I wrote a post last year asking my readers to tell about how they celebrate Thanksgiving – do they stay at home, visit family and friends or dine out. I know you are probably wondering why I’m writing about Thanksgiving in the middle of summer and frankly, I have no idea why I’m writing about Thanksgiving. I just felt the urge and I’m going with…
For the most part, I have enjoyed staying home for Thanksgiving, although I must admit that one of my dreams is to one day go to New York and be on the sidelines of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I would also make sure I had a hotel room with a nice view of the parade just in case it was too nippitty!
When my kids were younger (mind you 3 of them are adults and the youngest just turned 15), they would fight over who got to break up the bread for the stuffing – it was so much fun to watch them. As they got older, they would fight over who got to mix the stuffing and stuff it into the bird!
Nowadays, I’m the one who has to fight to help out in the kitchen because my son Justin loves to cook! I never knew he was paying attention when I would be cooking and it wasn’t until his third year in the Navy that I learned how much he loves to cook! I honestly have to say that spending time in the kitchen with him brings me such joy! Now I know how Paula Deen feels about her sons and cooking with them – that pretty much sums it up for me too!
Over they years we’ve switched between Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef and Pasta for Easter and Christmas and New Years, but there are certain MUST HAVE’S when it comes to Thanksgiving. For instance,there is always, always, always a Turkey for Thanksgiving. In honor of my Grandmom Ida (may she rest in peace) we place the turkey neck in a pot of Sauerkraut and simmer it all day long and there’s always pickled beets! To honor my mom, we have a tray of black and green olives, baby gerkin pickles and a sweet pickle mix that has cauliflower and onions and carrots, but it’s been hard to find the mix the past few years. did I mention my Grandmom Ida was German? I hate canned cranberry sauce so the night before, I make mine from scratch – it is soooo easy and I make a double batch so there’s plenty for leftovers.
For my daughter Daniele, we have to have baby LeSeur peas, for my husband Jose, we have to have apple pie, pumpkin pie and baked sweet potatoes. For my daughter Tylar we put marshmallows on half of the sweet potatoes because she likes them extra sweet and Jose likes them just as they are. For my son Jarrett there has to be mashed potatoes and biscuits and for Justin I make sure there is plenty of stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce.
The Macy’s day parade is put on the TV, and we love to go to the High School football game, even though there have been a few years where I wasn’t able to go because I was up to my elbows in turkey, or I was not well enough to go. Once I get things going for dinner, I work on lots of munchies to hold everyone over till the turkey’s done. Once the parade’s are over (sometime before the end of the day we slip in the DVD ‘A Christmas Story’ and laugh our butts off even though we’ve seen it dozen’s of times) we put on the football games. We love us some football in this house. We watch the college games, the pro games and the high school games. We don’t have a dining room and the kitchen is small, so everything is set up buffet style and everyone makes their plate and heads to the living room. Once everyone is in place, my husband says grace and then it’s chow time. While we eat, everyone shares what they are thankful for, it’s a tradition we started several years ago when the kids were younger. Once dinner is over, everyone finds a spot and gets comfortable till they have room for dessert – sometimes we all end up falling asleep and when we wake up you hear someone ring the bell for round 2!!
There have been times when we go to a family members home for Thanksgiving dinner and we have a blast, but then when we return home, there’s no turkey aroma wafting through the house and we all get bummed out, but not to worry, we make a full Thanksgiving dinner the next day and we do it all over again…..Oh the left overs, oh the lovely smells, oh, pass the Tums….
I know that one day I will have the house I want and there will be a huge dining room and a big table so we can all sit and eat and chat and eat some more and chat and enjoy each other’s company – thank you Lord in advance for this blessing.
We have some really funny memories and my family will never let me live down the year I over-cooked the biscuits. I didn’t have much room in the oven so I put them in a round cake pan and I totally forgot about them. By the time I remembered, they were burnt, not black mind you, at least not on top, they were really really really brown. I didn’t bother taking them out of the pan, I just left them there and then after dinner, my kids went into the kitchen and pulled the biscuits out of the pan. They had fused together and were hard as a rock. They said I should hang them on the front door as a “biscuit wreath”! Then there was the year that I wanted to make gravy from scratch so I didn’t have any jarred gravy in the house, and I accidentally poured out ALL the drippings from the turkey down the drain…Oops, my bad…