Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Thanksgiving Thoughts

It's Thanksgiving week - gobble gobble!

I know a lot of people get really excited about Thanksgiving foods, but I've never been one of them. As a kid, the best part was the turkey. I didn't like gravy, or stuffing, or mashed potatoes, or the green bean salad, or that gross canned cranberry crud. I guess the dinner rolls were OK. Back then I didn't even put butter on my rolls and I still don't unless it's a "fancy" butter. Even Thanksgiving dessert was awful. I didn't like (and am still not a huge fan of) pumpkin pie with it's off-putting squishy, orangey-brown color. My grandpa liked mincemeat pie, which is more disgusting than pumpkin pie. Grandma would give me a bowl of Cool Whip for dessert.

I'm still not that into Thanksgiving even though we are hosting here. Nowadays, I do like mom's gravy, and I've become a huge fan of grandma's sausage stuffing, but turkey is such a bland meat plus it's what I eat nearly every day for lunch. Everything else? It's just OK. The best part is that we make apple pie and I love apple pie. Also, I like the appetizers.

Thanksgiving does make me a little sad because my grandparents' birthdays were around Thanksgiving and I miss them a lot, especially at the holidays. My grandparents would have turned 96 this year - grandpa on Thanksgiving Day this year and grandma 2 days later. I was supposed to be a Thanksgiving baby, too, but decided to arrive early.

Even though this year there will be only 7 of us instead of up to 22 (both families, if everyone is in town and spending it here), there are still quite a few dishes to make. Last week I made my shopping list of things to buy over the weekend and things to buy tomorrow. I also made my "time sheet" of when everything has to get done so that everything is ready for a 5 pm dinner. The star of the show arrived last Monday: MIL bought a nearly 20 lb turkey from Soergel's and he's been thawing since Saturday morning.

Here's the plan:

Appetizers
Vegetables with Beau Monde Dip
Cheese & Crackers
Cashews

Meal
Roast Turkey with Gravy
Mom's (Grandma's) Sausage Stuffing
Bourbon Orange Cranberry Sauce
Brussels Sprouts with parmesan
Green Beans & Portobellas
Sweet Potatoes

Dessert
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Whipped Cream

Drinks
Wine (chardonnay)
Old Fashioneds
Gin & Tonic
Unsweetened Iced Tea
Coffee & Hot Tea

Type 1 Diabetes runs strong in SP's family so there are several guests who pick & choose their carbs/sugars carefully and eat a lot of vegetables. So we decided to cut out some of the dishes we'd normally make. That means no rolls, no mashed potatoes, no corn. Rolls & corn were mostly for the kids and there won't be any kids. Sadly, those are the easy things to make! Open a bag of rolls, dump in bread basket. Throw corn in casserole and microwave.

Usually we ask FIL to make his cole slaw, but with such a small group, I don't think we need it. We thought about adding some roasted cauliflower, but then decided against a third vegetable to make and instead upped the quantity of green beans and Brussels we'll make. 

Usually with a large gathering, we also have more appetizers, like shrimp cocktail and a hot appetizer like the Mushroom Turnovers or Gruyere- Prosciutto Pinwheels, but again, with this smaller group, some guests don't eat that kind of thing and the rest don't want to fill up too much before the big meal. 

Usually MIL also brings chocolate covered pretzels and cookies and maybe there will be a pumpkin roll, but with no kids and some of the seven people not eating dessert/eating just a very small portion of dessert, we figured 2 pies was enough.

It's still a lot to do, especially since we like to make the pies from scratch, including the crusts, but we both like cooking/baking so it's fun. Until it's 4:45 pm on the big day and things have fallen off track!

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