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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Weekend Cooking- Thanksgiving Dinner for 36

This post is part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.  If you have anything related to food, cookbook reviews, novel or non-fiction book reviews, recipes, movie reviews, etc., head over to Beth Fish Reads and add your post. Or, if you want to read food related posts, head over to read what some interesting people have to say about food.

This year my husband's entire family, plus a few extras, made it home for Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law and her husband hosted all 36 of us for Thanksgiving dinner and that is no small feat. But my sister-in-law was well organized and with everyone pitching in, bringing side dishes, desserts and helping with set-up and cleanup, it was a fantastic day.

We started with appetizers- bruschetta with a fig jam, blue cheese and walnut topping, along with a spinach dip and a vegetable tray and two antipasto trays, one of which had prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears that disappeared quickly.
Appetizer table

A few hours later, we brought out the stuffed mushrooms and Rachael Ray's Pumpkin Soup with Cran-Apple relish that was served in little shooter glasses. The mushrooms and soup were voted among the best dishes of the day.

At 4pm, dinner was served. The cold food table was set just outside the dining room and it held the breads (pumpkin, cranberry orange and apple cinnamon) and jello salads (cranberry and fan favorite lemon).

The kitchen island held all the hot foods- three turkeys, fifteen pounds of mashed potatoes, three stuffing (two with sausage, one without), two broccoli casseroles, two green beans wrapped in bacon, roasted squash and fennel, sweet potato casserole, sausage rolls and Plainville Turkey gravy.
The turkeys looked beautiful

The ovens worked overtime

The feast

The feeding frenzy

Red Velvet, Brooklyn Blackout and Pumpkin Harvest cakes from Two Little Red Hens

Krause's Candy- yum!

We all retired to the dining room to eat and reflect upon our many blessings. Everything was so delicious, it became very quiet as 36 people thoroughly enjoyed their meal and each other's company.
The dining room for 36

Such beautiful place settings

We began the following day meeting for lunch at Dallas Hot Wieners, a family tradition, and then we headed for the bowling alley to celebrate one of the cousins' 13th birthday. I haven't bowled in over 25 years (and my previous record high score was 63), but I won my grouping with a 96 much to the dismay of others in my group. I had great accuracy, right down the middle but if I had more speed on the ball I would have broken 100.

It was back to the sister-in-law's for leftovers (which we completely polished off) and then we celebrated all the November and December birthdays-8 of them!- with a cake my mother-in-law brought.
The November/December  birthday cake

We headed home to go to the Syracuse University basketball game on Saturday at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn (don't ask how that went- we lost big-time) and then it was home to our apartment in NYC to recuperate.

All in all, it was a terrific weekend, and many thanks to my sister-in-law and her husband for hosting the entire family.
This is what our Thanksgiving looked like


  1. WOWOWOWOW What a great weekend (despite the basketball score). Everyone looks happy and it sounds like the food and gathering were absolute successes.

  2. Wow!! 36 people!! So impressed by the smooth handling and logistics of serving that many people. Sounds like a fabulous reunion weekend. Hooray for family!

  3. Everything looked great, and a perfect home for a big group. Aloha,

  4. What a wonderful dinner--everything looks and sounds delicious and that Birthday cake makes me smile! ;-)

  5. Your sister-in-law is a real hero!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  6. How fun-I always wanted a large family function like this-my parents were the only ones to migrate to Canada and I married an only child with no family in California. I did not know you live in NY-I would have met you for dessert had I known. next time-you may become my source for all chocolate NY. I love La Maison du Chocolate and Jacques Torres. xo.

  7. That's fantastic, you know....I don't think I even know 36 people! What a spread of delicious food and it looks and sounds like you had a wonderful time. I need to make those mushrooms now, and the soup too.

  8. I AM SPEECHLESS! We had a record-breaking 22 this year and it was insane... your SIL is a super-hero!