Then, in a thoroughly modern process necessitated by living many states apart, we created a Google document containing possible recipes from each year. Each family member added comments (these ranged from "what makes this chestnut soup different from the next?" to "let's not get crazy, people"), and we winnowed the list down to one or two recipes from each issue. The final menu is listed, along with each magazine cover, here. See the rest of the photos here.
At the end of it all, the day felt like a veritable marathon of cooking--in which we woke up early, swallowed quick cups of coffee and bowls of oatmeal, and then went straight to work. There was no pause for lunch or mid-afternoon football or anything else. And all four of us cooked for hours in a modest-sized kitchen, reaching over one another for pots and ingredients, vying for burners on the stove and space in the oven, and elbowing each other as we chopped vegetables at the counter top. By the time dinner was ready, there was an impressive stack of dishes in the sink. But we each agreed it was the most fun Thanksgiving we'd had in years.
Making pear-hazelnut-frangipane tart, decorated with Bosc pears.
Sweet and spicy hazelnuts and walnuts seasoned with cumin, paprika, cinnamon, etc. Perfect for snacking before dinner.
Taking the turkey out of the oven. One of the best recipes of the day was a delicious gravy with apple cider and sage leaves.
The chestnut soup was creamy and smooth and vaguely sweet with a bit of sherry and bay leaf. Fried sage leaves made a crispy, savory garnish.
The brussels sprouts included shallots and mushrooms with white wine and garlic. A winning side dish.
Our favorites included Parker House rolls, an apple-ginger-cranberry sauce, and yukon gold mashed potatoes, made with a potato ricer to keep them light and fluffy. About the only thing we didn't like was the recipe for balsamic-glazed carrots, which had too much vinegar flavor.
Of the pies, our favorite was the pear-hazelnut-frangipane tart with its lovely nutty flavors of almond and hazelnut. Some of us found the pumpkin-sour cream pie too sweet. Others were not that picky.