Monday, November 21, 2011
This year we are excited to go to my parents house for Thanksgiving Dinner. We've been on an every other year schedule since we've been married, one year with my family, the next with Dave's. It sounds like it will be a smaller gathering this year... about 27 people. Seventeen of those people are my own children and grandchildren. :) Our little family is growing! Next year we'll be excited to join with Dave's side of the family to celebrate!
I like to organize my week so I'm not doing all the prep Thanksgiving morning. Tuesday I'll start on pie crusts, cutting bread into cubes (I baked bread and froze 2 loaves to save for this) for stuffing, dicing and shredding veggies. Wednesday I'll bake pies, make carrot cake, and peel and cut up potatoes. (I just keep those in a large plastic bucket of water and put them in the garage until I'm ready to cook them Thursday morning - it stays just under 40 degrees out there right now - just like a large extra fridge. lol ) Several years ago we started the tradition of take out pizza the night before Thanksgiving. I have a small kitchen and there's usually so much baking and prep going on that it's nice to have Dave bring that home!
Mom is cooking the turkey, I'm doing mashed potatoes and some gravy. Each family invited is supposed to bring whatever side dishes they'd like to eat. I love that most often there are a ton of salads. I could make a meal off of just those. My sister Peggy often makes this delicious creamy orange gelatin type salad. I've always said I should get the recipe - I love it! Mom's making an oriental cabbage salad with ramen noodles as well as her specialty cranberry relish and cranberry gelatin. (I should get those recipes too!) Brianna is still deciding which salad she's bringing, Audra's doing green bean casserole, Dad thinks he'll make his candied yams. (he makes the best candied yams!)
Since we want plenty of "leftovers" for the weekend, I'm also cooking a turkey or two and making some extra pies, rolls, and salads. These are some of the recipes I'm working with. I love the pie crust recipe. It is so easy to work with and always turns out tender.
The younger kids are asking for Cookie Salad. I think if no one else is making that, I'll do that salad and since I've still got several ripening tomatoes left from the garden I think I might make Aunt Lois' Marinated Tomatoes. (I sure miss Aunt Lois!)
We will also take an assortment of pickles canned this summer. Dill, sweet, maybe some Dilly Beans and pickled beets.
If I get really ambitious, I'll post my stuffing recipe. I rarely actually stuff the turkey anymore (partly because it adds extra cooking time and I don't want to get up that early), but start with a base of homemade bread cut into cubes and add shredded carrot, diced onion and celery, and a nice poultry seasoning. It turns out pretty good stuffed into a dutch oven and baked.
Happy Thanksgiving to each of your families. May your week be filled with gratitude for the freedoms our country allows us, and the blessing of being with loved ones!