Serwah’s Standard “Soulfino Thanksgiving”-Good Every time! ~$1380
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu
Frozen Canopies or Appetizers-Meijer’s or Trader Joes (eg. Pot stickers (with dipping sauce) or stuffed mushroom, chocolate eclairs, jalapeno poppers, wing dings, baby sandwiches with toothpicks and crusts cut off or mini breads, or research a canopy cook book or a veggie/fruit platter or celery logs that are filled with peanut butter or soft spicy cheese or cream cheese) choose a few, get into your curly tooth picks and swords, make a visit to a chef cook book or supply house etc. -~$24
Smoked Trout Dip with crackers
Put out bowls of chips (can add sprigs of rosemary to chips to be festive) & nuts
Alternatively place out croquettes and fritters for appetizers
Dellalo.com $100 Meat and Cheese Platter (add grapes, add strawberries, add extra blocks of your favorite cheeses, add extra assorted crackers, add a basket of bread slices like sliced country loaf or sliced baguettes and make little sandwiches, add sweet mustards, add a stack of meat eg. ham or roast beef etc., sandwiches like brie strawberries and ham etc., nice bowls on a cutting board with a knife, spoons and toothpicks)
Turkey Medieval platter spread with orange slices and sage around after cooked (stick orange peels in cavity for more flavor)(giblets removed, bay leaves, black pepper, allspice, kosher salt, sage, ½ cup brown sugar, red wine vinegar, ¼ cup soy sauce, 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, non- stick vegetable oil, rub ground spices over skin and sprinkle inside, then chill 8 hours, then rinse, bring vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar to boil until thickened like molasses 5-8 min, preheat oven to 325, slide fingers between skin and breast to loosen skin and slide butter tabs underneath, coat turkey, brush with glaze and reglaze, temp thermometer should read 150 (adapted from 2016 November Bon Appetit) Should make a “Glazed and Lacquered Roast Turkey,” cook ~4-6 hours (they do suggest cooking it briefly before glazing upside down on a rack in a roaster for 30 min with foil sprayed with cooking spray on it. -~$50
Smoked Turkey Drumsticks are a nice addition for a medieval or glutton like feeling (nice for the day after)
Optional: Bucket of Chicken from Kentucky Fried Chicken-~$20
Optional addition: Fried okra & pan fried catfish (cook in oil after flouring w/salt and pepper, cayenne) (Meijer’s has some frozen fried okra and deli marinated in lemon and pepper catfish varieties)
Large Tin Cornbread Stuffing
(2 bags of stuffing mix, 2 boxes of jiffy cornbread made up, sauté mushroom, walnut, cranberry, onion, green pepper, apple, crumble cornbread into a tin, mix with other stuffing and fixings, add chicken broth, butter, bake 375, 40 minutes)-
Mash Potatoes (served in a nice bowl)
(Boiled and salted potatoes, garlic, sliced green onions, 2 cups sour cream, container of cottage cheese, butter, salt and black pepper, smoked paprika whip with mixer), mix all, remaining sour cream on top with green onion garnish in and out (Courtesy Bon Appetit circa 2016)-$14
Mash Potatoes are good with: scalded milk, buttermilk, goat cheese, swiss, gruyere, camembert, good cheese, good butter or melted butter, chives, some bake them and scoop them to heighten flavor, maple syrup, bacon fat, sour cream, cottage cheese, smoked paprika, some mix fish or smoked fish, or mix boiled potato /boiled egg yolks and mayo (look for a South American Indian recipe) or turn a mash into a croquette (see later recipe)
Adapt mashed potatoes to a Shepherd’s Pie and place on top of ground beef mixture of cabbage, carrots, onions, and raisins in a readymade crust and add a layer on top that is a mash potato mixture and bake at 400 for ~30 minutes.
