Thanksgiving is an odd holiday in our house. We get kids who are friends of our kids, and our friends, and everyone is dropping by the house at a different time, so we make a ton of food and set it out buffet style. You get here when you get here, grab a paper plate, fill it up and find a spot to sit. And when you leave, you take a full plate home. There were years when we had almost no leftovers, because free food when you are young and hungry is the best thing ever.
This year we’re getting new kid friends who also happen to be starving college students, so we are making extra. And because we are able to feed everyone and we are very fortunate, we give thanks by contributing to a local food bank. If you happen to have plenty this year, please consider giving a little to your local food charities. Here, in Hays county, because of the corporate sponsorships, $1 buys 4 meals.
On to the menu.
- Smoked turkey
- Smoked ham
- Mashed potatoes
- Homemade cranberry sauce
- Green bean casserole (Kid 1)
- Roasted vegetables
- Crescent rolls
- Mac and cheese (Either S or Kid 2)
- Candied yams (Kid 1)
- Pecan pie (Kid 1)
- Pumpkin pie
- Zucchini bread (Kid 1)
I think that’s it. Turkey and ham are the staples, but the thing is, neither Gordon nor I are huge turkey fans, so this year we decided to add a roasted duck to the menu.
The turkey also presented us with a new dilemma. Previously we would go to a local BBQ joint, Smoky Moe’s, and buy a smoked turkey. This time the closest Smoky Moe’s is about 35 minutes away and we missed the deadline. I have roasted turkey before, but it is a pain.
I was going through the mail and saw a flier advertising an electric smoker. We’ve had the regular wood smokers before and you have to baby the damn things. Is the fire too hot? Is the fire too cold? Is the rain falling down on the smoker changing its temperature? Where is the smoke going and are we inconveniencing the neighbors? The electric smoker had the potential to solve all these problems.
So we went to Lowe’s and bought an electric smoker for under $200.
Here is how it works: you assemble it by putting shelves and trays in, you add liquid to the liquid pan, season your meats and poultry, and place them one the racks inside, and turn it on to the desired temperature. It only goes up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (about 120 degrees Celsius). Set the time and let it run for about 20-30 minutes. We set ours in the garage.
Now the best part. On the side of the smoker is this doohickey.
You put the wood chips into it, slide it into the smoker, turn it, and the chips fall into a special heated tray. In minutes this thing fills with smoke. Then all you have to do is check it periodically and add wood chips as needed. We did a test chicken with some nice cilantro lime seasoning yesterday. I used a can of ginger ale with some cider as liquid and Gordon chose hickory for the smoke chips. It took about 3 hours, but the chicken was excellent, moist and flavorful and cooked through. You can definitely taste the smoke.
So the turkey and the ham are going into that bad boy tomorrow at 5:00 am. Well, the turkey is. The ham is smoked already, so we are just popping it in there for a couple of hours to add a bit more flavor.
The duck will be roasted. The cranberry sauce will be made according to this recipe: Deanna’s Cranberry Sauce, but instead of brandy, I’m going with Cointreau, which is an orange liqueur. I might make this today, since it needs to simmer for a bit.
The stuffing is a huge part of Thanksgiving, but instead of stuffing it into the bird, I make it separately. My stuffing requires a very flavorful stock, so tonight I will brown vegetables in butter, stick them into the slow cooker with water, add some cheap smoked turkey drumsticks I bought at the grocery store, and let the whole thing cook overnight. Tomorrow I will blend everything into a really good quality soup and that’s what I will use for the stuffing.
Also tonight Kid 1 will hit up her end of deserts and I will make Gordon the pumpkin pie he requested. Then tomorrow, all I have have to do is roast the duck – might be ducks, since we bought two, make mashed potatoes, make gravy, bake the rolls, roast the veggies, and I am golden.
Kids also want to make some sort of fancy holiday drinks, but I am not involved in that. 🙂
So a little bit of work ahead. Today once we hit our word goal, I’ll get started. What about you?
Patricia Schlorke says
I roast turkey flavored with orange and lemon (zest and juice). This year I decided to do the “rub the turkey with butter” under the skin and on top. Then put a cover of cheesecloth soaked in butter. Today I will be making homemade rolls ( an old recipe). I use to make homemade stuffing (dressing) but now a days I use a box stuffing. Mashed potatoes and canned cranberry sauce. I know canned cranberry sauce is controversial. Since it’s for me who cares?
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I admire your energy and generosity! I’m cooking for 10 including little kids and I just put a limit on what I’ll cook. I’m not brave enough to smoke my own turkey! Does your garage fill with smoke? That being said I’m all about the turkey. If you haven’t before I’d try brining it. Even for smoking. It adds a lovely depth of flavor and moistness to the bird. I also use the America’s test kitchen recommendation of turning the bird as I cook it… it was a game changer. It made the whole bird so juicy. Like a slow motion rotisserie. 45 min back up, 15 on each leg up then 30-45 breast up till done. So much tastiness. Go you super mom and dad for feeding all. The. Kids!
No, there is very little smoke. There is a very intense scent of smoked wood though.
I have that exact model of smoker from Lowe – we have only done a turkey breast in it but it worked great – very juicy. HOWEVER _ NOTE OF CAUTION. While there is very little visual smoke during smoking, it does accumulate over cooking time. Strongly suggest you roll the smoker to the front of the garage and leave the garage open. Also, make sure you have read a recipe – I am not the smoker in the house but I understand that there is a time limit for applying smoke otherwise things can get to intense. For example – with ribs, you smoke for a couple of hours then wrap the ribs in foil and they are just cooking without any wood chips added. Lots of recipes on line.
That’s exactly what we did – in the garage with the door open.
This is great to know. Thank you both so much for commenting. We live in the Pacific Northwest so really struggle with how to have a smoker but keep it out of the rain… honestly Andrews clan you guys inspire me on many levels. Hope you enjoy the day.
Sarah K says
I have two Turkeys doing the dry brine in the refrigerator since Sunday – they will be roasted in the oven tomorrow. I do the Alton Brown method of roasting (500 F for 30 min, then cover the breasts with aluminum and drop temp to 350 F until thermometer reads 161F). With my new ovens, this process takes about 1.5 hours to a done turkey 🙂
For sides I’m making:
corn bread and chicken and kale sausage stuffing
butternut squash lasagna (Martha Stewart recipe with sage)
roasted brussel sprouts
roasted green beans with casserole topping (I’m going to just roast the green beans and drizzle cream of mushroom soup and fried onions on ’em)
salad (mixed greens and anything else I have around to add color and crunch… will make a vinaigrette style dressing for it with vinagers, herbs, shallots, olive oil, mustard, honey or maple syrup, salt and pepper)
My MIL is making:
sweet potato casserole
For dessert I’m making my Makers Mark pecan pie (5 tbsp bourbon :)) and apple pie. I picked up some vanilla frozen yogurt and will make whipped cream.
I have never commented before despite stalking your website for years, but I’d like to say that you and Gordon strike me as the most generous and community-minded people. I remember that even in the midst of your move last year you made a point to have your holiday dinner and make a safe space for your kids and their friends, AND donate to a local food shelter. You are inspiring and so very appreciated by your fans — from the glimpses into your personal life to the free serial you post even when you have the plague. I want to come back as one of your pets, or you could agree to adopt a 46-year-old mother of two. 😉 Thank you on this holiday for being “good people.”
Thank you, but we are actually just very ordinary. When we were young, the money was very scarce, so now that we have a little bit, we try to make it go further than our family. Many people do a lot more: they volunteer, they give a greater percentage, they put themselves in danger for the sake of ours. Our contribution is small, but that’s what we do.
As an Australian I wistfully look at thanksgiving. It would be nice to try it one day. Preferably when the Packers or Patriots were playing.
Lisa P says
You could celebrate anyway. When I was in college, the department I worked in had a pot luck dinner. We had turkey of course, but we also had curry, egg rolls, and other assorted dishes the grad students brought in.
I can’t help but imagine you hanging out with a couple of my friends, who are Packers friend (as is their four year old son) and home brewers. Gatherings at their place are kind of epic.
Last night I made two dozen eggs worth of deviled eggs. Tonight I have another three dozen to do. This is my chosen contribution to family Thanksgiving. I’m also making my experimental sweet sausage stuffing to take, and candy-sweet cranberry sauce.
We do Thanksgiving with my maternal grandmother’s family. There were five sisters (my grandma passed away a couple of years ago), and all of their descendants and our families are invited. Last year was incredibly small and quiet – 40 people. This year should be closer to 70. Every adult (or couple) has at least one dish we are in charge of, every year, and the grandmas have been passing down recipes so now most of us make our own dish plus one of the old recipes.
My thanksgiving is loud and crowded and chaotic. And the best.
There is something comforting about the family chaos, isn’t it?
Fan in California says
Oooh, deviled eggs. I should make myself some deviled eggs. Thanks for the suggestion.
I’m solo-ing this year, which after 5 weeks of 7-day-a-week workweeks, I’m not minding one little bit. I went to Wegman’s yesterday and they have packages of turkey slices and gravy that you cook for 3 hours, so I’m going to give that a try. I need to remember to pick up some biscuits, though.
My brother (actually, a couple of them) have smokers that they love and will do a lot of meats in there. You should try ribs sometime, and they’ve done pork. Can’t remember if they’ve done sausages, but it usually tastes pretty good. There are a lot of different scented chips out there now.
Yep, same here. Decided this year to forego friend’s quite yummy and over-filling feasts and will defrost the green chili pork I made after the Hatch green chili festival in August! Yea!! Have already been to two!! turkey get togethers and decided that was enough, thank you.
The menus included: turkey, gravy, cornbread stuffing, bread stuffing, cranberry orange sauce, sweet potatoes (topped with spiced pecans, no damned marshmallows!!), broccoli bacon salad (oh, this one is good), green bean casserole (fresh beans, homemade mushroom soup), green bean almondine, dirty rice, hash brown potato casserole, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, spicy meatballs in red plum sauce, green salad, 4 layer bean dip (someone was kind to the olive haters and eliminated that layer, boo hoo), chile con queso/chips, too many desserts to mention. I’m just lucky I didn’t gain 5 pounds this past week.
Cathy B says
We are not actually having Thanksgiving until we get to my family in Texas next week. I am in Georgia and tomorrow will be my husband and I. I made dressing last week for work and made a little extra for us. I also purchased a small boneless turkey breast to roast. I am pretty sure I’m making sweet potato soufflé which can be vegetable or dessert so win win…. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.
Cori R says
I have this exact smoker and will never roast another turkey again. It is absolutely wonderful and makes fantastic food. I also have the cold smoker attachment, which I highly recommend if you enjoy smoking – it makes it so you don’t have to keep adding more chips constantly in addition to allowing cold smoking of fish and cheese (cold-smoked mackerel mmm). I’d also recommend some silicone coated smoking mats (quite inexpensive on Amazon) that make cleaning up even easier, when smoking fish or peppers.
Side question… Ilona, you haven’t mentioned your wrists/hands in a while. How are they doing?
I haven’t seen a splinter hemorrhage in weeks. Now I type on an ergonomic keyboard, but Gordon is still doing the majority of typing.
