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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Feast

Some years we spend our holiday with family and once or twice, we've spent it with friends.  It's always fun to see the different traditions that folks practice and what foods make up their favorite Thanksgiving feast.  As new folks are added to each group or family, they often bring new foods and traditions with them and begin to blend and share until our different backgrounds have melded together nationalities and ethnic customs and foods into new "traditions" that carry on to the next generation.
I'll have to admit that my least favorite part of a holiday away from home is that there are NO leftovers to munch on.  No turkey to turn into stew to put over biscuits, No sweet potatoes to warm up for a midnight snack.  No pie for breakfast...oops! I may have said too much!

So sometimes we have a quiet Thanksgiving at home with some homestyle favorites that I've grown up enjoying and some new ones that I've added.  Here's a list of my favorites:

A fresh tossed salad with iceburg, tomatoes, celery, onion, cukes, seedless grapes and toasted pecans with my sister-in-law's variation on italian dressing with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. (See how the traditions meld?)

Free range turkey with homemade stuffing. (And I'm especially thankful that we won't be having StoveTop!!!)
   Free range turkey has a wonderful flavor but they often tend to be a little tough or stringy.
To make my stuffing I melt butter in my cast iron skillet and brown my onion and celery.  Next I add the bread cubes.  These can be any kind you have on hand or even *gasp* bags from the store.  I toss the cubes in the melted butter (along with the onions and celery) until coated, then I begin to sauté them until a little toasted.  At this point, I sprinkle the top of the panful of cubes with a generous coat of poultry seasoning.  Then a little salt and pepper.  Stir it all together.  Now it's ready for the bird or I can add other things to it like mushrooms sautéed in a separate pan or chestnuts peeled, chopped and toasted.

Sweet Potato Soufflé - a recipe from a friend added to our favorites list. I'll share it with you later this week.

Mashed potatoes - standard with a little milk, butter, S&P - I prefer white potatoes to golden or yellow ones.

Baked asparagus with lots of OO and garlic - another that I'll share this week.

Fresh cranberry sauce - I'm so excited!  My husband went out on the mountain to pick wild cranberries!  I cooked them up and made sauce.  They are so yummy!  Once my daughter gets home for the holiday, we're going to go out as a family to pick more. What a treat!

Apple Pie - always made from scratch

Pumpkin Pie or
Cheesecake - the last in our Pumpkinpalooza! week of recipes.

Ahhh!  It fills the house with an aroma that just says, "Home."

And our newest tradition is the first sampling of each year's batch of dandelion wine that's been mellowing since Spring.

Goosie's been living on mainly college food for at least 2 meals/day for the last 3 months and she's put in a request for a home cooked Thanksgiving but since we can't be selfish with the little time she'll be here, we'll spend the holiday with the family and I'll make a few of her favorites for leftovers to take back to school. And for us too!

Share a comment telling us about your favorite Thanksgiving menu.


  1. It all sounds delicious. It's fun to see different things people have for Thanksgiving dinner -- when I was little I thought everybody had the same thing. : )
    I am right with you there when it comes to pie for breakfast! My mom says down south they say Yankees are people from New England; in New England they say Yankees are people from Maine; and in Maine they say Yankees are people who eat pie for breakfast. (My mom's from ME) So we love pie for breakfast. : )

  2. Haha! Well, I'm Dutch and I love my pie for breakfast! I came back here to add the most important new tradition! See above. And to invite folks to share their favorite holiday menu. What do you have for Thanksgiving dinner, Princess?

  3. We have for many years celebrated it with my dad's side of the family, which size wise, depending on how many of his brothers come, varies slightly each year.
    We have turkey and stuffing; white potatoes with gravy; sweet potato casserole (and sometimes candied sweet potatoes as well); rolls (we have made sweet potato rolls before, but more often than not it is just a regular whole wheat recipe); cranberry sauce (preferably homemade!); and then a vegetable -- it varies each year.
    There is usually a variety of alcoholic beverages, and for the kids we like to get sparkling juices, cider etc.
    Dessert is apple pie, pumpkin pie, and sometimes pecan pie. We have made blueberry pie before as well.
    It's always fun to prepare the food with the relatives -- some of the foods are a certain family member's specialty. Making the food is almost as much fun as eating it!
    Now I'm hungry for it! I can't wait till Thanksgiving! : )


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