Or a good breakfast with mash in a cast iron skillet with cracked eggs on top of eggs in wells with salt & cracked black pepper baked, then a vinegar tossed arugula on top when finished and paired with maple syrup pecan bacon and mimosa with fresh strawberries. (Better Homes and Gardens January 2016 photo)
Tin of Macaroni
(Macaroni pasta large, Velveeta, cream or whole milk, blue cheese, butter, little white wine, melt cheese and cream and all ingredients on stove, cook pasta, add melted bacon fat mix and place panko on top with parmesan (sliced bread, whole loaf, in blender into crumbs, sauté in oil with garlic and butter put crispy on top) bake at 375 40 minutes, -$28
Alternatively you may want a finer Mac and Cheese or a white Mac and Cheese, try making sauce with milk, fontina, Gruyere, white cheddar, parmesan, grated onion, grated clove of garlic and a removable sprig of thyme, 4 tbs. unsalted butter, kosher salt, 2 tbs. flour, English Mustard powder, cayenne, panko on top, see above for panko (Adapted from Bon Appetit’s Best Macaroni and Cheese recipe November 2017)
Candied Sweet Potatoes
(4 cans, canned candied sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, dash of salt, marshmallow on top, bake at 350, 40 min in a casserole dish, look on marshmallows for recipe)-~$24
Black Eyed Peas
(6 cans Black Eyed Peas Meijer brand, chicken broth or stock, onion, chopped bacon, salt and pepper, green pepper, finely chopped carrot, liquid smoke for smoked flavor available Whole Foods)-~$12 Let them thicken up.
Pot of Collard Greens
(4 bunches of collards, 3 ham hock,1 package of bacon scissor cut into pieces, 2 chopped onions, 1 cup apple cider vinegar to pickle, ½ stick of butter, 4 tbs. sugar, 3 tbs. salt, 1 tbs. cayenne pepper, 2 tsp. red pepper flakes, ½ tsp. black pepper in a stock pot of ~ 6 cups water, be sure to remove stems from greens by popping out harder stem trunk areas from behind and clean well each leaf and tear up, stew for 2 hours or longer if you like to get them really salty and pickled, they should break down a little and condense)-~$36
Creamed Kale, chopped onion, 1 ½ cups heavy cream, 1 tsp honey, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tsp. unsalted butter, lemon, nutmeg, kosher salt and pepper, boil kale, then blender or food processor then bake.
(Green beans fresh snipped, sautéed with olive oil, sea salt and pepper)-$15
or a fancier green been with cherry tomatoes blistered w/ pesto, almonds, vinegar, paprika, and cayenne (Food and Wine November 2017),
Green Bean Casserole (Green beans, kosher salt, olive oil, cremini mushroom, unsalted butter, thyme, 2 tbs. flour, 1 ¼ whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream, 4 garlic cloves grated, ½ cup grated parmesan, pepper, ¾ cup French fried onions-boil green beans, cook mushroom in butter, whisk butter, flour, milk and cream to make a béchamel sauce add garlic and parmesan cook on stove, arrange green beans in casserole dish with mushroom, pour over sauce and cover with foil and bake 30 min, uncover bake 20 min, then spread French’s Fried Onions and bake 3 minutes to set then serve) (Extracted courtesy of Bon Appetit’s November 2017 online thanksgiving recipes)
Baked squash, Selection of squash brown sugar and butter, salt and pepper and a few cups of water in a casserole dish baked at 400 for 1 hour and 30 min: Acorn, spaghetti, butternut, kabocha, delicata-$19
Alternatively make a sticky sweet squash with olive oil, kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, 2 fresno chiles, ¾ cup red wine vinegar, ¼ honey, golden raisins, red pepper flakes, arrange squash on baking sheet drizzled with oil bake 40 min at 400, cook vinegar and honey sauce with all other ingredients and brush over or spoon over squash later (Adapted from Bon Appetit online November 2017)
A butternut squash can be split and peeled then rubbed with olive oil and salt then baked, then sliced thinly not all the way through and place bay leaves in slices, then pour over top a caramel sauce made and cooked out of maple syrup, butter, and vinegar and fresno chiles. Serve like two long logs with bay leaves and fresno chiles adorning butternut squash. (Adapted from a Bon Appetit Thanksgiving video November 2017)
Optional: Add a few casserole dishes or lasagna or a white lasagna even buy one frozen from Meijer’s if you oven gets over booked, veggie/ leeks with cream and pastry casseroles are good or make up easy chicken pot pies in ready-made crusts with chopped chicken, potatoes, peas, carrots, raisins, herbs, wine, bacon 3 tbs. flour, cream, broth or a sautéed pear w/bacon, white wine vinegar, whole grain mustard olive oil, walnuts, chives (Food and Wine 2017 November), extra ready-made pie shells can be bought to cut out leaves or flowers or braids with cookie cutters and make pot pies or other pies fine. Pies and tarts make the table pretty and are nice to have around. Shepherds pies are also good (Epicurus.com). A Mushroom-Barley Salad with mixed mushrooms sage barley and lemon, olive oil looks sexy. Good grains and canned pumpkin recipes, cool greens and scented biscuits recipes are in Food and Wine November 2015 like Pumpkin parfaits and pumpkin hummus and Cool Ranch Kale Dip and vanilla scented biscuits or Thai Coconut Minis etc.)