Glad to hear it. (About your hand, not about Gordon typing.) Does he complain about your backseat typing?
Bless you and thank you for what you do for students who have very little money and often empty fridges. As a student a few decades ago, Thanksgiving was just another day to get through on coffee and Kraft Dinner.
As a senior citizen and on a limited budget, Thanksgiving still does not mean much but I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge, and the bills are paid for this month. Therefore, I feel I have progressed and I give Thanks for that.
Happy Thanksgiving Ilona and Gordon.
We had an electric smoker when I was a kid, I think… but that takes it out, beats it up, and then strips it down for parts. (Don’t get me wrong, ours was fun, but yeah, touchy.)
I’m actually going to do the T-Day think this year, which I haven’t for a bit. We’re doing menus review right now, to check around allergies, which looks like it will be easy, and so I can figure out what I’ll bring. (Yes, it’s last minute, but hey, while I made my last night deadline, I made it by redefining last night… which turned out to be 5am.) It’s mostly pretty traditional, if heavy on the veggies to accommodate someone who is off animal products. It looks like I’m probably going to be bringing something involving spaghetti squash, tomatoes, fennel and lemon, sweet potatoes (haven’t decided on the prep) and my favorite sticky dark old fashioned gingerbread, which can be adapted to be wheat free and vegan or whatever without losing any of its charm. (Because the charm is in the molasses and spices.)
So, T-day with Swordsgirl and Fabineer, and their adolescent poodle cross who is kind of a cross between a puppy, a two year old and a super ball.
Katherine Meservy says
Hola ! Our family doesn’t do the traditional large big turkey (we don’t particularly like it), we do a ham served cold, a fully cooked smoked turkey breast (for my dad and stepmom)also served cold, 3 cajun seasoned stuffed boneless chickens with rice stuffing, potatoes, green beans, a dressing (sage, walnut, breakfast sausage, golden grain sourdough bread plus the regular stuff found in dressing or stuffing), gravy, rolls and a cranberry salad we call pink stuff (whipped cream, ground cranberries, sugar, walnuts, and grapes), gelled can-berries (for my husband), pecan and pumpkin pies. Which is a lot of food but for 9 people but I have elderly parents I make plates for them to take home and freeze and college students I do the same for.
I have read so many books about how awful and chaotic the holidays are with families, I thought it was all fiction. I have since learned I was just very blessed with people who get along including my dad and stepmom with my mom. When my oldest daughter called me from a friends house freaked out because the family she was visiting had a fist fight in the middle of dinner, I realized I had taken for granted my blessing.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone who participates. All of you in other countries can pick a day you don’t work and make a big meal for your loved ones to share and make a mini Thanksgiving for y’all.
I go to the pantry and only find one 9″ pie plate????? It seems if you make someone in the extended family a pie the plate never gets returned – sent husband to store to buy pie plates. He just called to say that he can’t find pie plates. I love Thanksgiving. How about Pumpkin Cake for dessert?
Keyshana Jaxxon says
Try this! Hubby swears they are better than pie!
Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
1(15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with silicone liners, foil liners sprayed with cooking spray or just spray the cups with cooking spray. Either of these three methods will make it easy to take the cupcake out after it’s cooked. Paper liners make it difficult to remove the cupcakes.
Mix the pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and milk. Add the flour, pumpkin spice, salt, baking powder and baking soda to the mixture. Fill each muffin cup with 1/3 cup of the mixture. Bake for fifteen minutes and let cool for twenty minutes.
Remove cupcakes from pan and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle more pumpkin pie spice on top and serve.
Maybe you could just make the filling in custard cups. Top with a little streusel and whipped cream…
Happy Thanksgiving day to you and yours. May they all have a safe and Happy Holiday.
Brine the turkey!!! It’s a bit late depending on the size of the turkey but a Cajun recipe I use is:
1 gallon water
1 cup salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 table spoons (TB) red pepper flakes
2 TB Tony Catchers
2 TB Onion Powder
2 TB Garlic Powder
2 TB Tabasco sauce
1 TB Poultry seasoning
Boil for 5 minutes, let cool, brine turkey 1 hour per pound. Smoke in electric smoker and you have perfection. We always do a 22 lb turkey in the oven with stuffing and then a smaller 14 lb turkey brined and smoked. We feed 20+ people for thanksgiving day, then 2 more lunches for Friday and Saturday. Yum. Have a great Thanksgiving!!!
Shannon from Florida says
We are using a Cameron stovetop smoker to smoke Steelhead trout filets. I am going to check out that electric smoker you mentioned because we have had regular ones before and they are a pain. In thanks, we are donating to World Central Kitchen who provides wonderful meals in disaster areas. Now they are operating in California. Love, love, love Chef Jose Andres. A true humanitarian.
Duck sounds good haven’t had duck in years. I made the chicken and stock, for our chicken and dressing, In my instant pot today. It was done in 40 mins!!! And the chicken wasnt over boiled. The stock for gravy was the best I’ve ever made. I think I wil actually make it to thanksgiving lunch on time this year lol.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. You and yours are definitely on my list of people to be thankful for. Lives would be much duller without the genius of your fiction.
I just wish that Orro (? spelling) had contributed a recipe. Every time I reread the “Innkeeper” novels, I get hungry. You have such a vivid way of describing what he has cooked.
Yvonne A says
Sounds delicious and like a lot of work and a lot of fun with a lot of people
As Italian-Canadians, I understand the “take food home” thing. We call them “Food Bombonieres” – bombonieres are those little present thingies that you get at Italian weddings: silver spoons, crystal candy dishes, etc. When we go to any family celebration, there is always extra food.
I’m going to miss smoked turkey this year. My dad always smokes a turkey, and one brother-in-law has continued the tradition at his house, but I’ll be at a different sister’s house…and we’re having a Peruvian turkey. I don’t know what a Peruvian turkey is, exactly, but that’s what we’re having. (I’ll also miss home made rolls, but my offer to supply them was turned down.)
So for me, it’s just stuffing (or dressing, as the turkey doesn’t get stuffed), 2 pies, and a gingerbread cake that I’m responsible for!
I am doing a friendsgiving with some friends I’ve known for quite a while. Friendsgiving! I’ve been doing that for years; I didn’t know that there was a fancy name for it now! The host party is preparing prime rib and other things. I am making an oh-my-goodness-so-easy corn casserole as well as an apple dump cake. Our house guest will be making pumpkin cookies, meatballs, and a pasta salad. Someone is bringing rolls and banana pudding. I hope we can find disposable pans. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. We are so thankful for you. 🙂
I’m alone this year but that’s ok. I’ll see family at Christmas. I get to make my own dinner and since sugar is not my friend I’ve been looking at all kinds of recipes. I made sugar free homemade cranberry sauce this morning. OMG! It was yummy! Tomorrow it’s squash casserole, green bean casserole and slow cooker herbed turkey breast with gravy. I’m debating on the stuffing.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! ?
Here’s a recipe that’s been making the rounds from one family/friend to another. We’re divided on what we should call it – just call it “delicious!” I’ve brought it to our work-place potluck holiday dinners, and after the first year (when it was new & different), I’ve never had any leftovers!
Pumpkin Custard/Pumpkin Souffle
1 cup egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters)
2-1/2 cups granular Splenda (not from packets)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 15-oz cans solid pack pumpkin
(Libby’s and Comstock (pure pumpkin) are good)
2 cups soy milk (Silk brand is good)
Using an electric mixer, combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Start with the
eggs, work in the Splenda, spices, and salt; then next, the pumpkin and the soy milk
(slowly) last. Pour it into a 2-quart glass pan. Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for
15 minutes, then 60 minutes on 350, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack,
then either serve warm, or refrigerate. Makes six fairly generous servings.
Recipe S. John Ross, ©2002; a diabetic who wanted a good sugar-free dessert.
disclaimer: I copied and pasted this into a plain text document, then copied and pasted here. I hope it posts as clearly as it looks to me right now, before I hit “Post comment”! 🙂
Sadly I have to work double shifts Thanksgiving. My family is all out of town, so I will be going to a free dinner sponsored by a local church. It’s better than the turkey frozen meal I was going to do.
Am bringing a pumpkin pie and apple walnut cheesecake. My sister in law is going to try to duplicate my mother’s dressing. She has been gone for 17 years and we have never gotten it right but always a topic of conversation.
You have a wonderful way of giving thanks. I belong to a group in which each of us takes a turn doing s weekly restock of one of the food pantries in town.
Have a special Thanksgiving everyone.
Thanksgiving at the beach this year so modified menu – no turkey . Beef tenderloin, ham , mashed potoatoes, sweet potatoes, basil tomatoes, asparagus, roasted brusssel sprouts, huge fall salad with pears, red onion, blue cheese, sugared pecan overmixed greens with poppy seed dressing, ambrosia salad , rolls and Dad’s Maple mousse ice cream and caramel cake for dessert.
Small group this year – in comparison to when much of the families were in Texas and I had 20 🙂 Turkey w/ home made gravy, saluted Brussel sprouts w/walnuts and a red wine deglaze, spaghetti squash with pistachios and brown sugar, baked sweet potatoes done Hasselbach style, and of course pumpkin pie. Best part of Thanksgiving turkey – split pea soup made with the turkey carcass! So grateful for your stories to brighten our days – Happy Thanksgiving!
Helenmary Cody says
That Cranberry recipe sounds great! I wish I had a jar of marmalade to give it a try. I’ll make a note for next year. I usually make this one from Epicurious: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grand-Marnier-Cranberry-Sauce-497
I substitute Cointreau for the Grand Marnier since I finally decided I like it better.
We are actually spending Thanksgiving with the dog’s family this year. His Aunt Eve, who just turned 13, is bringing her people to join us for dinner. Should be fun!
My Thanksgiving was in early October. We used to have it at our cottage and would do turkey one day and ham the next followed by a day of leftovers. When the kids were young, we had team scavenger hunts with every kid on the point one day, and predator/prey on another day, which was great.
Now, one of the kids has it at her house and we all bring something. I don’t cook so I bring pies from the farmer down the road.
Hope everyone has a great holiday
We are not huge turkey fans so I didn’t plan a turkey; however, I recently attended a friendsgiving lunch with some girlfriends and one of the ladies brought a bacon wrapped turkey. It was amazing. My husband said that he might be willing to try bacon wrapped turkey for Christmas. But we had already planned marinaded flank steaks and seafood. We’re going with shrimp scampi and scallops in white wine sauce because oldest son wanted noodles (?!). I also make homemade cranberry relish (mom’s recipe). When the boys are a bit older I’ll try your brandied cranberry recipe. It looks amazing. We’re also doing roasted seasoned sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts, scalloped potatoes and salad. I already made the salad but now I have to throw the whole thing out and start over with spinach because I used romaine lettuce the first time around. Oh well. I remember a couple of years ago when it was the spinach that was the problem.
Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your family and friends!
My cooking skills stopped after 8th grade home ec classes. Rice krispie treats, anyone? I bring wine or chocolates for the dessert table to family gathering. A blessed day to everyone tomorrow!!
