Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

The countdown is on.  How are things coming along for you?  I just finished up a list of everything I'm going to make today (Wednesday).  I want as little to do as possible tomorrow.  I also just finished having the paper plate debate with myself.  I've decided to use the "good" dishes but I know how much it would simplify things if we used paper plates - especially since we just grew to a party of 13.  :)

Here's a hint that goes back 20 years for me.  I read this in my very first Gooseberry Patch cookbook when I was a new wife (and Thanksgiving cook).  We tried this on our first turkey and we've been doing it ever since.  

  • Before you put your turkey in the oven, cover it with breakfast link sausages stuck on with toothpicks...the bird will look more like a porcupine than a turkey!  Cover with foil and place in oven to roast.  About 2 hours before serving, take off the foil and 30 minutes later take off the sausages (which are almost dried, and no longer greasy) and serve them as an appetizer.  The bird will now get a beautiful golden brown and everyone will dive into the sausages.

This has become a tradition for us and it really does make the turkey extra juicy!

Here's my menu plan.  One of my friends is bringing some other dishes, this is just my part.  

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Green Beans
Macaroni and Cheese
Broccoli Casserole
Yeast Rolls
Pumpkin Pie
Coffee, Tea, Lemonade

Everyone has their way of making pumpkin pies.  Here's mine...

3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
1 can (15 oz) 100 % pure pumpkin
1 can (12 fl oz) Evaporated Milk
1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in a small bowl.  Beat eggs in large bowl.  Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture.  Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie crust.

Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 350 degrees, bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.  Makes 8 servings.

Do you need a side dish for your Thanksgiving meal?  Here are two of my favorites.

Macaroni and Cheese

Put in crock-pot:
2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons mined onion
1 egg, beaten
2 cups cubed cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter

Stir well.  Cover and cook on high for one hour, stirring occasionally.  Add 3 or 4 cups cooked macaroni, drained.  Cover and cook on low for 3 - 5 hours. 

Broccoli Casserole

1 cup mayo
1 box chopped broccoli - thawed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup Pepperidge Farm stuffing
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion salt

Mix soup, eggs and mayo.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into baking dish.  Sprinkle stuffing on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.   

Lastly, here's a simple and inexpensive table.  Do you want to know my number one tip for making a beautiful table?  Iron your tablecloth.  This one little chore will make your table look ten times better.  It only takes a few minutes and if you don't have time ask one of the kids to do it, an older child who knows how to use the iron without getting burned.  You don't want an injury on Thanksgiving day - ain't nobody got time for that!

I ironed mine early this morning before anyone else was up.  

You do not need to spend loads of money on things to make your table pretty.  I found everything I needed at Hobby Lobby and the Dollar Tree.  I was in and out of the Dollar Tree in five minutes flat.  All I needed were two candlesticks and two candlestick holders.  Total spent: $3.00

I made a quick run into Hobby Lobby where most of their fall stuff is 80 percent off.  I bought these three pumpkins for pennies.  They were floral picks and had long stems on them but I used wire cutters and trimmed those right off so they would sit flat on my table.  

I picked up one more little bush while I was there and it was only a few cents as well.  I added it to my vase in the middle of the table for a little more umph.  


Now the grown up table is all set and it's time to start working on the kid table.  Oh, and the cooking...who's doing that?  Oh yeah, it's me.  I better get to work!

Don't be fooled here.  Things aren't perfect at this table.  The silverware doesn't match and those dining room windows need to be cleaned, but it's warm and inviting and the kids think it's special.  Soon the house will smell delicious and be full of people and that's what it's really about.  Things don't have to be perfect to be lovely.  An imperfect table will still bless your family.  Don't let perfection get in the way of a really wonderful holiday.  Enjoy your family and make memories.

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope your day is extra warm and cozy. 

1 comment:

  1. You rock holidays, Girl! Magazines ought to be photographing your home

    And I was at that first Thanksgiving with the sausage-porcupine-turkey! Remember the debate over whether its water into gelatin powder, or powder into water when making jello? Ha ha.

    And remember the cornucopia we made? That is one of my sweetest memories. Thanks for being home for me when I was in college.

    I love you. SO thankful for you.



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