With just three of us, the holidays were never such huge occasions for my family. Growing up, we already saw each other all the time, so it wasn’t like we were waiting all year to be together again. But since I’ve moved out and only go home once or twice a year, the holidays have become much more meaningful as it’s one of the few times a year I get to spend time with my parents.
This year, my parents came to visit me here in New York, their first visit since they helped me move into my apartment in May 2011. As a thank you to them, I decided to go all out and plan and cook the entire menu myself, and even arranged a pretty legit-looking centerpiece.
I’m a vegetarian and my parents aren’t huge fans of turkey anyways, so the star of the meal was a nut-stuffed squash that magically tasted similar enough to sausage to satisfy even my father’s carnivorous appetite. The menu went like this:
- Whole wheat potato rolls
- Mashed potatoes
- Thyme roasted broccoli, carrots, and red potatoes
- Nut-stuffed butternut squash
- Lentil pot pies
- Pumpkin chiffon pie
And that’s how you do Thanksgiving for three people.
These really don’t need any introduction, especially after my long-winded ramble about how they changed my life. These aren’t my grandmother’s cinnamon rolls – they’re my own, and they’re a perfect way to start your morning, especially on this rainy post-holiday Tuesday.
You know how sometimes you have a slice of bread that’s so good that you eat the entire loaf in one sitting? This is that kind of bread.
Soaking the raisins in liquid, preferably overnight, is key. I do this any time I bake with raisins and it takes them to a whole new level. They get outrageously plump and soft and I always add some dark rum to give it a little kick. They’re raisins, AMPLIFIED! Extreme raisins! None of that dry, wrinkly bullshit.
In short, make this bread. Eat boozy raisins. Enjoy life.