My Christmas go to dessert is the cool whip with crushed candy canes or espresso/hot chocolate and chocolate wafer thingy.
the basics here:
turkey, stuffing & gravy
candied yams (WITH marshmallows! always an argument in my house)
cranberry sauce (they like the canned)
deviled eggs (I make them, I don’t eat them)
olives, both black and green
pumpkin and apple pies with kool-whip
Mary Beth says
My sister and her two oldest children had to go gluten free for health issues. (I grew up with serious food allergies, so I’m used to making do) My mother was freaked out on what to feed them, so we came up with GF options for everything. Mother lives in a culinary wasteland, it’s hard for her to get GF foods. Today I made GF stuffing and gravy. It can be cooked ahead and reheated without a problem. She’s making ham and turkey. Since no one can have milk (and almond milk is vile) we’re doing baked potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce (sugar free), and she’s made three pies and a cake.
My sister will arrive tomorrow to help Mother wrestle the bird and ham. She’s bringing GF noodles with her, and three dozen eggs to make deviled eggs. (They will be gone by the end of the day, I can’t believe how fast those are eaten.) My Mother is in her early 70’s. I can hardly believe it, the woman runs me into the ground. It’s good to shoulder the load and make sure she doesn’t drive herself too crazy this year. I’m sure we’ll be switching with my sister in the kitchen to make sure Mother gets time to rest and enjoy herself.
Hope everyone has a good holiday.
Susie Q. says
I was diagnosed allergic to gluten in the 80s when it was almost impossible to find gluten free mixes or prepared food. The local health food store special ordered flours for me. My savior was Bette Hagman who wrote the gluten free gourmet cookbook. I just checked, and the cookbook is still available and she wrote even more cookbooks. I’m a good cook but baking not my thing. She had a great bread recipe that you could bake in a bread machine, waffle mix that you could make in bulk and store and even a good pasta dough recipe, It was so good that I would bring extra to share with people who weren’t allergic.
My brother and I bought a house together in the 70s and would have everybody over from both sides of the family – 2 turkeys, one in the oven and one grilled. People would bring a dish of their choice and the house was always packed. Chuck and I moved away to Texas, and we’re down to Chuck, his wife Mary and me with bringing a plate to Mom in the nursing home. Chuck came over today and we made Christmas cookies – biscotti, petticoat tales, spritz and sugar cookies. It keeps the holiday spirit alive. Tomorrow, at his house will be turkey. He has an electric smoker too and it makes amazing turkey and on Christmas prime rib. Happy thanksgiving to the BDH.
Sounds fabulous, even if I am a vegetarian.
Will have to take up smoking fish and cheese again once the temperature is a bit more suitable, you made the smoking sound so easy…
We are traveling to see Son the Younger. Will eat out because bachelor house. ‘Nuff said. So, so thankful that our little family is all together for the first time in a long time. The table set for four makes my heart so happy!
Just drove through a rainbow here in NorCal and giving thanks for the rain to aid all who battle and endure the fires.
With deep gratitude and wishes for a peaceful holiday- Happy Thanksgiving to the Hoard!
Wow! That is a feast! We have an electric pellet smoker/grill. LOVE it!! Since I do all the cooking inside, I also do all the grilling outside. Just because it involves burning some kind of fuel, doesn’t suddenly make the hubby an expert at cooking. ? Back on track, making Green Bean casserole from scratch this year. One of my coworkers brought in a recipe that is crockpot friendly. Score! Grandson helped me make these pumpkin pies today. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/230132/chef-johns-pumpkin-pie/ They smell divine!! I cook as much as possible ahead of time, then relax with the family until lunch and then they clean up! My husband and I are both officers at our local American Legion and will be volunteering there for dinner tomorrow night.
Leigh Ann says
I feel like I need to rep’ for the vegetarians.
It’s just my husband and me, but we go all out (as I type, he’s driving all over the city looking for the correct chiles for a proper Mole Poblano sauce…which shouldn’t be this hard in San Francisco, but here we are.) Our menu:
— Braised Seitan in Mole Poblano
(I make my own “turkey” seitan)
— Cornbread Dressing with “Chorizo” and Greens
(Trader Joe’s does a fabulous veggie chorizo)
— Mexican Roasted Green Beans
— Mashed Potatoes with Parsnips and Horseradish
— Mini Corn Muffins with Cilantro and Coriander
— Mexican Brownies with Three Twins Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream and homemade bourbon cinnamon whipped cream
…I guess you noticed, this year’s theme is “Mexican Thanksgiving”. Yes, I know, that’s not really a thing. But I always like to branch out and try new ideas and new recipes for the holiday.
I wish we could host, but all of our friends seem to travel for the holiday, and all of our family is out of state. It’s a little lonely, but we have two baby kittens, and they make up for it.
Hope you’ll enjoy it all and enjoy the meal cooked in that Awesome BBQ ;)!
It seems a lot to prepare but it seems that the result is worth it : family, friends and food – three “f” for everything we ever need ;p
As a Canadian, we had our Thanksgiving last month. I did want to say thank you for feeding those hungry kids. I’m sure they are grateful.
Sending blessings, peace light and love ?K
I’m very “thankful” my brother is a retired chef. Thanksgiving dinner is his favorite meal to make and has been hosting it for the last 20 years. My job is to pick up desserts from a wonderful local bakery.
Happy & safe Thanksgiving to everyone!
I make turkey stock from wings and necks with carrots, onions, celery, and salt & pepper the first part of November. This will be used for dressing and gravy. Since our church feeds a retirement home, my celery, onions, and mushrooms browned in butter are waiting in the freezer for the cornbread dressing I will bake tomorrow. Roll dough is finished and will be shaped, will rise and baked to golden perfection tomorrow. I roast the turkey breast side down tonight, and gravy will be made from drippings and stock tonight. Mashed potatoes and green beans will be done tomorrow and apple pie this year! (I made pecan pie but since I am the only one who likes it, I gave it away!). Tomorrow our church’s food pantry is open for free & reduced lunch families. I picked up turkeys and other items from our local food bank today, and will work at it like I do every week!
I make dressing for retirement home, so I double the add ins…..lost track of typing…haha!
The whole thing sounds like a lovely helping of family, warmth, and chaos.
For me I’ll be sticking with a Tofurky (an acquired taste, but I’ve definitely acquired it) and a quiet day at home. We’re getting a bit of rain today and I’m hoping that tomorrow will be the first time in weeks that everything doesn’t smell like smoke. The air quality may even be good enough to take the dogs out for a walk, which would be a bonus for all of us.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
Smoking meats. So 1999. Doncha know VAPING is the thing now?
Was lol’ing at the inside pic of your fridge. With all the labels turned away it’s like all the food is huddled together facing away from you, fearfully trying not to be noticed. Then you notice the whipping cream. But then … it’s called ‘whipping’ cream. It’s probably eager for the decimation that’s to come. Demented cream.
We’re hosting for 22 and have an unusual menu since I’m the only one in the family (not counting little kids) who didn’t emigrate to the US. Menu is:
Cauliflower mashed potatoes
Hot veggie (broccoli with cheddar?)
Homemade bread with butter
Cream scones, hopefully
Natilla (it’s a Colombian dessert)
And something unknown
We’re trying to talk my m-in-law into fruit salad instead of the potato salad especially since last year we had 3 or 4 potato dishes, which is way too many. For anyone wondering about the cauliflower mashed potatoes, I highly recommend trying it. All you do is boil, mash, and drain some cauliflower and stir it into your regular mashed potatoes. The great thing about them is that 1) you won’t taste it and 2) the cauliflower will start feeding water to the potatoes thereby keeping them super creamy (this is true even a couple days after the fact and means you can save on the calories.).
The only thing I have ever liked from M. Stewart: cover turkey with cheese cloth and baste with a bottle of dry white and a pound of butter you heat on the stove. Best. Gravy. Ever.
My fav holiday drink is a really good Old Fashion. GPop muddles the fruit by hand in each glass, uses Jim Beam and Ginger Ale. Be sure to get a lot of really good marichino cherries.
Happy Thanksgiving to my favorite authors!
A Thanksgiving story from my childhood: long ago, in the great state of Kansas, my family decided to smoke a 25-pound turkey in a wood smoker. With high expectations, we started the process at around 5 am, hoping to have an early dinner around 2 pm because at the time our father had to work on that holiday. We were not entirely new to the smoking process but our scheduling was, shall we say, off, not only because it takes much longer for such a large bird but also because the temperature in the unheated garage was about 15 degrees. That turkey never even got warm.
We eventually realized that we would not be having smoked turkey but all was not lost – my grandmother had a new-fangled thing called a microwave. Our hopes were soon dashed, though, because a 25-pound turkey does not fit in a microwave, even though hers was huge. Undaunted, we got the electric knife and sliced that sucker in half. Running the microwave on high produced meat that was inedible, literally – too tough to tear with our teeth.
Fortunately, the rest of our meal was fine: mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green bean casserole, parker house rolls, and homemade cranberry relish. Pumpkin pie and pecan pie rounded out the meal.
Hope your Thanksgiving gatherings are full of love and laughter!
Love this story Leona! As someone who grew up in a house where the reliably unreliable oven usually stopped working around November, I remember more than once having to help figure out how we were going to get the thing cooked at the last minute.
The last time the oven cut out, my brothers replaced the faulty part and then a few hours later the spark was late enough that the door blew open with the resulting combustion. Luckily that was the extent of the problem and the oven settled down and worked properly after that.
We do a huge family pot luck…. My hubbies family is huge….. My specialty every year is the “relishes”, which means fruiting and veggie trays, and maybe cheese and crackers. I usually try to do some artistic design, holiday themes, and I try to do something different every year. This year i have the creeping crud that you guys just got over, only got about three hours sleep before I woke up hacking up a lung….. So this year the family gets store bought veggie and fruit trays….. I’ll make it up to them at Christmas…. Sigh
First, A most Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Second I have concerns with your smoker in the garage. Even small amounts of woodsmokes contains carbon monoxide, and that is not good for breathing. Please make sure that your smoker has adequate ventilation. Sorry, I think I just turned into my Mother…I’ve got to go chill out now. Happy Thanksgiving!
Tomorrow I am doing sweet potato puff, deviled eggs and green bean casserole, while my sister is making the Turkey, dressing, ham and mashed potatoes. She and I have taken over most of the cooking duties from our aunts and grandmother, but they will be bringing rolls and desserts.
Then Friday, with my husbands family I am making dressing and potato casserole, while my sisters in law and their families are doing the rest.
It will be a busy, but wonderful weekend!! Happy Thanksgiving!!
We’ve done the turkey dinner for generations and always share stories of Thanksgiving meals past. Our favorite was the year it was Nana’s turn for the stuffed turkey. She proudly placed a beautiful golden turkey on the table and my Dad started pulling it apart to spoon out the stuffing….and started pulling out thick paper wrapped around the neck and giblets! She protested that it said it was stuffed already right on the package! She never did live that down. Ahhh…memories.
Jennifer Sweet says
Once, at my mother in laws, she used a dish cloth to dry out the bird then put the stuffing in and roasted it. When we pulled out the stuffing there was the towel.
