrot top carrots. Finally ending with my grandmother's apple pie recipe and pumpkin pie.
This is a wonderful article that inspired my husband to make the meal reflect the eastern shore - a great read.
I was feeling thankful, indeed.