Last week, chef Lulu Kalman cooked Thanksgiving dinner with her mother, artist Maira Kalman, for a whopping 28 people. She created this photo diary for Papermag about the experience and, judging by these photos of the Kalmans' delicious-looking spread, we're keeping our fingers crossed for an invitation next year.

Until recently, I was working in a restaurant kitchen; I spent many Thanksgiving-eves furiously making a chestnut-leek-apple-kale-sausage stuffing, packing it into aluminum hotel pans and turning up for the family meal with it on Thanksgiving morning.

This year, being free of a job, I was able to take my time to plan, shop, organize, cook and enjoy. We celebrated at my mother's house this year -- with 28 friends and family members.

I cooked for a few days with the help of my mother. We had so much fun. We listened to music on the radio and drank tea. Thanksgiving at our house is about what we deem the classics -- nothing fancy and no big twists on recipes.

Creamed pearl onions are a must.
A big, brown herb and citrus-rubbed turkey is a must.
Gravy that is neither too thick nor too thin is a must.
Apple cider gelée set in a star burst-shaped mold is a must.
Stuffing, the way I make it, is a must.
Tangy, tangy, tangy, whole-cranberry sauce is a must.
Something green.
A pureed root of sorts -- this year, we did mashed potatoes.
A great salad -- ideally with pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts -- is a must.

We added a Turducken to the mix this year. I ordered it online and it winged its way up from Louisiana. Turkey-shaped and chock full of duck, cornbread stuffing and chicken, it came whole but with Frankenstein-like stitching where the assorted stuffing and fowl were, well, inserted. It roasted up nicely and was good enough—but its mushiness and other lackings left me inspired to make my own version next time Im in the mood for one.

We were lucky enough to have friends from all over join us. Folks from Russia, North Carolina, Israel, Montana, California and East Rockaway all came together to enjoy. It was great: a sprawling, festive, stylish, hungry, funny group. Beautiful toasts were made. Rolls were baked. Wine was spilled. And then, for dessert, we tumbled upstairs to our neighbors’. They had 18 of their own guests and we all came together for a dessert buffet and more wine and festivities and chatter.

I had my last leftover meal on Sunday night but I'm still enjoying the turkey soup that I made over the weekend and have been thinking about throwing a Thanksgiving half-birthday kind of thing. Everything at our meal was so delicious and golden that I don’t want to wait another year to do it again. The menu would definitely have all of the ‘musts,’ but maybe we'd mix it up a touch and do something like a Pi-Goo-Tur. We’ll see.