We’re older – early 50s now, no kids. Siblings in GA, FL and VA. We live in NYC and our friends are scattered too. My husband and I usually travel for the holiday but we just adopted a dog Sept 1st and did not want to leave our Bailey yet. So Hubbs and I will go out to a restaurant that does free range, organic turkey with trimmings (for him) and Vegan meal with trimmings (for me)
Funny but when my grandparents had their farm everything was free range, organic, grain fed, hormone free. Never had to label it 🙂
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving however you choose to celebrate!
My mom and dad do the Turkeys (according to Julia and Jacques’s recipe- which involves cooking it in smaller pieces so it cooks faster, also with 2 smaller birds), which are wonderful, and the dressing. I always do the cranberries, which include 1 fresh cranberry/orange/apple relish and a cooked sauce. This year I am using one from a magazine that has lingonberry preserves, a strip of orange rind, and a cinnamon stick. It’s lovely. My mom also decided to go a different veggie route this year, to include a broccoli dish with crispy fried shallots and a cauliflower dish (not sure of the specifics), so I volunteered to do potatoes. I found a recipe for mashed baked potatoes I am going to try. I also will bring whole baked sweet potatoes with flavored butter for those who want it (I love these as leftovers). I am making a maple-pumpkin pie and my mom mentioned another pie (no clue what type). I think we’ll enjoy the day! I hope you and your family/friends have a lovely day.
I work in a 911 center and will be there on Thanksgiving. We will be having a harvest fest potluck.. since people are either going home to big meals or coming in after big meals. I will be making potato cheddar soup. We will also have turkey noodle soup, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, spinach dip, bread, an apple dessert and chocolate chip cookies. Just something warm and homey, but not overly heavy. We will even be nice and invite the officers working the desk to come down and have some 🙂
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
Storm Rise says
I love the sound of this Terry <3
Thank you for helping people on Thanksgiving.
So you do mix your stock/soup with bread cubes for your stuffing?
Our local grocery chain works with area food banks to distribute bags of food to families. For $10, a big paper bag is filled with good and healthy food worth $40 (the store donates the remaining $30 worth). I donate each time I go through the checkout line through the holiday season.
DH and I are on our own this year, so I’m going non-traditional. Apple cider brined pork chops, hasselback potato gratin, veg (not sure what yet), and a charlotte cake topped with cranberry curd. I’m looking forward to a quiet day cooking and eating.
Roseanne Lobbezoo says
Happy Thanksgiving Ilona and Gordon! Since my retirement my kids have taken over the Thanksgiving and Christmas venues but I still make lots of the food and transport or cook at their homes. I worked at our local hospital for years and we alternated work schedules for the holidays. When I had to work the night before I would rush home and spend the day cooking and getting ready for the main event. I would often go 24 hours without sleep. I loved it! The holidays are still my favorite time of year. Family, friends, and a house full of wonderful smells that evoke home and love.
I am cooking this year after going to both sons’ houses for the past 3-4 yrs. (My Coast Guard son is home after 3 years in Hawaii!! Yes, someone had to go visit!! Meee! Lol)
Anyway, I’ll do the turkey and stuffing (sausage/cornbread/pecans) with gravy, Hawaiian rolls, and cranberry sauce. My d-i-l is making ham w/ pineapple, loaded potatoes, and green bean casserole. My other d-i-l is bringing pumpkin pie and pecan pie. I am also making blueberry cream pie.
I’ll have 2 out of 3 children here; first time in 3 years they’ve been together. My daughter lives in England so we will video chat. I can’t wait to see everyone!!
Thanks so much for the cranberry sauce recipe.
A tip: if you are doing this with Cointreau, it may need either longer in the oven or it might need to be reduced a bit on the stovetop.
Roast turkey spatchcocked which is fancy for butterflies with spine removed
Sausage stuffing in the side
Baked Mac and cheese
Stewed string beans (slow cooked with smoked pork neck bones and other secret recipe seasonings)
Black beans over white rice
Nutmeg and maple syrup roasted sweet potato (no marshmallow)
Dutch apple pie
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Great food, good friends and family without any gift buying pressure! We go to my moms, in recent years my sister and I have taken over most of the cooking because she’s in her 70’s now. We are pretty traditional, we have turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce and canned cranberry because my dad insists it better! Plus broccoli, butternut squash and broccoli for veggies. Then we have a revolving door of friends and cousins that stop by during the day and we all drink to much and finish the night playing board games while the kids watch movies and fall asleep. I love it! Happy Thanksgiving all!
Katie Deaton says
This year I am cooking 2 meals and contributing to a third so the menu is overly simple to accommodate. 2 turkeys, fennel sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, side salad, gravy, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce (currently cooking), a pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and chocolate- pumpkin brownies.
Storm Rise says
No Thanksgiving over here in Australia, but since our kiddo grew up in America, we’ve spent the last decade having Thanksgiving, and it would feel weird not to do it now :-D.
Add to the fact we’ll be alone this Christmas and New Year, as afore mentioned kiddo is going back to the USA for Christmas with her friends, and this is going to be our only ‘holiday’ dinner together this year.
So: Beer Can Chicken, roasted in the oven (using steel canister- not modern aluminum beer cans, a nice, crisp IPA and Herb Provence seasoning 😉 ) sides of sage butter veg and roast spuds, with Keto pumpkin pie (I’ll let you know how that turns out… IF I can find a pumpkin in the spring/summer season here, and they don’t seem to have canned pumpkin that I’ve found so far) and a Pastry crusted (also Keto) baked Brie for giggles and nibbles.
That will be enough to feed the three of us- 5, if you count the pooches, for a couple of days!
Happy Thanksgiving guys 😀
Storm Rise, if you search on the internet you will find canned pumpkin (I’ve been told it is sweet, spicey and delicious but still sounds like a weird thing to can) available through an American food store.
We are Australian so we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but that all sounds wonderful. I am thankful that you have the influence to encourage a giving spirit in your readers. Thank you!
Wow! Reading this makes me sad that we don’t celebrate thanks giving in RSA. My family does celebrate the spirit of it, but the feast sounds magnificent!
Enjoy the holidays, everyone!
First off, Happy Thanksgiving!!! Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful! It reminds me of my family’s when I was growing up. We actually did a sit-down dinner with 3-4 huge tables & always had extra guests – often last minute. My mom & Aunt took turns hosting & it was well known in the community that if you didn’t have a place to go for Thanksgiving, you were welcome. It was a blast. So glad you are feeding those hungry college aged kids. We usually have at least one extra if we host Thanksgiving.
Our plans to spend Thanksgiving with my husbands family changed last minute and we will be home with no plans. We are going to our favorite southern Indian restaurant! I am so excited to not get up at 5 to make 3 pies. I also usually bring cranberry relish, spiced sweat potatoes, meat free stuffing & mushroom gravy (3 out of 4 at our house are vegetarian). It will be different to be home but excited to not travel 1 1/2 hours and just relax & catch up with our son. Haven’t decided on what pie to make for us, yet. Either cherry, eggnog custard, or cinnamon, walnut & grape molasses. Also will try to make vanilla gelato.
I would definitely have to check the Cointreau to make sure it hasn’t gone bad before adding it to the sauce. Or that it turns bad an hour later. And just so I wouldn’t worry about it all night, I’d want to make sure it didn’t go bad before bed. I love Cointreau. 🙂
I’m making rolls to take. Mixed dough at 4, punch down hourly, shape rolls at 9, bake tomorrow morning.
Judy B says
Do you bake your duck in ginger ale as well?
Everything sounds wonderful.
Here in Canada Thanksgiving was the second Monday in October, so I’ll be trying that cranberry sauce at Christmas time.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
My son’s fiancée wanted to cook this year. It will be just the three of us this year. I was all for it, since I don’t do big holiday dinners anymore.
20 years of retail work will do that to you. 8AM on the days after Thanksgiving and Christmas is a real pain… Especially if those, plus New Year’s Day will be the only days off you have between mid-October and late February. (Small store, no extra holiday help hired.) SO glad I’m retired – instead of just tired.
Alas, Meg’s schedule suddenly has her working 9 days straight – nights.
We have reservations for a local steakhouse instead, before she has to head for work. It will be delicious and Meg will get some rest. She may do a big dinner next week, if she feels like it.
Nancy Upchurch says
That smoker had done very well for us for 3 years… including turkeys. But now we have to look for a mobile version… cuz in 2 years we are going full time in a fifth wheel.
Have a safe and happy thanksgiving.
Kid and Better Half both have the plague (flu). Coughing coughing coughing, phlegm everywhere. So we’re doing low key stuff. Just steak and some stuffing and potatoes. No one is really up to eating a huge meal. Mostly they are wrapped in blankies right now going through a year’s supply of tissues.
I’m fine. I’ll collapse when it’s least convenient. Yay! That smoker looks awesome and if we owned a house atm, Better Half would be gunning for that.
My Middle School (where I teach) just dia huge project for the homeless. We filled 3,000 bags with toothbrushes/toothpaste, soap, socks, washcloth, tissues, snacks, and a water bottle. The guy running it burst into tears and the middle school kids were not their usual assholian-selves, but quiet and respectful of this guy’s appreciation. I was proud of them. 🙂
Have a great Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving! We’re heading over to the next door neighbors so our kids can mingle. I’m bringing an offering of a turkey I’m roasting myself, plus I think I’ll make some pumpkin bread because I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t cook on Thanksgiving every year (sometimes we travel), so it makes it nice when I do.
Mom and sister do most of the cooking. I just do mashed potatoes and gravy. Sister in law are bringing pie and I believe she might bring pre-cooked turkey this year. I don’t ?♀️
William B says
My wife and I moved to a gated Community hours away from family so we are going to join other empty nesters at a buffet.
For family thanksgiving, my sister in law will be graciously hosting. We’re doing a full bird, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing outside the bird, and my mom is bringing treats from last week’s baking party and there is rumored to be Old Fashioned’s.
We also do Friendsgiving the weekend after, which is usually a potluck of whatever leftovers people have. I am in charge of meat and fancy cheese, so I have two giant turkey breasts brining for that, as well as a beef pot roast that will be occurring. I got a good deal on some cheese at work (I work at a grocery store in the specialty cheese and deli departments) so we have a Wisconsin cheddar/Parmesan blend, a German bleu I won’t be eating due to allergies, a cranberry and cinnamon goat cheese from Canada, and a local Gouda. I just really like cheese.
Duck is probably my favourite meat – love it pink and recommend a port and balsamic reduction if you can be bothered.
Also, in future when it is not filled with turkey and ham you can also smoke your duck which is super tasty and brings out the gamey flavour ?
Enjoy your feast!
Tomorrow morning Brad and I will be driving a few hours down to Newbury Park to his sister’s. (They were evac’d but came back to an intact, though smoky, house). She is buying a spiral sliced ham and turkey, making the potatoes, and the sweet potatoes. Cameron will be roasting brussel sprouts. I’m bringing the dressing (making the cornbread and prepping tonight) and a Lynn’s fruit bin pie (Peach/Blueberry). I will also help out in the kitchen while Brad fixes the things that need to be repaired (mechanical engineer–not happy unless he is fixing things).