Optional: Corn fritters (search Epicurus.com), crab cakes (Search Epicurus.com), potato, smoked salmon and gruyere/Swiss croquettes (boil potatoes and make potato mash add smoked salmon and cheeses, sour cream, chives, cream and a little baking powder and egg, a little flour, place into festive muffin cups and bake at 350 45 minutes to make a potato muffin or croquette, if you add more flour to batter until batter is stiff and you can make a dough and form balls that you flatten to make a croquette, if you add less flour batter will be loose and placed into muffin cups to make a potato muffin.
(Jar of gravy from Meijer’s or with a brown gravy packet, mix on stove with drippings from turkey, add sautéed onion, place in a ladled or spouted serving dish) or drippings, stock, roux and white wine, or a “pan gravy” with mushroom and herbs and lemon zest plus drippings, flour or corn starch, broth etc. -$4
Can of cranberry or mix up a cranberry relish (check Food Wine November 2017)-$4
(Slice it up)
Rolls to taste
(Hawaiian, or dinner rolls or crescent rolls or brown bread or a fresh baked bread or popovers or biscuits or scented rolls etc., or a selection, serve warm with butter)-$5
Homemade “little girl apple pies”
(4 sliced apples leave peels on, boil in water with 3 tsp. apple cider vinegar and sugar briefly to pickle, then add apples to bowl mix with 3 heaping teaspoons flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, 5 tabs of butter, and apple pie spice, ginger spice, pour into read made bottom and add top, bake 40 minutes and 350, serve warm with vanilla ice cream-$23 cut out of a second ready-made crust with a pizza cutter to make braids or stripes and dress apple pies or cookie cutter flowers. “Easy as pie!!”
A nice adaptation was a transition from a “Little Girls Apple Pie” recipe to a “Mountain Rose Apple Pie”-boil/ poach/ pickle 4 apples sliced in 5 cups of water with 3 tbs. apple cider vinegar and 3 tbs. sugar and a dash of salt, leave in boiling water until a little soft or al dente, make topping 1 ½ cups flour, 1 cup oats, 1 cups brown sugar and 2 sticks of butter and blend a crumb topping with a mixer a little smooth, remove apples from heat drain and pour into a bowl, add an egg, juice of one lemon, 3 tbs. flour, 3 tbs. sugar and 2 tbs. apple pie spice, lay apples on bottom of readymade crust, cover with topping and bake for about 20-25 minutes on 400. It makes a very pretty pie with an oatmeal topping and can stretch out your readymade crusts, topping makes 2 pies, 4 apples per pie. (Adapted from a Food and Wine November 2015 Mountain Rose Apple Pies-there’s has a nice crust recipe and is great)
Buy or make up in advance sweet potato (Epicurus.com) or pumpkin pies (Epicurus.com) or pecan pies (Bon Appetit November 2017 online or Epicurus or Betty Crocker) serve with whipped cream-$13 (Try pumpkin pie brullee recipes from Bon Appetit-torching granulated sugars on top two times or more or add toasted pumpkin seeds to spruce them)
Hot Peach Cobbler and Ice Cream (Try Epicurus.com)-$13
Clementine Spice Cakes with little sliced clementine’s on top (recipe Better Homes and Gardens circa Nov 2015) nice table decorator
Ice Cream (maybe caramel) with Warmed Maple Syrup and Toasted Pecans (See Food and Wine Circa November 2015 for a more detailed recipe or keep it simple)
