In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. It became an official Federal holiday in 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.
So now, it is time to give thanks. What are you thankful for? I am thankful for many things but I am NOT thankful for the stress that the holiday season brings. Over the years I have scaled down my entertaining repertoire to simplify and save time. It's hard managing a family, job, etc and having limited time to host 15 - 20 people for dinner. Good news; I don't think they noticed that I scaled down. People look forward to the holiday favorites like turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry chutney, stuffing, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole. Why stress and change a good thing?
Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be a huge undertaking....if you let it. Instead of trying something fancy, new and extremely time consuming, I stick with the Thanksgiving favorites I mentioned. I've learned that most people like tradition and look forward to the typical menu every year. I decided that if I wanted to try something new and change a menu item, dessert was a good time to do that. For instance, there is usually at least one or two guests that bring a dessert of their choice. So, if you attempt to try a new recipe, then there are plenty options in case they don't like your invention.
This year I decided to try a pumpkin cheesecake recipe that I found in Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving Entertaining book by Lou Pappas.