I also live in southern California and the fires were devastating. Glad to hear your family’s home survived intact and send Thanksgiving blessings. 🙂
Since we are empty nesters with children scattered across the country, my hubby decided to work on Thanksgiving to give others the opportunity to spend with their families. I’m not inclined to drive long distances to visit family so will share dinner with hubby later in the evening. I’ve discovered Costco is a gal’s best friend during the holiday and plan to serve their Roast Turkey Breast with turkey Italian sausage cranberry cornbread stuffing & cranberry port glaze. For appetizers, I’ll prepare deviled eggs and olive medley and several small side dishes of scalloped potatoes, sautéed spinach and mushrooms and buttered Kings Hawaiian rolls. The dinner will end with cappuccino’s, homemade sweet potato pie and lemon glazed pound cake. A hearty and yummy feast for two that will last through the weekend.
Stay safe and Happy Thanksgiving Blessings to all!
We are going to my mom and pop’s. I believe the menu is: roasted turkey, stuffing, cornbread stuffing (yes, two different kinds), candied yams, mashed potatoes, gravy, lima beans, coleslaw, green bean casserole, rolls, sweet tea, coffee, chocolate pie, apple pie, fresh apple cake and I’m sure I’ve missed something. The fresh apple cake (one with walnuts and one without) I’ll start working on later and tomorrow morning (you can only cook one at a time). I’m also making the cole slaw. It will be the first Thanksgiving at my mom’s since she moved back to Delaware after having been in Alabama for a decade or so. Yah! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
We moved to NC when we retired 2 years ago. Our kids are states away but I have cousins in Chapel Hill from mom’s side of the family. We haven’t seen each other in decades but they invited us for Thanksgiving weekend last year and we all had a ball. Going again this year. We’re bringing homemade bread – Tomato Herb and Maple Buttermilk along with a pecan cheesecake pie. Friday night there will be an oyster roast open house. Safe travels everyone!
Our give back of choice is Meals on Wheels. We deliver meals to house bound seniors and sit and talk for a few hours. A couple of folks we’ve stayed in touch with. People often don’t realize what great stories they have if you just sit and listen. One of my stories will be the year my uncle got a smoker and was so excited he smoked everything. The appetizers, the veggies, the turkey, and (shudder) the pies. Everything tasted the same. Happy and healthy Thanksgiving to you all.
Sounds awesome. My parents make a Turducken every year from scratch [it’s my Dad’s masterpiece]; sometimes it’s a turgooseducken. My contributions to the family dinner is bourbon pecan pie & bourbon salted caramel cheesecake. The latter is a new recipe for me so crossed fingers as it’s my first cheesecake ever. Both are cooked & waiting for the moment of truth tomorrow
Steve Lucas says
Damn wish I could grab a plate :0 Happy Thanksgiving It is wonderful u share your love and blessings.
Ilona, my dad used a smoker for turkey and ham and one “trick” he showed me – always put the ham on top so any juices that run out of it go down onto the Turkey. more flavor!
After spending 2 weeks in the hospital I’m grateful to be home for Thanksgiving. We’re switching from turkey to roast chicken this year but keeping our green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, dressing and pumpkin pie. I am thrilled. Usually we have company but not this year – so a nice quiet day for our little family. Your meal sounds wonderful and the duck sounds stellar (I love the richness of duck especially with oranges ?). Everyone enjoy a day of thanks for all that we have and prayers for those who are experiencing difficulties this holiday. I loved reading about everyone’s holiday plans too. ????
No family, friends far away or out of town. Ham sandwich and movie. A walk with the dogs if weather cooperates. The dogs and I will celebrate Wolfenoot. https://wolfenoot.com/
It looks like you have a MES. Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, I have one as well. 🙂 They are great and you will love it.
Here is a link to you for the Smoking Meat Forum, to Bearcarver’s index. He has some really outstanding recipes tailored for the MES in particular and smokers in general. My mother says his baby back ribs formula that I use is the best ribs that she has ever had. I do use McCormick’s Applewood Rub, you don’t need BBQ sauce with it.
Here is a really incredible smoked mac & cheese, with bacon. I have never put the pulled pork on top. I also use Applewood rub, don’t leave it out, it makes a big difference in the taste. I also add 1 cup of my favorite BBQ sauce to the cheese mix.
This makes a big pan and everyone loves it. There was never a scrap left after potluck at church when I was still down South. Some kids wouldn’t eat their mom’s Mac & Cheese anymore after eating this, mom had to get the recipe for this from me and make it at home. 🙂
Oops, somehow I did a reply instead of a new comment. Oh well.
Shannon from Florida says
That little boy is hilarious ?
BRENDA DEDELOW says
Well since I’m kid number 2 all I was asked to bring are the green beans. So I’m going to fry up some bacon and sautee steamed green beans in the grease then add a little garlic and some walnut pieces and call it good! I have no idea what I’m going to do if I ever have to host Thanksgiving by myself. I bow down to you guys and all your Thanksgiving prep, cooking, baking, frying, and smoking. ?
It’s just the two of us, so we can’t eat everything at once (we’ll eat it over 4 days). On Thursday, I’ll roast a half turkey breast from Trader Joe’s and we’ll have crockpot stuffing and Brussels sprouts with the turkey. Friday, we’ll have green bean casserole, roasted potatoes and some summer corn I squirreled away in the freezer. Saturday is turkey soup day (with mini won tons) and homemade pie. Sunday is leftovers. We get it all in, just not all at once.
We have the smoker like that and it has made smoking meats a lot easier! Enjoy your dinner
The “Joy of Cooking” has a terrific recipe “Mashed Potato Cheese Puffs” that uses leftover potatoes. I am making mashed potatoes tonight.
We are just us four but it is complicated. Hubby will not eat any poultry and my older daughter is a pescatarian. Since the younger is still a peanut and I dont care for white meat a turkey makes no sense. So we have a ham and a fish dish, this year stuffed salmon. Sides are mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, asparagus, broccoli raab. Cranberries shift to breakfast which will be cranberry walnut sticky buns and scrambled eggs. Sweet potatoes are for pie.
Mindy Mymudes says
I grew the apples, canned the apple pie filling. I grew the cherries, canned the cherry pie filling. I grew the raspberries, froze the raspberries. Tall Dude will turn all that into pies, which we will bring to his sister’s home and we will all get caught up and I get to see my favorite niece!
Luckily I don’t have to cook a whole meal this year ? we live near the in-laws, so Nana will be taking care of most of it. My family lives in CA, we live in OR, and we don’t usually travel for Thanksgiving. One thing I really miss is my mom’s stuffing, so I will be contributing that to the meal. It’s a cornbread sage stuffing and it’s delicious ?
Best Husband (only husband) bought a Traeger smoker last year, and we’ve been madly smoking things in it. Turkey is a breeze, especially if you spatchcock it first (take the backbone out and lay it flat.) I love cornbread stuffing, so I will do that tonight, and a cheesecake. Oh yeah, and fresh cranberry orange relish, nom. Tomorrow BH will make his famous sourdough bread, and I’ll prep brussels sprouts for roasting. Family members are bringing corn souffle, pumpkin pies, mashed potatoes, an appetizer plate, and many drinks.
Tomorrow we will be having fried turkey, roast, baked mac & cheese, green beans, yams, red rice, collards, corn pudding, gravy, dirt pudding, banana pudding, apple spice cake, sweet potato pie and rolls. Me and my mom split the cooking duty and I have learned the art of precook, freeze, then reheat. Thanksgiving is my family’s favorite holiday.
As happy little introvert who is also a widder woman I make all the old standbys buy roasted turkey breast and pies and enjoy blissfully critter time and good food. Then I will continue holiday decorating and clutterbusting. And reading. And TV. Maybe a walk. We carry on wounded but surviving.
Oh goodness , I brought my husband one similar to this at Lowe’s in Bradenton, Fl and now he thinks he a professional. He loves it though and he smokes everything even cheese!!! ?. I hate to admit it but when he smokes anything it comes out so good. This year he’s smoking the turkey and I’m doing stuffing, candied yams, garlic mashed potatoes. 3 day cheesecake, apple cobbler and peach cobbler. That’s just what we contribute to dinner. All my in laws have be meeting at Myakka State Park for 42 years so there’s going to be a lot more food on the menu.
The smoker will change your lives or so my husband stated. I like the different flavor wood chips you can add to the mix!!!
Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone!!! ?? ? ?????
We’re smoking our duck, and will enjoy with roasted sweet potatoes and Chrissy Teigen’s jalapeño cheddar corn pudding. Been working so much I completely forgot about the cranberry sauce and the pumpkin pie until I read your post! Horrors! I must now run out to the store rectify this gross oversight on my part
What an aware and generous couple you are. You have the gratitude piece down as so many do not. I try to practice it too but need more deeds not just words.
You inspire and you family, their friends are your friends are fortunate to know you.
We have OzHarvest as a major food bank here in Australia.
Thanks for sharing this and I hope you all have the best day.
That menu sounds amazing and if I was in the US I would love to eat some of those. It’s not a big event here in Sydney.
…you family, their friends AND your friends!
Nancy Segovia says
I always seem to have a houseful at the holidays as well. I can’t stand the thought of someone I know or that one off my family members might know not having a proper holiday meal. Except, I insist that this one day is formal. Our comes the China, the crystal and the silver. Lace, linen napkins glitzy napkin rings and candle light. However, I do make my own cranberry sauce.
Here is an easy trick for roasting a turkey: do it in a paper bag. I.AM.SERIOUS. This year will make 50 years of cooking turkeys in brown paper bags, and I have had picture perfect, tender and juicy turkeys every time.
It is really easy. Wash and stuff your turkey as usual. Get a brown paper bag from the grocery store. Pour cooking oil of your choice – I don’t recommend olive oil – inside the bag. Rotate the bag until the entire bag is coated in oil. Slide the turkey in and tie the bag shut. Cook a 16 pound stuffed turkey for about four and a half hours at
350 degrees. NO PEEKING as that would stop the cooking process. Pull from the oven, let sit unopened one half hour. Then open and you will have a golden brown, moist and delicious turkey.
Note: for larger turkeys you will need two bags. What I do is cut the bag in half and coat only the bottom half with oil. I then slide it over the other bag with the turkey already in it. I call it, “Putting Tom’s hat on.” You can cook a 20-22 pound turkey in 5-6 hours, respectively.
I hope you ‘ll give this a try. It’s really easy, although I do admit putting Tom’s hat on is a bit of a slippery mess and I sometimes have ask hubby or the kids to hold him while I position his hat.
Judy Schultheis says
I do a roasted duck (Muscovy, usually, but I chose a cheaper fancy option this year) for Christmas. For the record, 20 minutes per pound at 350F will cook any poultry pretty much perfectly if you remember to baste it every 20 minutes.
I ordered our duck today to arrive on December 20th.
For Thanksgiving this year, we are having roast turkey breast (my granddaughter wanted it); meatloaf (my grandson wanted it, and I’m perfectly happy to help him eat it since I am not a white meat fan); whatever variation on roast vegetables my daughter decides to fix; store-bought dressing; mashed potatoes and gravy; croissants (I wanted them); store-bought pumpkin pie; homemade cherry pie (I’m waiting for the filling to get acquainted with itself while I type this); assorted drinks to personal taste. We will be having one guest – our other usuals have made other plans this year.
