Thanksgiving kickoff

This the first of what I hope will be many smaller posts about Thanksgiving. Twenty one years ago, my wife and I were married on Thanksgiving day. We had a modest wedding thanks to the generosity of our parents. Times were tough because of an illness in the family and our wedding marked a turning point in that persons recovery. My wife and I decided that in honor of the events of that day, we would take on the task of hosting Thanksgiving dinners.

From that simple start, we have progressed to having about 300 of our family and friends over for Thanksgiving every year. It has been about 10 years since the event outgrew our house and so we now host the event in the local social hall. In keeping with the Thanksgiving harvest theme, we provide the venue and the protein and asks our guests to bring the side dishes, desserts and drinks. Our guests arrive throughout the event and hence the buffet tables feature an ever changing menu.

We don't set up separate tables, but instead lay conference tables end-to-end to form long mess hall style seating. This helps people to mingle and to interact with other guests. We feel that the event is about family, community and food!

A few years ago, our guests brought their children. The guest count broke 500 and we ended up running out of food. Kids don't eat much, but they have big eyes and take much more than they can possibly eat. For the past few years, we have asked our guests not to bring their kids. This raises the quality of the food since we don't have to worry so much about picky eaters. It also raises the quality of the conversation.

Today is Wednesday and the preparations begin. I'll be posting quantities, recipes and pictures as we get ready for the big event!


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