Hoity Muffins-Savory cupcakes, with a lemon wedge, salmon, capers, cooked asparagus, dill and black pepper on top of a dollop of cream cheese on a vanilla cupcake or some kind of plain muffin (Taken from an Oscar Meyer ad in Better Homes and Gardens circa November 2015)
Windmill cookies to set out and quick breads (epicurus.com) and donuts-$17
Custards (get small box from Meijer’s or epicurus.com)-$6
Peanut Butter Pie with crushed peanut butter cups and peanut brittles on top (good recipe in November 2015 Food and wine)
Pumpkin Cheesecake (Bon Appetit online or epicurus.com)
Baked apples in liquor or Brandy with brown sugar and cream, slice in half and core, sugar inside, brandy and cream around in a casserole dish put dish out or serve out into bowls or cups, serve with caramel ice cream $25 (Epicurus.com)
Swisscolony.com Carrot Cake Cheesecake $40.00
Baklava Platter from Middle Eastern Stores, bakeries or Trader Joes or order from Swisscolony.com-$12-$30
Candy dish with caramels-$6
Little pots of tea and coffee-$12
A nice dessert coffee is from “Market and Main” Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ground flavored Coffee (one of the best I have had for flavor)
Ice tea cooler, apple cider, white wine, white wine spritzers (with seltzer and a sprig of lemon), champagne, nonalcoholic wine for children, holiday beers, Vernos, sodas, in a cooler, and water station with lemon-$75 budget
Nice cocktails to have: Vodka gimlets (Absolut or Stoli), brandy snifters, shots of bourbon, white wine spritzers, spiked punch (Epicurus.com) (Get a bartenders manual or cocktail recipe books and good holiday liquor and shakers and ice buckets and tongs, plus all associated glasses and a nice punch bowl set)
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest for a medium dark beer that is really delicious, or a nice Guinness dark beer if you are having the smoked turkey drumsticks, have nice big beer mugs with caps on them, good for the day after, and eat the left overs
Join First Leaf Wine Club, https://www.firstleaf.club/login to stock up on wines-$79 per 2 months for 6 bottles of assorted wines
Join Wall Street Journal WSJ Wine Club for international wines wsjwine.com (case of 12 for $149.99 every 3 months)
Join National Geographic Wines of the World Wine Club natgeowine.com for a case of 12 for $149.99 every 3 months
Join Better Homes and Gardens Wine Club, bhgwine.com, 12 bottles every 3 months for $149.99
Extras on hand-1 boxes of crackers, 1 bag of chips, 1 jars of nuts-$14 budget or according to your numbers
Order Music– Folk & Crooners, to soul to jazz,
Folk and Crooners– Elvis, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, The Byrds, The Beatles (“Black Bird”), The Sundays, Joni Mitchell (“Jericho”), Stevie Nicks (Crystal Visions), Fleetwood Mac, Cat Stevens (“Moon Shadow”), John Denver, Karen Carpenter, Crosby Stills and Nash (“Déjà vu”), Joan Baez (Gracias a la vida), Edie Brickell (“Shooting Rubber Bands at the Sky”), Melanie, Kate Bush, Janice Joplin, Tracy Chapman (“Fastcar”), Eagles, Bob Seegar, Ted Nugent, Captain and Tenille (“Don’t go breaking my heart”), Elton John (“Tiny Dancer”), Hall and Oates, Chicago, Steely Dan, Santana (Festival)