Hubby & I usually do something different because it’s mostly been just us for the past 10 years (thank you Army). This year my mother in law now lives with us & our daughter is old enough to eat some of the goodies. So we will have a spiral sliced brown sugar ham, homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, candied yams, green bean casserole, pecan pie (we are from TX), pumkin pie, & sweet potato pie. We are not big turkey fans, so I got some thick cut lunch meat for my daughter to try. We will be eating leftovers for the next few days.
It is amazing how such a “Traditional” American holiday can vary from home to home! Love my country!! My husband and I have hosted Thanksgiving 27 out 28 years (my husband has never forgiven my sister for getting married that weekend in Kentucky!) Most of the dinner is the usual turkey, potatoes, yams etc.. but we add some favorites from his italian grandmother such as meat stuffing, bread and stuffed artichokes, fried asparagus and artichoke hearts, stuffed mushrooms and homemade cranberry sauce. Actually there is a lot more but we gotta get cracking before the first guest gets here. He does almost all the cooking and I clean the house from top to bottom. Sadly everyone raves about his food (well deserved) but noone ever waxes poetical about how sparkling clean the bathrooms are. “Sigh” Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!
d LM a says
Go ing to my sisters and i’m
go ing to get gr ub ubbin
go ing to catch up
wit my generation & their kids, yay!
Giving Thanks Happily Day
Every year is different. I hosted last year, nephew hosted year before that… this year we’re traveling a couple of hours to our son in laws parents home. I am taking chocolate pound cake, oatmeal cookies and ginger cookies.
Location and dinner menu may vary but The one constant in my husbands family is there’s always a chocolate pound cake ??
Wow, that’s an amazing (and mouth watering) spread! Our big dinner happens the day after with tons of family and friends, but for the day-of, we do dinner with just my small immediate family. The menu is completely non-traditional, and a little odd together (all my brother and SIL’s choices…): unagi, pork belly, scallops, and Filipino spaghetti. I am making savory tang yuan soup, and probably butter mochi as a dessert.
We’ve been doing the duck for Thanksgiving thing for years – Kid 1 is allergic to turkey! Who’d have thought, right? We are adding the traditional green bean casserole, and the ever-popular Susan Stamburg Cranberry Relish (thanks to National Public Radio!), along with various roasted veggies, and fruit cake and lemon merengue pie for dessert. Kid 1 is now old enough to be out of the house and on his on, and instead of heading back to Mama’s for Thanksgiving, is hosting his own pot-luck Thanksgiving dinner among his friends at his apartment.
Turkey ,stuffing, roasted cauliflower and carrots, and pecan pie. Just me and houseguest, so not a major menu this year.
BTW for those making broth or soup from whatever carcass,if you break or crack the marrow bones the broth is more flavorful. Trick from a pho chef my sister knows.
Thanks for the bone marrow broth tip!
Mmmmm pho ?
I shared your bone marrow tip to my daughter who has a turkey carcass waiting to be used to make soup. Thanks!
I love that you donate to local food banks and encourage all of us to be generous with our bounty as well. Thank you!!
We live too far away to gather with family, so we invite friends who are in a similar situation for our Thanksgiving feast.
We have turkey (two smaller ones this year, dry brined, in hopes of them cooking quicker, plus twice the drumsticks), Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Praline topping, stuffing, a turnip dish, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean bake, corn, rolls, and ginger ale & cranberry juice for drinks.
For dessert, we’re having 2 pumpkin pies, apple pie, pecan pie, razzleberry pie, and chocolate cream pie. Plus ice cream and whipped cream.
We’ll gather at 2pm, start the feast around 3pm, and play board & card games, enjoying good food together.
Thank you for putting the words “razzleberry pie” in front of my eyes lol. I had eaten a mixed berry pie before but did not know that was the name for it ?.
Dixie Kauffman says
Ever since Mom passed away I have been making the Turkey and dressing. We come from a family of 7 kids with our families we feed up to 50 people. So 2 Turkey’s 2 hams roaster full of mashed potatoes roaster full of dressing broccoli cheese and rice
Cherry jello salad nieces and nephews bring other sides and desserts. Seven loaves of bread home made giblet juice go in the dressing.
Thank you for supporting your local food bank. I took son #2 with me to work at our local pantry today. Every client was so appreciative today, it really made all of us working thankful as well. Son # 2 and niece are here. Son #1 and his wife come tonight. So e of us are running in a turkey trot tomorrow so I will get up at 6 to make the dressing and put in the turkey. Lots of mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, green beans and cranberry sauce. We’ll end the day by going to see the new Fantastic Beast movie.
Carrie C says
We usually travel to our families (who love states away) for TG, but I had surgery last week soooo no long car trips for me. Instead, we are hosting my dad & stepmom (who graciously came to help us with our 4 yo after my surgery & my 10 lb lift restrictions). My husband already made a pumpkin pie. Tonight, I’m making a Pumpkin Gooey Cake and defrosting a southern pecan pie. Tomorrow, I will supervise the roasting of a 14 lb turkey, make the crock pot dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes (with copious amounts of butter and heavy whipping cream), slice the can cranberry stuff (that my husband loves), yeast dinner rolls, and make dark chocolate sauce for anyone who wants to smother their pecan pie (me!) and whipped cream.
Now I want a wood smoker!
Very traditional at my house: turkey, Stuffing, in the bird, candied sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce homemade, and carrots Lyonnaise. We have paired it down to just the essentials. For dessert pumpkin pies and ricotta cheese pie
We are doing lamb shank this year because no one will eat turkey leftovers, they all like the dark meat and I am trying to go lower on the sodium so no ham. We will see how it goes. Have a Happy Thanksgiving with your full house!
I did steak teriyaki on the grill one year. (We live in Houston and it was a warm day.) I served it with fresh pineapple, carrot sticks and red bell pepper slices, and rice. Dessert was chocolate cake.
It was just our family of 4, so no one was scandalized. I even got to add the teriyaki to the meal rotation!
I wish I wasn’t the only one who likes the less common vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and all the different squashes. I get so tired of green bean casserole…
Broccoli is loved by all at my house and always love corn with poultry. I created a real good zucchini dish that can be served as a side dish with less sauce or with more sauce to be with angel hair noodles as a main dish… slice and steam zucchini, then use the pot to make your sauce… use your favorite jar(s) of spaghetti sauce or recipe, I add some extra seasonings like garlic powder, pepper and a little salt to Ragu spaghetti sauce, but most important, add a good amount of fresh, chopped basil… simmer for 20-30 minutes, then add and stir in the zucchini, cover the top with shredded cheese (I usually use an 8 oz. bag of cheddar), put lid on pot and cook till cheese is melted.
I never really cared for the traditional green bean casserole, though I do like fresh, cooked green beans or canned French cut green beans. I usually go the turkey route for Thanksgiving due to the great sales, but am less traditional for Christmas, usually the family votes or suggests what they would like.
Also great to find new things to add to the meal rotation!
My Uncle hunts, so I was gifted Bison meat, and my neighbor is awesome with seasoning it and cooking it in the oven. She makes homemade rolls. We are bringing side dishes to her house: green bean casserole, cranberry, cherry fluff, mashed potato’s, baked beans & pumpkin custard.
Mary Cruickshank-Peed says
We also have kids, friends, my mom and uncle and a cousin or two coming. Today I did pumpkin and mince meat pies, orange cranberry sauce, rolls, made the stuffing, and put together a green bean casserole to pop in the oven tomorrow. And I’m doing a 5k in the morning to raise money for the local food bank. My husband does the turkey and hedonistic mashed potatoes. My just-turn-18-studying-to-be-a-chef son has a whole list of snacks and appitizers he’s planning on. My older son has to work all day but is bringing his friends from work to dinner. We send everyone home with leftovers. We’re expecting about 20 people overall. Football on the tv but quietly as “friends, conversation and stupid amounts of food” is the order of the day.
Smoking a turkey. Plan extra time!!! I got one of these for my birthday in Feb and I have smoked everything I could! I started one 20lb turkey this morning and I will start the 2nd 20lb turkey at midnight. My first turkey was cleaned and injected with cajun creole butter yesterday. This morning I coated the outside with French’s yellow mustard and added a coating of Badia Rotisserie Chicken rub on the outside. (You might be saying.. Mustard?? and all I can tell you is it’s like a magic sticky coating for any seasoning you want on the outside. The meat does not taste like mustard after it smokes *Magic*) I do not add water to the pan as the turkey drips out a lot of water. I put a stick of butter inside the turkey and slow smoke it at 220F until it reaches 180F deep in the breast meat. My 2nd turkey is injected and will just have a butter rub on the outside so that I can give it a crisp skin (quick bake after smoking). Turkeys take 10+ hours if you slow smoke!!! Plan extra time as you can always warm it up! I will start adding sides into the smoker tomorrow. I’m going to try smoked cornbread stuffing. I’ll add some potatoes in and let them smoke for some mashed potatoes.
(This pic is the first 20lb turkey at 10hrs 220F)
Inga Abel says
Sound heavenly, I wish I was going to be there! Have a wonderful time, and know that when the BDH gives thanks, you both are definitely on our list of people to be thankful for! Thank you for all the wonderful stories you give us every year!
e smith says
I would love to try cooking duck, maybe for Christmas. For Thanksgiving my Brother and SIL will be doing smoked turkey, dressing, gravy, ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, corn casserole and I don,t remember what else. Tonight I am making pumpkin bread, watergate salad, pea salad, cranberries, and in the morning I will make pecan pie (with pecans from our trees), cherry pie, pumpkin pie, and sweet potato casserole. I might add a green bean casserole if kid wants it and we throw in cream cheese dip as well as can cranberry. We get to do it all over again on Saturday with the other side of the family.
Yum! I love smoking the turkey! This year is the first year I’m doing the whole meal by myself. Family will be rolling in with desserts and rolls and drinks. I’m going to do the low and slow turkey all night tonight and then concentrate on all the side dishes tomorrow. I love using the cointreau or grand Marnier in my cranberry sauce too! Y’all have a happy thanksgiving !
My first year doing it all I cooked from 5am until we served… talk about exhausted. The next year I made all the sides the day before so that they could just be baked or warmed as needed.
My son told me “Mom, why do you spend the whole holiday in the kitchen when the family is only here for one day?” Now I make it all before the first person walks in the door! The only thing that is left to cook is the turkey and it just needs a babysitter.
My new holiday motto: Spend time with your family while you have them.
Big Jeff says
Since I have to work tomorrow (retail worker) I’ll be eating at work but the store I work for feeds us real good.
Menu this year is going to be:
Deep fried turkey
Oven roasted ham
mashed potatoes and gravy
either corn or green beans (they alternate year to year and I can’t remember which we had last year)
candied sweet potatoes
a variety of traditional and non-traditional desserts
Nicki Garvey says
We do venison every year. Today the family members who hunter go out and get a deer, there are 3 groups to increase the chance of getting some. If we bag more than one we donate it to the local Hunters for the Hungry group. If we don’t get one then there is usually someone we know who has some to spare.
