It's about two weeks from Thanksgiving, and the menu-planning in my head has gone wild. Now, I won't be hosting Thanksgiving (hell, I do not even own salt & pepper shakers, as I realized this week- god, I only own two chairs, and they're not even real chairs!), as I will be flying back to my parents' house for Thanksgiving the first time in about eight years. I won't be cooking there either, as my mother is in charge of the turkey-potatoes-stuffing-pumpkin pie brigade.
But let's pretend I have 1) a dining room, 2) chairs with backs, 3) more than 6 square inches of counter space in my apartment. In this lovely dream scenario, I'm having a nontraditional Thanksgiving meal and inviting you over, because although I do not especially enjoy turkey, I DO enjoy your company.
I'm probably not serving this with the correct forks, and the stemware doesn't match. So if this is a thing for you, maybe you could bring over some fancy wineglasses.
Menu, with notes and justifications:
Nicolas Feuillatte brut réserve particulière, because champagne goes with everything, as far as I'm concerned. (Also, because Bill and Lorin at La Belle Vie have spoiled me for champagne for the rest of my life with their excellent taste, and got me hooked on this stuff.)
Roasted beet and goat cheese terrine- I'm a little skeptical about the cream cheese and chévre combination, though. I'd probably go heavier on the goat cheese than the recipe suggests, because I am the kind of person who will eat a log of chévre sans accompaniment (or, for the matter, without sitting down).
Gougerès with cumin (from the Chocolate & Zucchini cookbook). Are these better than plain white rolls with butter? Hell yes they are. That's all the justification I need.
Butternut and apple soup- I'd probably kill most of the onions in this, because I am weird and don't like onions. But I'd top it with fried leeks, in a nod to the can of French's Onions that gets plundered by me every time someone brings it out to make green bean casserole.
Braised collard greens with cranberry beans and sausage- though I'd serve it over whole-wheat couscous instead of rice. I might also sub out chorizo for andouille in this, because what my life needs is always MORE CHORIZO.
Pear and blue cheese crostada- I'm not going to think about the butter content. Instead, I'll focus on the cheese content. Ah, that's better.
Roasted grapes with walnut oil over mascarpone. I cannot believe it's never occurred to me before that I should roast grapes. Time to remedy that!
And after dinner, a nice big glass of tawny port, for how many occasions does one really have that call for retiring to the study after dinner for a glass of port? I'll be waiting in a leather club chair, glass outstretched.