Friday, November 26, 2021

Thanksgiving 2021

I’m not a big fan of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and we’ve often done very different cuisines and this year we decided on Italian.  Since some of the invitees were unavailable on Thanksgiving Day, we opted to have our meal on Wednesday – ain’t retirement great.

We had 12 diners so we used both the dining room and sun room tables – I called it the kids table.  Here’s a shot of the big table that was empty then but soon filled up with food.

We began the day with a social hour and served antipasto and Prosecco with this white tree decorating the table.

Our four-course meal included the antipasto & aperitif, salad with homemade rolls, pasta & meat with more hot rolls, and dessert (apple and pumpkin pies).  We could have made it a more traditional six courses by separating our two with “&” in them and serving the salad later.

Cindy had made eggplant parmesan a couple of times and we really liked the sauce she used, so I decided to use the recipe for it with a few adaptions including making a lot more of it – seven quarts of tomatoes.

Sunday SauceAdapted from Cook's Illustrated


7 qts. tomatoes

10 oz. tomato paste

1½ large onions

12 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. dried basil

1 tsp salt (my home canned tomatoes already contained 1 tsp salt/qt.)

slabs spare ribs, grilled and cut into individual ribs

2 lb. Italian sausage, grilled and cut in half

18 meat balls, fully cooked.


Add 3 tbsp olive oil to a large pot over medium heat.

Add the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the onion is soft.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil and salt . Cook the sauce about six hours.

Add the sausage to the sauce and cook for 3 hours.

Add the ribs and cook for 2½ hours.

Add the meatballs and cook for 1½ hours just to heat through.

I served the pasta in one dish, the meat in another, and the sauce in a small pitcher and serving family style seemed to go smoothly.

I forgot my plate pic until I had started eating and had polished off a rib.

The Verdict:

The meal seemed to be a big hit and we all had a good time visiting.  I liked the Sunday sauce with the variety of meats and would make it again.  Since I had cooked all of the meat a couple of days before and made up the sauce a day early, all I had to do was cook the sauce and add the meat at the appropriate times.  I put the ribs in to allow for a five hour cook time but they only needed 2½ hours so I ended up taking them out of the sauce then adding them back 15 minutes before serving to reheat.  All-in-all, a fine little get together and Cindy said it was her best Thanksgiving ever - wow.

With Bev and Cindy leaving Saturday for three weeks in Florida, they went ahead and did a little Christmas decorating with all artificial items.  Bev got a lot of ornaments on that little four foot tree.  The shots were taken at our Thanksgiving meal.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


11/24/21 event date


  1. Sounds wonderful. But Jim loves the very traditional Thanksgiving meal. I tried a new rub on the turkey breast and put it in the slow cooker. Jim said it was really good and I can do that again. Doing some Black Friday shopping? Not us thank goodness.

  2. Larry, We went traditional...on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Dawn flew in on Saturday and I'd gone shopping on Friday so she was the chef and I was the sous chef/clean up assistant. She tried putting Benton's bacon on the turkey and it was moist but the surprise...did change the flavor of the meat. We had Thanksgiving leftovers on the big day. Laurie will be laid up until the end of December. Her ankle surgery is slowly healing but we still have to deal with her sciatica. Fun times...and no trips anywhere. We are looking forward to 2022! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  3. Looks like a very lovely day. And yes, retirement is great. :)

  4. What a delicious holiday feast! The Sunday meat sauce sauce sounds amazing. I hope the girls have fun on their trip!

  5. While most people go for turkey on Thanksgiving, my plate would have been clean after your Thanksgiving meal. 😊


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