Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving at Our House

In case you haven't heard, I am having Thanksgiving at my house this year. Normally Thanksgiving would be a relatively small affair, since my sister and her family haven't been able to come home for way too many years as they are way too busy with their store A.C.E.S. at the Mall of America.

But this year, this year is going to be a big deal. They are finally coming home, and I am so excited I think I might throw up a little. My sister will be coming up on Wednesday, and that night she, I and my mom will be gabbing, drinking wine, and maybe doing some advanced preparation. Depends on how good the wine tastes. I am actually really relieved that she will be here, as I could really use a hand in my kitchen. We are always each other's sous' chefs.

So here's what is on the menu this year.

Turkey. Mom is in charge. I don't do turkey. I know, it's SO EASY. But I had one bad encounter on a really icky Thanksgiving when it was just me and the ex, no family in sight (thankfully the only time this has happened), and the turkey didn't get done. And I forgot to make stuffing. And it was just an all around horrible day. Anyway...

Mom will also be making the stuffing, and yes, I mean STUFFING. She still stuffs the bird. I have tried to wean her off of this system, but the old girl is just way too set in her ways. We haven't gotten sick, yet...

Mashed potatoes and gravy: I must say I have really figured out how to make good gravy since Rachael Ray gave us the 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons flour roux recipe. It's so easy. If you need it, check out her website. I am just too busy to add all the linky doos today. Some may hear me whispering, "Who made this gravy, it is totally perfect!" during the meal. They just ignore me. My dad will be in charge of the mashing as he is the expert in this area, and I can make the gravy but don't ask me to get rid of any lumps, it's not in my reperotoire.

Dad will also be making one of his famous apple pies. He has gotten into baking bread, cinnamon rolls, and apple pie in the last few years. My mom always has a fit when he announces from his perch on the couch, "I think I'll whip up an apple pie". Perhaps because she ends up doing all the dishes. All I can say is if you can get a man to make you anything in the kitchen, don't complain. And if he makes you an apple pie, don't forget the vanilla ice cream, and perhaps a good slice of cheddar to put alongside.

My brother and his family will be bringing their equally famous Snicker bar salad. If you haven't tried this, don't go thinking you are going to get any from me. I usually threaten to take the bowl and hide in the bathroom and eat it all myself, it's that good. Truly, if I only had a slice of warm turkey, a spoonful of stuffing, and a big pile of Snicker bar salad on my plate that is all I would need.

The hostess (me) is going to make the following, with many suggestions from the back seat from my mother as I go. I don't know if she has much confidence in me that I can pull this holiday off, so I REALLY have to kick it in gear. I'm going to have to ask her to go iron something so I can keep her out of my hair.

Sweet Potatoes: we slice them up and layer them in a casserole along with chopped apples and bits of butter, then toss together cinnamon and brown sugar to sprinkle over the top. After they are warmed through they get a topping of marshmallows that get browned for a few extra minutes in the oven.

Green Bean Casserole: you know the one. If you don't, go to the Campbell's website and check it out. Sometimes we add chopped water chestnuts to the mix, if we're feeling nutty. You can also add some sauteed fresh mushrooms if you like that sort of thing.

Corn Pudding: we have a couple different recipes for this, one that includes crushed saltines and one that uses corn bread mix.

Crescent Rolls: the commercials say that everyone fights over them, and we could use a little banter at the table. We always used to have them when my grandma hosted the holidays, and I am going to add them this year. Normally nothing should come out of a can for such a special occasion (Mom Rule), not even the cranberries, but my sis will be bringing some "good bread" from Great Harvest, so I think I can sneak these in and not be shunned.

Cranberry sauce: I am going to make my Mom's recipe. Okay, these are all her recipes. Some day I intend to jazz things up a little and make my own versions, but this year it's all about tradition. All you do is cook fresh cranberries with orange juice, brown sugar, and cinnamon until they pop and get mushy enough to be palatable. They taste best if you make them a day ahead of time. At least that's what the recipe says.

We will have our traditional crudites platter of black olives (most of which get eaten before we even sit down), green olives, apple rings, and carrot sticks. I need to make the carrot sticks this year as I imagine Great Granny won't be up for it, but I have my crinkle cutter at the ready. Now if I can just remember to get together the ingredients for some stuffed celery sticks I will be all set.

There will be pecan pie, and pumpkin dessert (which I will share the recipe for tomorrow).

Are you hungry yet?

As usual, we will spend HOURS planning, shopping, and cooking, and in 5-10 minutes the meal will be eaten and we will be stuffed. But it will be worth every minute.

Especially when it's time to eat the leftovers. That's my very favorite part. I will make sure that there is more "good bread" for sandwiches, mayo and other fixings, and a big bag of fresh potato chips. After eating all those rich dishes it helps to have something to clean your palate.

Until tomorrow...


Kristi Pohl said...

I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rachelle said...

You know Heather, you are as cute as they come. I loved reading this, it gave me great joy. I smiled the whole way through! Your meal sounds wonderful and it's perfectly okay that you were too busy to add the "linky doos" (which I find very endearing). You are in charge and I'm so excited about you hosting Thanksgiving in your own home. You can do it (with a little help from mom and sis). Enjoy your time, your wine, the food, and your precious family. You rock!

Tracy said...

I only have one thing to say (and those that know me well will find that hard to believe)...can I come!!!