Growing up, my aunt used to host our family’s Thanksgiving dinners and she would always make a turkey and my mom would always make a roast ham. Not only did we get all the traditional American dishes, we also got Filipino favorites! Yum.
In 2009, when I first moved to France, I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for Mr J’s family at his grandparents’ home. We had flowers arranged, all the best silver laid out on the table with fine china, and they insisted on having hired help clean up and wash all the dishes (needless to say, I didn’t fight them on that one). I even had invitations sent out to the family with little cornucopia’s on orange paper. It was a real treat.
When I went to the butcher to find a turkey, we were told they were unavailable until Christmas time, so we ordered a roasting ham instead. The family didn’t care that there was no turkey since it was their first Thanksgiving and loved the ham anyway. Mr J and I made the entire meal together and served it with great pleasure to our curious French family who happily devoured everything we served. Our little Thanksgiving was a success.
I have never made a turkey, but I do make a mean roast chicken and the concept is still the same: stuff it or not, butter or oil it, and throw it in the oven. It’s really that simple. Chef Mary makes it very clear in this fun spirited and friendly video on how to make a nice Thanksgiving dinner without all of the stress.