Thanksgiving may be over, but I’m guessing you’re still munching on creative leftover variations.

As you should be. Before we jump into the Volvovski Family Thanksgiving menu from this year, let’s take a look at year’s past—specifically 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Every year, we change things up, keeping only a few extra special dishes from previous years.

Menu planning for our holiday starts about a week before the actual event, with a video conference. Due to scheduling conflicts, this year’s conference involved only the women in the family.

Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

This year, the celebration was going to be small. Other than the immediate family, we were only going to have three more people over for Thanksgiving, so we wanted to keep the cooking under control. We succeeded: this was by far the least stressful prep and cooking of any Thanksgiving we’ve ever had. Nothing went awry, everything tasted delicious, and even Theo approved.

Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

So let’s get started. First up, Jason:

Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

Aperitifs

He’s making us some classic Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioneds, which were enjoyed quickly and efficiently. Rating 4/5.

Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

Salads

Beet Salad with Horseradish made it’s second appearance at our Thanksgiving. Rating 4/5.

Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

Kohlrabi Salad with watercress and mint. As an Ottolenghi recipe, I had really high expectations that this salad just didn’t meet. Rating 2/5.

Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

Turkey

This always stays the same. Brined overnight and then cooked to perfection. Rating 5/5.

Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

Stuffing

We threw the Brussels sprouts into the stuffing this year with this Wisconsin-inspired recipe with bacon, mushrooms, and cranberries. Rating 5/5.

Potatoes

Other than the turkey, this is the only recipe we consistently repeat: mascarpone mashed potatoes with caramelized leeks. Rating 5/5.
Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

Vegetables

The hit of the dinner: butternut squash with pancetta and dates. Rating 5/5.

Green beans with almond pesto from Smitten Kitchen. Rating 3/5.

Massaged kale with tahini sauce that my sister has been raving about for months. Rating 5/5.

Cranberry Sauce

A Spiced Red Wine Cranberry Sauce from Serious Eats. Rating 5/5.
Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

Dessert

A pumpkin cheesecake from Food52 that was like 4 inches high. Rating 3/5.

And last but not least, a spice cake with candied cranberries from Bowen Appetit. Rating 4/5.

Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

So that’s that. And now to take a much needed nap.

Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

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