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I prevailed upon our family gathering of seven adults on Thursday to let me take over not just the kitchen for Thanksgiving, but the menu as well. At first they were skeptical and worried about missing the same old meal, so we had an early lunch with all the usual items and then a late dinner, a tasting menu of sorts that had a strong Thanksgiving theme: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage and Nutmeg Creme Fraiche (adapted from Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook) Trio of Sweet Potato Raviolis in a Brown Butter and Thyme Sauce Mustard and Herb Crusted French Rack of Lamb with Cranberry and Polenta Stuffing, and pureed yukon potatoes with a shittake gravy Pumpkin Creme Brulee Apple, Pear and Quince Turnovers with Vanilla Custard For palate cleansers, I baked some pumpkin bread with cranberries and blueberries and teaspoons of raspberry sorbet. Overall, it was a success, but due to an unforseen potato shortage I had to use leftovers from lunch and that side turned out far from perfect, but the gravy made up a bit for that. I also had issues getting the tops just right on the brulees, but I couldn't exactly bring a blowtorch on the plane. Using freshly grated nutmeg and vanilla bean made all the difference, though -- I'm not much of a baker, but I will no longer shortcut on these two ingredients. The lamb I bought from Cheeseitique, and it was also a hit. We roasted a smaller turkey (around 13 lbs.) the day I arrived and used the meat for sandwiches throughout the week. We also made a pie every night, and this way we weren't bombarded with leftovers but were able to enjoy Thankisgiving favorites throughout the week.