Soul-Isaac Hayes, Angela Bofil (“Angie,” “Under the moon and over the sky,” “This time I’ll be sweeter,” “The Definitive Collection,” “I’m on your side”), Patrice Rushen (“Sending You Forget Me Nots”), Denice Williams (“Niecy”), Ashford and Simpson (“One and a Million”), Mtume (Juicy), Peaches and Herb (“Reunited”), Phyllis Hyman (“You know how to love me”), The Brothers Johnson (“Stomp,” “Light up the Night”), Stephanie Mills (“Feel the Fire”), Chaka Khan (“What Cha Gonna do for me,” “Epiphany the Best”) The Isley Brothers (“That Lady”), Commodores, Smokey Robinson, The Jacksons (“Lovely One,” “Triumph”), James Brown, Freda Payne (“Band of Gold”), Slave (“Watching You,” “Stone Jam”), Parliament, George Clinton, Funkadelic (“One Nation Under a Grove”), Hank Ballard (“From the Love Side,” “The Kings of Funk”), Marvin Gaye (“Trouble Man,” “Cleo’s Apartment”), Gladys Knight and The Pips (“Midnight Train to Georgia,” “Soul Survivors Best of”), Al Green, George Benson (“Turn your love around,” “The George Benson Collection”), Kool and The Gang (“Summer Madness,” “Light of Worlds”), Sam Cooke, The Supremes (“You can’t hurry love,” “The Supremes”), Earth Wind and Fire (“The Best of Earth Wind and Fire,” “Serpentine Fire,” “That’s the way of the world”), Young and Company (“I like what you’re doing to me,” “Old School Volume 3”), Chi Lites (“Have you seen her,” “The Best of the Chi Lites”), Irene Cara (“Fame”), Quincy Jones (“Ai no corrida”)
Billy Paul (“Me and Mrs. Jones,” “360 Degrees of Bill Paul”), Sly and The Family Stone (“Dance to the Music”), The Main Ingredient (“Everybody Plays The Fool,” “A Quiet Storm”), The Gap Band (“You dropped a bomb on me,” “Gap Band IV”), Patti Labelle (“What can I do for you,” “Night birds”), Lady Marmalade, Bobby Caldwell (“What you won’t do for love”), Michael Franks (“Popsicle Toes,”), Robert Palmer (Taxi), The Manhattans (“Shining Star,” “After Midnight”), The Ohio Players (“Skin Tight”), Orleans (“Love Takes time”), The Spinners (“Could it be I’m falling in love”), Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes (“If you don’t know me by now”), Orleans (“Dance with me”), Leo Sayer (“You make me feel like dancing”), Brian Connolly Sweet (“Fox on the Run”),Chic (Good Times), The O’Jays (“The Backstabbers”), Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes “I Miss You,” “If you don’t know me by now”), Al Green (“She-La-La makes me happy”), Sam and Dave (“Hold on I’m comin”, The Beginning of the End (“Funky Nassau, Part 1,” “Didn’t it blow your mind, Soul Vol 5”), Grover Washington Jr. (“Knucklehead,” “Feels so good”), The Stylistics (“Hurry up this way again”), Michael Jackson (“Ben”), The Pointer Sisters (“Yes we can can,” “The Pointer sisters), Sister Sledge (“We are a family”), Latimore (“Let’s straighten out, I’ll do anything for you”), Mary Wells (“My Guy”), Carl Carlton (“Everlasting Love,” “Didn’t it blow you mind, Soul”), Roy Ayers, James Brown (“Payback”), Bar Keys (“Holy Ghost”), Smokey Robinson (“That Back at cha” Motown Legends The Ballad Album), Gladys Knight and the Pips (“Landlord”), Kool and The Gang (“Jungle Boogie”), Instant Funk (“I got my mind made up”), Michael Jackson (Thriller, “PYT”), Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson (“Say, Say , Say”), New Birth (“Dream Merchant,” The Best of Dream Merchant), Con Funk Shun (“Love Train”), Fred Wesley and the JB’s (“Doing it to death”), Loose Ends (“Choose Me”), War (War and peace), Tower of Power (“You’re Still a Young Man”), Nathalie Cole (“This will be”, Love Songs), Maze featuring Frankie Beverly (“We are one”), The Stylistics (Heavy Fallen out), The Temptations (Just my imagination, “Running away with me”), Smokey Robinson (Going to a Go-Go), Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose (“Treat her like a lady”), Quincy Jones and Patti Austen (“Betcha wouldn’t