Peace Before Thanksgiving




My girlfriend Lise snapped this photo of the hubby, the dog and me last weekend. Every time I peek at it, I remember that walk along Singing Beach in Manchester, MA. Remnants of a hurricane had created rocky seas and the mist in the air was otherworldly and peaceful. Really. The hubby grabbed my hand to pull me from the tide, and Lise snapped the photo.

I’ve looked at this photo each day when I want a bit of peace, a moment away from the madness. The photo reminds me of that brief beach walk and I rally my energy to plow through the day, rally my energy to brave the upcoming holiday madness. I live for the holidays; it truly is the best time of year for me. But the chaos of dinners and gifts and baking and parties and family can be a bit much. This photo will remind me of the peace in the madness.

Speaking of madness, I always share my holiday menu and this year is no different. Well, there is something slightly different. This year, I declared Thanksgiving at Chez Maggie a potluck. In other words, I’m letting go to encourage the family to bring their favorite dishes. We’re smoking the turkeys and making a few other dishes, while the rest of the family brings some nostalgic, traditional and a few up-in-the-air dishes. Our menu ain’t perfect nor perfectly in tune from dish to dish. But it’s our menu and I love it. I can’t wait.

Thanksgiving 2009 Menu


  • Pepperoni bread – like a calzone, but rolled, made with love every year, by my aunt
  • Stuffed vinegar peppers & mushrooms – my Mom’s specialty
  • Chili-smoked nuts – based on a Union Square Cafe recipe
  • Jim Lahey’s bread – 4 loaves, made by me this weekend
  • Thanksgiving cocktail: BB&B (Bourbon, Belle de Brillet & Bubbly) – my own creation, I think, and it’s perfect!


  • Two smoked turkeys – I do the brine, the hubby smokes them for 6-8 hours
  • Pineapple, clove-studded ham – a love letter to the men around the table, from my aunt
  • Corn pudding – another aunt specialty!
  • Butternut squash casserole – by my cousin Jessica (and sometimes writer for this site)
  • Brussels sprout – pasta salad – think caramelized sprouts & sweet potato ravioli & hazelnuts, oh my!
  • Cranberry orange cornbread stuffing – my sis is making the cornbread from scratch first
  • Cranberry orange ginger relish – made by me this weekend
  • A surprise veggie dish – by my Queens-based cousin Melissa (and this is ME letting go…)
  • Homemade turkey gravy – made from scratch by cousin Jessica


  • Maine Blueberry Pie – from frozen summer berries, made by me
  • Chocolate Cake with Fruit Compote – by Melissa
  • Pumpkin Chiffon Pie – a specialty of Jessica’s
  • Molasses cookies – I make piles of dough, my Mom bakes up the tiny balls coated in sugar

Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.