Also pumpkin fritters! Which are deep fried and amazing!
Would love the recipe for pumpkin fritters… sounds yummy!
Nicki Garvey says
We do venison every year. Today the family members who hunter go out and get a deer, there are 3 groups to increase the chance of getting some. If we bag more than one we donate it to the local Hunters for the Hungry group. If we don’t get one then there is usually someone we know who has some to spare.
Also pumpkin fritters! Which are deep fried and amazing
Jean Morgan says
Well, last Christmas I made lasagna, easy, warms up like a dream and when we sat down my five year old grandson exclaimed “What! No potatoes!?” Fast forward to this Thanksgiving, I call my oldest son to invite him and his family to Thanksgiving dinner and he says “It’s not going to be chicken or lasagna right? It will be a turkey?” Lol, he knows what a non conformist I am. Happy Thanksgiving my friends!
I love lasagna! Christmas has been a variety of meals, suggested and voted on by my family. I have made manicotti crepes, beef with dill gravy and bread dumplings, roast beef or pork with mashed potatoes and veggies and waiting to hear about this one… that list represents different years, not all at one time!
We are headed to my in-laws in Sacramento tonight. We will have a pretty basic dinner my husbands side is not for changing things up much. I am bringing cookies, Lemon bars and Chocolate pixies.
We decided when the kids were little that we would travel for Thanksgiving switching sides (husband’s side or my side) but stay home for Christmas. We are changing that rule this year as we gave ourselves a family trip for Christmas and are headed to Orlando on the 23rd.
I’d like to try smoking a turkey. but they are so hard to keep lit. Sorry. It’s been a long day. Actually our family is quite small and now geographically challenged so there will only be 3 of us. I, however, cannot deal with just another meal so we are having turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed pot & gravy, green beans almondine, asparagus in pastry with gruyere and honeyed carrots. It’s only a 12 lb turkey, the other amounts are sized for 3 diners. But for dessert I make each person’s favorite, a dense chocolate cake with American buttercream vanilla frosting, lemon meringue pie and apple pie. Ice cream? Homemade strawberry, vanilla or coffee toffee chip. The latter goes well with chocolate cake. The ice cream is not special for the holiday I usually have it on hand. I will package up leftovers into individual meals and freeze them. The lemon pie will disappear sometime the next day. Is it silly to make so much? Sure, but I am remembering other larger holidays as I do it and am happy. We do donate. This year there were great sales on turkeys and our neighbors are active in charitable dinners through their churches. That made it made it easy donate the main entrée. Happy Thanksgiving to all, lasagna, turkey or tofu.
Asparagus in pastry sounds yummy.
Tim McCanna says
I’m very glad you’re able to have a big feast with friends and family. I’m from a large family and we used to have huge feasts too. I really liked the pictures but was confused. Your wood chip doohickey looked like it was made of metal and glass. So shouldn’t it be called a wood-glass doohickey? 🙂 Unless of course it’s named for what goes inside it….yeah, maybe that’s it 🙂
Happy holiday season everyone!
I hope that you will have a Happy Thanksgiving.
We don’t do anything like thanksgiving in this part of the world. The roast duck sounds nice though
Thank you for promoting your local food bank! I volunteer at my local shelter and both are great ways to share personal good fortune! The duck sounds great. Love duck in a restaurant, but I’ve never cooked one! I’m on my own this year, so decided to cheat a little. I have two stuffed chicken breasts to pop in the oven. One acorn squash to roast with a maple glaze, a sweet potatoe and fresh green beans with tiny new potatoes. I love cranberries with sugar, Cointreau and fresh orange peal…That’s my “go to” cranberry sauce! And yes, I’m making that, even though I’ll eat it for 3 days! I bought a slice of my favorite pecan praline cheese cake and I’m calling it DONE! Still celebrating traditionally – just in slightly smaller portions and I’m SO Thankful for all my blessings, but I won’t have to eat the leftovers for a week!
Cindy Loegering says
I cook food that I grew up with on Thanksgiving for husband, daughter 1 and son in law and granddaughter and daughter 2. Brined turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato with marshmallows, roasted Brussel sprouts, homemade ginger cranberry sauce. Homemade pumpkin cheesecake and pecan pie for desert. Sharing with family the best part.
Liz Bradbury says
I’m over from Scotland with my son and family in Seattle, first time I’ve been over for Thanksgiving in 12 years… Daughter-in-law is cooking, not turkey, but roast chicken, sweet potato and apple bake, green bean casserole and some kind of potatoes; followed by pumpkin pie, apple blossoms and ice cream. Then before I go home, we’re doing it all again, only this time for an early Christmas – we went to the English Pantry today and bought Christmas pudding, because I forgot to bring one over with me ?.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
I have had a variety of Thanksgivings over the years. The largest I ever cooked for was 25 people. The smallest was two. There are tons of positive memories and that is what I’m most thankful for. To everyone Happy Thanksgiving! I too think it is wonderful to share with those around you and support the local food charities!
Happy Thanksgiving! ?
I must quote Mike from Canmore. “I’m thankful for the Canada goose cause it goes so well with Spagettios.”
Happy Holiday! ?????????
Mary Van Swearingen says
It’s our first Thanksgiving in our new house. We’ve been in tiny apartments or rental houses for several years. My adult stepson now lives with us part time, when not working out of town for several weeks running. He’s home! So, tomorrow, for just the 3 of us, roast turkey, ham, baked sweet potatoes, succotash, green bean casserole, and stuffing with gravy. My husband requested pecan pie, son pumpkin pie, and me? Apple cider pie. The pecan and apple are done, pumpkin will go into the oven while I’m getting the turkey ready to roast. Son will have plenty of leftovers to take on to his next job and we will take lots of dessert to a family after-Thanksgiving get-together on Sunday. I bought a massive turkey on impulse, so it gets popped into the oven first thing in the morning. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
My husband likes to cook so he plans the dinner with all of our yearly favorites.
Turkey (sometimes we make Sunset Magazine’s Dry cured Rosemary Turkey or the Soy sauce and honey glazed turkey but we are doing “regular turkey” this year…)
Baked acorn squash
Sweet potato casserole (with pecan topping)
Green bean casserole
butternut squash soup
Hawaiian sweet rolls
pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and mincemeat pie
this sounds really delicious and I wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Please consider skipping the paperplates for Real dishes. Paperplates make so mich waste that is easily avoided.
Everything sounds so good in the comments. I’m going to be serving the traditional foods. Brined Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, sauteed brussel sprouts, homemade cranberry sauce, homemade yeast rolls, and our own tradition, chefs salad.
Dessert is chocolate cake and pumpkin, cherry, and Dutch apple pie.
The best part though is everyone is home and together. We have 3 wonderful kids and they’re what we’re most grateful for.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
This sounds lovely! I’m back home for Thanksgiving for the first time in years and I’m really excited for the feast tomorrow.
Your stuffing sounds really good, I’m going to have to try something like that for the holidays maybe… HmmmMmmmmmm.
Well, I’ve finished the pies..
✔ 2 apple pies
✔ 2 blueberry pies with a hint of cranberry
✔ 2 chocolate pecan pies with bourbon
✔homemade cranberry sauce
Started the roasted mashed sweet potatoes and pre seasoned the green beans for roasting tomorrow…
I sat down and the cat decided I was a bed and I don’t want to disturb her… ((sigh)) I’m tired anyway… do more tomorrow… still have tri color cauliflower roast and spinach and mushrooms saute and wild rice stuffing…
I will spend the day with friends. I know we will have smoked turkey (they have electric smoker also) and we will have a huge selection of side dishes. The star dish for me will be the cornbread and biscuit DRESSING. It isn’t stuffing; I am from South Carolina. It is baked in a casserole dish and my favorite dish at Thanksgiving and at Christmas.
The family story is that a week after Thanksgiving as a 4 year old (62 years ago), I asked for turkey salad. Mother went through her repertoire of dishes and couldn’t figure out what it was I was requesting. Then on Christmas Day, I was delighted to see that she had made turkey ‘salad’ again. Even then I loved my dressing!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. You and your family truly embody the meaning of Thanksgiving. You live it. Enjoy the day.
It roasted turkey fan here. I took over cooking Thanksgiving dinner at 13 years old. The menu eventually became large and varied. But this year we’re at family outside DC. We have deep ideological divides. They even have a GOP flag flying outside their house. Fingers crossed.
I would be cooking some,of these:
Roast turkey with sage leaves and rosemary, gravy
Sourdough bread stuffing with onions and celery
Two or more green veggies (green beans with almonds, creamed,peas with pearl onions, shredded sauteed Brussels sprouts
Mashed butternut squash
Sweet potato souffle with raisins, nuts, and pineapple
Halves of roasted acorn squash filled,with brown sugar and butter
Multiple pies: pumpkin of course, Apple, peach, sometimes pumpkin meringue, blackberry, lemon meringue, mincemeat.
We fry turkeys with cajun seasoning on the outside of the birds. It’s a fascinatingly quick process and super tasty, too. The bird seals almost instantly, so the inside is moist (not greasy). Our friends usually ask us to make a bird for them to take home. Our biggest year hit 11 turkeys. That became production at that point, so we’ve scaled back to enjoy the day.
The rest of our menu mirrors yours. We usually add a lighter weight dessert like fresh berries with whipped cream to satisfy the need for sweets without the weight of pie. (Of course, there’s pie, too.)
Carol B. says
Our Thanksgiving plans were altered due to my daughter living in a small town with no restaurants open. She isn’t that far outside of Austin, so I’m not sure what happened. It’s not a big deal. So no Thanksgiving food in our house, and I’m fine with that. We will make up for it at Christmas. We are making Rotel cheese dip with ground beef!! We both wanted it and it’s very easy. We haven’t had it in quite a while, so we’re good.
Your menu sounds awesome. And huge. It seems you are recovered (mostly?) from being sick. I hope you enjoy you time with your family.
Just wanted to say, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
Mary Creemer says
Happy Thanksgiving! I will eat with my granddaughters family at noon then go over to a 94 year old friend so my alternate sitter can go eat with her family.
Lorraine Trudgian says
Happy Thanksgiving and the best wishes to all your family and guests from a Canadian reader.
Well first Happy Thanksgiving to all
I make a cranberry relish with cranberry’s and whole chopped oranges and spices and some organic sugar..very zippy ,many folks like it that hate the canned stuff…I also made a huge cheesecake that requires a lovely cookie dough crust and 2.5 lbs of cream cheese and about 9 eggs and whipped cream,blended in ….I am taking these offerings to kayaker friends of my Husbands ,they will do turkey and potatoes,others bringing vegetables…
I like turkey esp heavily dosed with my cranberry relish…..mostly the white meat….
Happy Trails…time to go exercise the horses …Dante and Echo….