hurt me” Soul Bossa Nostra 2010”), Chi Lites (“Oh Girl”), Otis Redding (“Mr. Pititful,” The Best of Otis Redding), Candi Staton (Victim, “Young hearts run free”), Ojays (“Let me make love to you”), OJAY’S (“Let me make love toyou”), Teddy Pendergrass (Teddy), Fred Wesley and The JB’s (“Pass the Peas” Food for thought), Bill Withers/Grover Washington Jr. (Just the two of us), Kool and the Gang (“Open Sesame,” Spin their top hits), Rick James (“Super Freak,” Street Songs 1981), The Ohio Players (“Climax,” The Keys of Funk, RZA and Keb Darge), Zapp (Dance floor), The 8th Day (Didn’t it blow your mind), Rufus and Chaka (“Once you get started,”Rufusized”)
James Brown (“Soul Power”), Supremes (“Come see about me” The Supremes), The Ojays (“For the love of money”), Major Harris (“Love won’t let me want my way”), The Spinners (“Could it be I’m falling in love”), Average White Band (“A Love of your own”), Rose Royce (“Car Wash”), Kashir (“I just got to have you”), BT Express (“Do it”), War (“Slippin into darkness”), The Emotions (“Best of my love”), Funkadelic (“One nation under a groove”), Teddy Pendergrass (“Come on and go with me”), Womack and Womack (“Baby I’m scared of you”), The Dells (“Give your baby a standing ovation”), Sam and Dave (“Hold on I’m coming”), Klymax,
Stevie Wonder (“Hotter than July,” “Innervisions,” “Songs in the Key of Life”) Roberta flack (“Killing me softly”), Nina Simone (“I want a little Sugar in my Bowl”), Diana Ross (“My Old Piano” “Upside Down” Album), Fifth Dimension, Alicia Myers ( Gospel single-“I Want to Thank You”), “Scoobie Do” by Scoobie Do, Barry White, Sly and The Family Stone, Mark Anthony Thompson aka Chocolate Genius, Ska Bonanza (“Studio One Ska Years”), Jamiroquai (“Space Cowboy”), Lenny Kravitz (“Flowers for Zoe’), Jimmy Hendrix (Electric Lady Land),
Lisa Stansfield (“Been around the world”), Sheila E. (“Glamorous Life”), Ready for the World, Teena Marie (“Square Biz”), Morris Day (“Girl”), Prince (“Controversy” Album, “Dirty Mind,” “Erotic City,” “Purple Rain” and search for older),
Tom Tom Club (Genius of Love), Patti Austen & James Ingram (“Baby Come to me”), New Edition (“Candy Girl,” “Mr. Telephone Man”), Debarge (“Time Will Reveal,” “All this love” Album), Soul II Soul (“Back to Life’), Sade (“Sweetest Taboo”)
Jazz-John Coltrane (“Plays Living Space,” “Transition,” “New thing at Newport,” “Sun Ship,” “First Meditations,” “Ascension,” “Blue Train,” “My Favorite Things,” “Giant Steps,” “Love Supreme,” “The Best of Miles and Coltrane by John Coltrane,” “Ballads”), Charlie “Byrd,” Thelonious Monk (“Brilliant Corners,” “The Essential Thelonious Monk,” Monk’s Dream”), Mingus (“Ah Hum”), Brubeck Quartet, Charlie Parker (“The Best of Charlie Parker,” “Charlie Parker w/Strings Complete Master Takes,” “Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve,” “Yardbird Suite, The Ultimate Charlie Parker Collection,” “Town Hall New York City June 22, 1945: Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker,” “Early Bird Charlie Parker,” “ Bird at Saint Nicks Charlie Parker”) “The Quintet: Jazz at Massey Hall Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Mingus,” “Unheard Bird, the unissued Takes), Lee Morgan (“Sidewinder,” Search for the New Land), Miles Davis (“Bitches Brew,” “Round About Midnight,” “Birth of Cool,” “Kind of Blue”), Stan Getz/Gilberto, Wayne Shorter (“Speak no Evil”), Jackie McClean, Cannonball Adderly, Bobby Benson, Stanley Turrentine, Max Roach (Bittersweet, “Black Saint and Soul Note,” “Featuring Hasan Ibn,” ‘Deeds not Words”) Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, Herbie Hancock (“Head Hunter,” “Empyrean Isles,” “Maiden Voyage”), Art Blakely (“Moanin”), Wes Montgomery (“Jazz Guitar”), Oliver Nelson (“The Blues and the Abstract Truth”), Kenny Burrell (“Midnight Blue”),Duke Ellington (“Ellington at Newport 1956”), Dave Brubeck (“Time Out”), Ornette Coleman (“The Shape of Jazz to Come”), Clifford Brown with Max Roach (“We Insist! Freedom Now Suite”), Clifford Brown and Max Roach (“Study in Brown”), Horace Silver (“Song for my Father”), Sonny Rollins (“Saxophone Collossus,” “The Bridge”), Bill Evans (“Waltz for Debby,” ”Portrait in Jazz”), Marvin Gaye (“What’s Going On”), Duke Ellington John Coltrane by Duke Ellington, Hank Mobley(“Soul Station”), Oscar Peterson (“Stan Getz and Oscar Peterson Trio,” “Night Train”), Louis Armstrong (“Ella and Louis remastered”), Billy Holiday (“Lady Sings the Blues”), Bill Evans (“The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings”), Lee Soloff (“Sketches of Spain”), Dizzy Gillespie (“The Quintet Jazz Massey Hall”), Elvin Jones (“Duke Ellington and Coltrane”), Dexter Gordon (“Go!”), Eric Dolphy (“Out to Lunch”), Grant Green (“Idle Moments”), The Complete Savoy, Savoy & Dial Master Takes, Christopher Raschka and Chris Rasschka (“Charlie Parker Played Bebop”), John Connolly (“A Game of Ghosts A Charlie Parker Thriller”), Bobo Brown and Oscar Brown Jr., Hank Mobley (“Soul Station”), Chet Baker (Baker/Evans), Cassandra Wilson (Blue Light Til’ Dawn)
Research on Wikipedia eg. “jazz” or on Amazon or on Pandora.com online radio or the classic soul TV Channels in Michigan on Channel 409 “Music Choice Classic R&B” for good music choices and research with a pad and paper
-Collect 4-6 for $54
5 CD disk changer or make a Thanksgiving play list for your IPod, music is critical…$125
4-6 ft. folding table or larger to suit your family for buffet or 4 buffet tables for drinks, deserts, main and appetizers-whatever you have room for -$50
Silver culinary tables for food prep or large mixing bowls, professional chef knives or sharpen knives, locally the vacuum cleaner shop sharpens them or yourself or buy new, you may even want to cut a hole in the wall and put in a walk in cooler or buy a second refrigerator and a freezer
Take cutting skills in advance in a culinary program
2 or more table clothes (don’t skimp on your table cloth you can get ruffles etc. and really set the tone-$20
Center piece (candles with pine cones, fall, harvest, sculpture, chat ski, topiary, fruits in a bowl or vase, pomegranates, dried flowers or fresh flowers, nude sculpture, a pumpkin or pumpkins and squash, with berry branches around faux or real, ceramic or real are both pretty, cotton plants in vases are nice, or flowers some little, some bud and pine cones)-$15
Outdoor leaf collecting use them for name place holders at the table for a country kitchen or make little leaf coronas for the kids gluing them to paper with ribbons or a branch of them in water (Better Homes and Gardens tip circa November 2015)
Serving dishes -$40
Silverware (fine engraved silverware or horn handles knives)-$35
Set of glasses, wine glasses, snifter glasses, highballs, shot glasses and champagne flutes, punch bowl and cups-$30
Coolers-$20 (or drink display cases for big families in big houses)
Foils, baggies and saran wrap
Several timers not to burn anything, oh no!
