Thanksgiving is wonderful; the spirit, the family, and of course, the food.
So much food!
At my house, Thanksgiving is not a holiday that my family has always celebrated. Having come from France, where there is no such thing as Thanksgiving, we have adopted the holiday as our own, especially the delicious dishes. However, something that we have not yet mastered is the amount of food we need to make to feed eight, JUST eight, people. For some reason, my mother, grandmother, and I always make food for EIGHTY! Inevitably, we end up eating leftovers for days.
Thanksgiving dinner is great, but when it turns into Thanksgiving breakfast, lunch, AND dinner, something new and creative is always appreciated. So, instead of munching on leftovers alone, why not throw a themed party? And with turkey legs involved, nothing could be better than a medieval theme!
What: Thanksgiving Leftover Medieval Party
For: 10-20 friends
When: Any day of the week after Thanksgiving is best for the leftovers.
What to Eat: Use up all the leftovers that you have yet to get through and ask your friends to bring the foods they can’t eat anymore of as well. It’s always good to share; this way the menu will be varied and everyone’s cooking can be showcased! Some great ideas for a medieval theme are: leftover turkey drumsticks (eat them like they did in the old days – forget the silverware and get messy), chestnut stuffing (or any leftover stuffing), corn on the cob, mashed/baked/roasted potatoes and cranberry sauce, green beans, and leftover casserole. Don’t forget to serve the leftover pies, cobblers, and crisps for dessert.
What to Drink: No medieval party is complete without wine and ale! You can add a little more variety with hard cider as well. For those who don’t drink, be sure to have ginger ale and non-spiked cider.
How to Set the Scene: If you’re sending invites, send them on coffee-stained paper and rolled up like a scroll with wax to close the letter. Make some banners with fancy Renaissance fonts welcoming your guests to the party. Hang the banners up on the walls and from the ceiling. They can say things like “Hear Ye, Hear Ye!” and “Welcome to Thee Castle”. Set the table with clunky metal silverware (2-pronged forks are great) and goblets instead of regular cups. If you can light candles, set some of the lighting with candles and lanterns, this will give the party a more authentic medieval feeling.
Attire: Tell your guests to come in medieval or renaissance costumes: jesters, princes and princesses, friars, kings and queens, dragons, knights, and peasants and paupers are all acceptable. The most creative and authentic-looking costume gets to be knighted!
Candice Allouch is a junior at American University and is abroad in Florence, Italy during the fall semester where she is learning (and loving) to cook with the wonderful ingredients that Europe lends.