I love this! What a great Thanksgiving spread! And now I want an electric smoker…
We have not donated financially to a charity recently due to medical bills, but we volunteer at our local food bank. It eats up most of a Saturday, and I always end up with bruises and cardboard paper cuts, but I am so grateful to get to contribute. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Macaroni and cheese (for the tiny people)
Garlic smashed potatoes
Sliced carrots with dates
Corn on the cob
Roast sweet potatoes and apples in cognac
Jello with marshmallows
Rainbow pound cake
Plus whatever family brings
Right now watching adult kids cooking. Son making gravy, granddaughter making mashed potatoes, daughter tending turkey.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!!
We finished making two pies this morning and the turkey’s buttered and in the oven. We’ll heat up the ham slices, open some cans of fruit and corn (separate cans of course), butter the bread soon, parboil, season and roast some red potatoes and voila! Our first real Thanksgiving dinner with just us and our little ones.
Our turkey, and most everything for our Thanksgiving meal was a gift from the bishops storehouse this year, so we’re feeling very loved. The kids already ate the bananas and apples, so no apple pie after all 🙂 Life is good and I am grateful
On my end i made the Turkey, Ham, mashed potatoes, green beans in bacon, candied yams and corn on the cob. Our guests are bringing mac and cheese, some types of pies and drinks.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!
No-Bake Pumpkin Pie
In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine 1 envelope of Knox unflavored gelatin, 1 tsp. Cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. Ground ginger, around half of ½ tsp. of nutmeg, ½ tsp. salt. Stir in 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated) and two eggs well-beaten. Mix well and let stand 1 minute.
Over low heat, cook and stir constantly till gelatin dissolves and mixture thickens slightly (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in 1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin – mix well. Pour into a graham cracker crust or 14 mini graham cracker crusts, chill 3 hours or till set. Keep refrigerated.
You could increase or delete the ginger and/or nutmeg depending on preference. It is really good with Cool Whip or whipped cream on top!
Baked Corn Pudding
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
1 can creamed corn
1 – 8 oz. carton of sour cream
1 stick of melted butter
½ cup of white sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 box of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
Mix all above ingredients together. Stir well. Pour into a casserole dish.
Bake at 375 degrees (uncovered) for 40-45 minutes till set and golden brown.
I’ve found a baking dish that is bigger, not deeper, works better (approx. 13X9 and Corning ware type) and that I needed to add more cooking time (10-15 minutes longer) before it was set, golden brown and more firm in the center. If it moves around, more time is needed.
My mom would make this for Thanksgiving and it goes great with poultry. It is very popular at home and work! Enjoy!
I have that same recipe except no white sugar. Got it from a co-worker 20th years ago. She probably left it out. But it works great without.
Ice cream. Maybe. No more family left and my friends, including housemates, do things with their families. But when I had family I couldn’t always get to them for the holiday, so I don’t mind. Nice, actually, to have the house to myself!
Stuck in Clearwater, Fl, for Thanksgiving because the hospital where I work partially collapsed in hurricane Michael and some of our patients were transferred here. Doing Thanksgiving with the other displaced workers from our hospital. Fried turkey, ham, and who knows what else? Should be fun!
cheryl z says
Your friends and family are fortunate indeed. Finally got our first snow (yeah!! My newest dog did not understand all the white stuff). Funny when I am cooking the holiday meal, I miss my Mom and Granny the most. As a kid I had no understanding of the amount or work went into cooking the meal. Now I know it takes at least 2 days of cooking, and the dishes Shesh. Happy Thanksgiving to the BDH
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating, from Australia.
Shakes head at all the weird food. LOL.
Which is the weird food? Cranberry?
Nearly everything, except mashed potatoes which is an almost everyday food type here.
Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Corn anything except on the Cob, smoked meats, candied yams, zucchini bread even Mac & Cheese.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard of all these things, just don’t know anyone that’s ever eaten any of them. LOL Just a difference in food culture.
I’m telling Santa I want one of those smokers. The rule over here is no one can buy anything “unnecessary” for themselves after November 1st. Although the guys got around that rule by preordering Fallou 76 in September. Changing rules next year…
Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate.
Thanks for sharing the smoker information and the story of your day. Sounds lovely. Just finally taking a break from the cooking and it is fun to hop on here to read about folks plans. Hour to rest then back at it for final work. (Had to start my day with 2.5 hours of Christmas wrapping to free my dining room table up to eat at. I had a huge mess going! Making for a later dinner)
‘Grazing for the Day’
– Chacuterie Tray with 25+ items, including meats, cheeses, olives, nuts, fruit (dried and fresh), jam, honey, chocolates, crackers (gluten free – both I and one daughter cannot have any gluten).
– Fresh baked gluten free cinnamon pumpkin muffins (made with almond flour)
Dinner in Process
– 18 lb fresh, organic free range turkey – currently baking with potatoes, carrots, broccoli, onions, celery and herbs
– Spaghetti squash with honey, butter, salt and ginger
– Sweet potatoes with cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, oil, salt, dash of sage
– Redskin mashed potatoes – I’ll likely throw some herbs in with tne butter and cream as I make them
– Homemade gravy made from Turk ey juice, sauted onions, herbs, and gluten free flour
– Mac and cheese (found Panera at store! One daughter won’t eat the traditional fare)
– Orange, cranberry sauce
– Pumpkin pie – bought this oneat Jewel
– Hawaiian bread rolls
Here’s the kicker. I’m just cooking for 4, but really cooking for 3 as one daughter will just have eggnog, bread, and mac and cheese…
We’ve traveled this week for last five years. I overdid it a bit. Good news is leftovers! Gonna have to freeze some of it too.
You ate wrapping presents already? You FIEND! I’m still working on a list.
Turkey in a roasting bag cuz I think that basting thing is an urban myth that produces sawdust dry breast meat! Besides those Reynolds bags are dead easy w juicy Turkey every time. Stuffing was 3 boxes of Uncle Ben’s long grain & wild rice w additives: chicken bullion cubes, slivered almonds, scallions, diced gizzards and a lil broccoli slaw. Put the stuffing in the bottom of the bag with the rec’md’d amt of water & the turkey on top & baked til done. Happily, oven bags also shorten the baking time! Gotta thank my cousin again for hosting the family shindig. Anyway, back home & just got the dishes done (roaster only needed a quick swipe, thank u oven bag!). Now…entering..turkey… coma….hope all u all r too! Happy Thanksgiving 🙂
Dan White says
Have a very similar smoker…. Did a practice turkey breast in it last week and it was awesome! My Thanksgiving turkey is in it right now. Hope it’s good and that yours is everything you hoped for!
Ms. Kim says
I wonder how roasting duck went. There is so much grease in ducks that you have to spend a lot of time pouring off (ladling out) the grease. Its delicious, but time consuming (this was 20 years ago when I cooked).
Happy Thanksgiving, Authorlords. Quiet Thanksgiving here as Dad, Husband and Brother passed in 2018, and I am blessed to have a job (hospital) and have to work. Reading (and some re-reading) of your books has helped me survive. I am thankful for the sorrow and grief; prima facie evidence of the depth and Truth of the love. Love what a survivor Maud is; inspiring.
Billie, that sounds like an absolutely devastating year. And what an amazing attitude to grief. I’m sure you will be able to offer a special kind of comfort to your clients at the hospital as a result. God Bless.
Thank you, Deb. We teach what we know. The attitude is partly due to my husband taking me to watch Shadowlands, where C.S. Lewis meets, loves, and loses Joy (to cancer) after which he wrote words to the effect that the grief now is the price of the joy/love then; they are 2 sides of the same coin.
What is that smoker you found? It looks like a great little machine.
MES, Masterbuilt Electric Smoker. They are good, I have one.
Debi Majo says
You guys are just awesome! I’m very impressed with the whole smoking meat thing! Have a fabulous holiday weekend!
I have found that my family isn’t so interested in the turkey. That is just an excuse to eat dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied yams, and pecan pie. So I got smart and got a pre-cooked roasted chicken and stuck it on a plate. Mom brought that green bean thing everybody but me thinks is awesome. I cannot eat it. It looks like garbage goop to me. I did everything else. And as I do every year I forgot to put the congealed craberry salad on the table. EVERY Year I forget and it’s my single favorite thing. Maybe that’s why I forget. My subconcious is a greedy hoarding cranberry scarfing monster. It is now the day after so I’m eating craberries. Hope all was wonderful and the food was yums.
Judith Post says
We bought an electric smoker a few years ago. Got tired of fighting with the wood smokers. We love the convenience and how much you can make in it. When everyone came home for my birthday this fall, we smoked two chickens, three racks of ribs, and a huge brisket. The kids who grew up in our neighborhood came back to see us, and it was wonderful.
Shawn Anderson says
Yay! You bought the same smoker I did. I got mine the end of October. So far we’ve done chicken breasts, bacon wrapped pork loin, and just had Turkey! We did splurge and buy a digital meat thermometer on a long metal cord that we passed through the smoke hole on top. Very handy so no more losing heat while peeping at manual thermometers, not to mention eventually you won’t be able to read it from smoke staining. Digital one came with wireless remote you take with you so you can see temp anywhere. I can’t wait to do brisket with the Jack Daniel’s oak barrel chips!
Shawn Anderson says
Oh and for those who asked, it’s a Masterbuilt smoker. Several different models, I recommend Ilona and mine because my friends have the more expensive model with window, which promptly became smoke stained and impossible to see through!
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! We had a meat/cheese/fruit board, baked brie, shrimp & keilbasa…then homemade butternut squash ravioli in sage brown butter sauce (my new specialty but wow was it a lot of work and trashed the kitchen, glad I made ahead!), spiced whole cranberry sauce, smoked turkey, roasted in the oven turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, twice baked potatoes, green veggies…pies… and a wonderful mix of family and friends! very merry and only a little drama. 🙂
My menu was as follows…Baked turkey, Ham in slow cooker, deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, which I hate but hubby and kid 1 loves it, gravy made when the turkey comes out, crescent rolls, my families recipe for great baked beans, mac and cheese for kid 2 and hubby, another mac and cheese for me and kid 1, then apple pie and banana pudding I made the night before for dessert. Yum. My mom came for the 1st time ever and she raved about my food. Makes me so happy. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
So…. Where was your address again?? LOL
We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in New Zealand, but all the delicious food is making me hungry!
Have a fabulous time!!!
We have a lot to be thankful for and we wish you, your family and all of our fellow Authorlord comrades (fans) a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving and love the shout out for feeding others. I am in the SF Bay Area where we’ve had horrific wildfires and people lost their homes. Now we’ve got rains and people with no homes because of this making sure people have shelter and food hits home in my community.
Food technical terms. Stuffing is inside the turkey, chicken, etc… When made outside and not stuffed, it’s Dressing. I prefer dressing because food safety and shorter cooking times.
Wow, I was tired just reading about everything you accomplished, but it sounded amazing. We went out this year, but I have done a whole feast for family and friends with no where else to go in years past. Hope you are still enjoying some leftovers!
Gloria Magid says
Had thanksgiving at my son-in-law’s aunt’s home. Everyone brought something. Son in law made two kinds of dip for appetizers, daughter made two kinds of salad, son in law’s mom made pumpkin pies, uncle made Apple pies, there was turkey and stuffing and candied yams and green bean casserole and more! I did very little (wrapped some gifts, covered pies) and had a wonderful holiday!