Thermometers for the Turkey
Trivets and hot pads
Lots of plastic containers and shopping bags for people to take things home-$40
Things for small children to do, toys, books, coloring, dolls, movies etc.
Simple breakfasts for overnight guests-pastries, cereals, crockpot of oatmeal with berries or peaches etc., bake muffins, baked eggs with bacon rimming a muffin tin, scones and coffee and fruit platter, made to order omelets, ham and eggs, bread puddings, research good breakfasts in cook books, meat pies
Think about what people will eat while food is cooking, the wait meal
Outdoor fireplace, roast marshmallows
Go for a chilly bicycle ride or horseback ride or a walk
Call all your children, family and friends to say happy thanksgiving!
Take family photos
Get sheet music
Ribbons in little girls hair, or ribbons woven in, leaf headdress or feather headdress or long braids, or long braids with pieces of fabric braided in and bowed and tied long, piled high braids, or braided buns, braids set the tone nicely, or flowers in afros, or braid in hair pieces and bun, or a wig or a salon professional bun, or sticks, or leather, or pretty barrettes, or a bowed barrette(s), a little lipstick on the little girls lips and cheeks is cute and a splash of perfume, and Laura Ashley dresses, fur pieces on 40’s dresses, a little Indian, a little western (Square Dance, banjo, fiddle or mandolin, “Little House”-ish, long skirts with bone shirts and shawls) or Victorian and 3 tier skirts with petticoats etc., for men nice camel slacks and camel turtlenecks, camel sweater vests, plaid shirts, men’s floral in earthy tones or pinks or burgundy’s, tweeds, patched elbows, V-neck sweaters and shirts, sweater & leather pants for a more casual looks, bow ties, vests, a strip of fur around the neck for a finer punk look, or pin a piece of fur to your shirt, or baby stoles with a t-shirt or simple shirt, or a medallion look, or finer pins on shirts, or jewelry with lingerie later for men and women (maybe a little photoshoot earlier of the kids and later….)
Look in cook books, on Amazon.com, family recipes, online searches for recipes and in magazines like “Bon Appetit” or “Food and Wine” or “All Recipes,” or “Better Homes and Gardens.” November issues usually feature Thanksgiving recipes. Make a file or binder of recipes with sheet protectors that you can return to in future years and even pass down. Even make notes as you cook on the days before Thanksgiving for your binder. Your binder becomes your sacred and coveted Family Recipes. Save your receipts and shopping lists for future reference and budgeting. Family and friends can always chip in.
Start clean up well in advance. Get the house in order. Decorate the front door, place nice things for guests in bathrooms like potpourri, and think about sleeping arrangements.
It’s nice to have some live piano music or poetry recitation or guitar and singing and generally showcase a little talent in your family. When I was little the kids always put on a show. Way back when they called them “holidays” the ones that performed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. A nice thing to do is to pick up copies of actual plays, even Shakespeare, or write a play and maybe number lines for kids or play a video of a play or read from a memoir or family history or a book or book of poems. It can be nice to perform some duets (Baby come to me). Make a little schedule for when you’re together all day to organize picture taking and get people ready, for performances and dinner. It can be nice to go to the salon. It is important to have enough photo or film equipment and good photographers. It’s possible to make family films.
It may also be nice to research and write some nice Thanksgiving prayers and hold hands while praying.
Have some late night plans for when all is said and done…..after dinner smoke on the porch or in front of the fire, make an assorted smoke box (cigars, cigarettes, etc.), decorative ashtrays, buy films or videos from Amazon (Wizard of Oz, Charlie Chaplin’s, Buster Keaton’s, Old Prince Films, Casablanca, Tess, Gandhi, Elephant Man, Breakin, Flashdance, Gone with the Wind), Popcorn or appetizers or chips for film, late night music (jazz), sexy lingerie, whatever floats your boat etc.
The other thing to do that Food and Wine suggested circa 2015 is to get into your turkey carcass and make stocks and frozen bouillon cubes for later soups etc. The next best thing is to shampoo your carpets after Thanksgiving and before Christmas.
Happy Thanksgiving from Revolving Stream!!!!
Xxx Lots of love to you and your family!
-Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu