It is Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and I’m feeling a bit under the weather. Outside is rainy and cold. We have a fire going. It’s Sookie. The old dog loves the fire, so she will go and lay in front of the fire place and whine sadly at us when the fire doesn’t magically happen. It’s the saddest whimper. I can’t handle it.
The plan was to work out, but I think I am just going to drink my tea and go straight to the shower once I muster enough willpower. I need to overcome this crud kind of fast, because I have a load of cooking tomorrow.
As is tradition, Thanksgiving menu.
From Popeyes. Hear me out. We’ve been buying smoked turkeys, but nobody eats them and then I have post-Thanksgiving mountain of turkey meat that I have to do something with. This year we’re trying the Cajun-spiced turkey from Popeyes. Here is a review of it. It was sold out online, so we went into Popeys expecting to have it be shipped to us.
Me: Do you still have turkeys?
Sales person: Yep.
Me: Will it get here in time for Thanksgiving?
Sales person: Hey, can someone bring me one of them turkeys from the back?
We walked out with a turkey. It was frozen solid, and I’ve been thawing it in the fridge since Monday. Let’s see what happens.
Meat other than turkey.
As mentioned above, everyone wants to have the turkey on the table, but mostly they don’t want to eat it. You would think something like prime rib would be a good option, but no, because Kid 2’s boyfriend and one of Kid 1’s friends who is coming for Thanksgiving do not eat rare beef, and the rest of us do not eat well done beef. I made beer stew for Christmas last year, and it went over really well, but Thanksgiving isn’t a stew kind of holiday for our family.
Solution: two giant tomahawk steaks. One will be cooked rare and the other well done. I’m going to low-bake them in the oven and then broil them on each side to get a good sear. Or I might do that in reverse order, which would likely be easier. I have a new meat thermometer, which is the stuff dreams made of, so I can cook it to the exact temperature I want. Or rather to 5 degrees under, and then I tent them for 10 minutes.
I’m not planning on doing anything crazy except salt the steaks prior to cooking and maybe do a basic rub. Possibly with garlic. The meat is so thick, marinading it is kind of pointless. Maybe I will do an overnight rub tomorrow.
The other option would be to pan-sear, baste with butter containing garlic and herbs, and stick it in the oven. I have to tell you, I’m not a fan of butter on steaks. You’ve got to draw the cholesterol line somewhere. There is this guy on Tik Tok and whatever the Instagram equivalent is called who buries steaks in butter. I mean you have to excavate it. When the kids were little, we occasionally got these kits where you would dig in the sand and find plastic dino bones. It’s like that, but sand is butter. And then, then, he plasters the steak in rosemary and tries to sear it. You’ve got a crust of burned rosemary on the steak. I can’t even.
I’m not sure yet which route it will be. Depends on how busy the ovens are.
Mostly to be precooked or assembled on Wednesday
- Green bean casserole
- Sweet potato casserole
- Mac and cheese
- Mashed potatoes
- Sweet potato pie
- Zucchini bread
- Cranberry sauce
- Bread rolls
- Apple pie
- Pumpkin pie
- Pecan pie (Bought)
Okay, that last one is just sad to even include, since all I do is heat the corn up, add a bit of salt and pepper and maybe a teaspoon of butter and serve. Gordon loves corn. Pecan pie is in the same boat. I made one before and I couldn’t tell the difference between mine and store bought.
The plan is to come together as a family on Wednesday and conquer. This seems like a lot, but we have people coming and we’ve have learned to make smaller portions. Instead of a giant casserole dish of sweet potato, smaller size dish. The exception being Kid 1’s green bean casserole. Smaller dish ain’t going to cut it.
Some stuff is super simple, like the stuffing. I used to get very elaborate with the stuffing, but I’ve hit on a simple formula everyone loves. Stove top stuffing, bone broth, a little bit of butter, a bit of spice, and done. Fancy stuffing wasn’t always eaten. This stuffing always is, and it takes approximately 10 minutes to make on Thursday. Sometimes, when I am feeling fancy, I throw a handful of almonds in it for a bit of soft crunch.
Some stuff is more complicated. Kid 1 has some sort of arcane recipe for mashed potatoes. She makes it only on celebratory occasions. Her mac and cheese is also a 5-cheese 2-pasta affair, which we can prelayer on Wednesday. My cranberry sauce requires both cider and orange juice. Honestly, it’s probably more of a jam than sauce…
I might do the dough for the rolls on Wednesday too, so I will only have to let it rise on Thursday.
Well I better get to somewhere, because this final fight isn’t going to write itself. Onward, upward… ::sneeze:: Or maybe just more tea.
In a way, it’s brilliant. She has us trained like Pavlov’s dog. Simple cause and effect. If she lays in front of the cold, empty fireplace, you or I, whoever’s up first, will scoop out the ash and build her a nice fire.
She probably thinks she summons the fire. You and I are just incidental and it’s her bulldogness that makes it happen.
It seems fair. You train her to sit and give her treats when she does. She trains you to build a fire when she whimpers and/or gives you puppy-dog eyes.
Seems like a fair trade to me. I mean, if she were a cat, she’d sit there and stare at you until you did her bidding. Sookie at least will do tricks for you.
Lee Weatherbee says
Our traditional “sad” Thanksgiving dish is frozen peas. Heated in the microwave. Nothing added. It isn’t anyone’s favorite, but Mom puts it on the table every year. Maybe because it is green and adds color.
I’m hungry after reading your post…. and I don’t even eat meat!
Leo Kerr says
there’s always time for more tea – and I’m not even English.
Jenn Poniatowski says
One or our cars does this at the back door — she wants to sit abs look out the glass door at the chipmunks and sparrows. It was 30 this am so husband told her “no”… lol. Due to draft. I gave her the few minutes she needed to realize she didn’t like it. Better a short draft than a complaining cat!
Our 15.5 year old cat cries at our door to the screened in porch because he sees sunlight…..we open it up, he goes to perch on the sofa back cushion, and tries to freezes us out in the winter….We give him 15 minutes then herd him inside……because heating the outside is expensive..
✨???? yes exactly!
Marcia Sundquist says
May you have a good Thanksgiving and get to feel better ????.
Kelly M says
I finally gave up on made from scratch stuffing this year. I’m tired. I’m channelling my inner Ina Garten and assuring my hindbrain that “store bought is fine.” We’re trying the Pepperidge Farm traditional dried bag of stuffing and we’ll see how it goes – I may well switch to Stovetop next year!
I usually make a homemade pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust, too, but you know what? Harris Teeter had a sale on the Cheesecake Factory pumpkin cheesecake this year and I grabbed it. One more thing off the list!
Hope you feel better before the big day. (((virtual get-well hugs)))
Pepperidge Farm is our family staple. We scratch make pretty much everything – BUT – we’ve always done Pepperidge Farm Stuffing\Dressing (we never stuff the bird – just make with Chicken or Turkey stock and bake).
Pepperidge Farm Stuffing, the BLUE bag. Even other variations from Pepperidge Farm are not allowed.
+1 We add a handful of dried cranberries and another of chopped walnuts
+1 cranberries yes! One of my favourites! My sister’s mother in law makes the best cranberry relish in the family.
In my experience, the Pepperidge Farms stuffing tasted mostly like bread crumbs. I didn’t taste any seasoning in it. Be prepared to add stuff to it. Personally, I’m a covert to Stove Top Stuffing.
My mom does 1 bag Pepperidge Farms Herb mix and 1 bag of the Pepperidge Farms Cornbread mix, cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup, sautéed mushrooms, green onion, celery, adds some sliced boiled egg, extra poultry seasoning, turkey or chicken broth to moisten. Mix, then bake in pan to brown a bit on top for a fantastic dressing. The dressing is what everyone wants – the rest, turkey, mac & cheese, etc. are sides :).
Can’t do the green bean casserole, you must have to grow up with it.
We do the Pepperidge Farm Cornbread mix…and I add onions, celery, and mushrooms browned in butter (made before the big dinner). My mother’s go to!
I do that as well as browned sausage(and fat) and now sautéed apples. Sometimes I moisten with cider or wine mixed with broth.
2 boxes of Mrs. Cubbison’s cornbread stuffing, a package of bacon fried and cut into small pieces with the bacon fat, 3-4 apples cut into small pieces, chicken broth. In the slow cooker to free up room in the oven! I have always been tempted to try oysters in the stuffing, but I’m the only person in my family who eats oysters so..
Happy thanksgiving BDH and House Andrews! I feel like I have a lot to be thankful for, not the least of which is this community.
Feel better and Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family! ????
(Btw I make my cranberry ‘sauce’ with orange juice too. Never heard of the apple cider but it sounds delicious!)
Linette Torres says
What is the new meat thermometer please? My daughter has a few and is always looking for the newest and best. I ordered a smoked turkey this year from a beachside BBQ place. We’ll see. Let us know how the Popeye’s turkey is because we might try that next year. Happy Thanksgiving! ❤️
It’s this one. I love that the wand can be stored in the thermometer itself. It just lives on my oven door now.
I wonder if this would work with a smoker as well as with an oven. If so, it would be a great gift for my brother.
Bill from NJ says
it should, the thermometer sits on the outside and the probe wire goes around the oven door ( it is that thin). smokers are lower temp than an oven,so it should work. it is really great to be able to see the temp without opening.
Best turkey breast I ever made was last year’s, using the cooking probe/thermometer my husband had asked for. Tender and juicy! Not the same one as yours but worked great.
He even uses it on the gas grill. And Stove Top stuffing!
Hope you’re feeling better! Happy Thanksgiving!
Anna L says
I personally swear by anything by ThermoWorks. I have there pop thermometers which do very well, and someday I will upgrade. Its the same brand that you see the people on Great British Bake off use
I feel you on all of the cooking. There are 4 of us for Thanksgiving and while I always CONSIDER just doing a Turkey breast – I never do. So I got the smallest Turkey I could find – 18#. I’ll debone after we’re done, make stock and portion out the leftovers for various dishes (maybe soup, maybe “turkey” salad, etc.) We DO eat the Turkey though.
I’m doing smaller sides:
Mac & Cheese (I’m down to 2 cheeses and one pasta with added garlic & mustard)
Cranberry Sauce (mine is almost a jam too – orange juice, honey, cinnamon & cloves)
Sweet Potato Casserole
Roasted Brussels Sprouts (there has to be SOMETHING green and I can’t do green bean casserole w\o mushrooms and hubby is allergic)
Cheesecake (roommate is making)
I’ll have enough to feed at least 8 LOL. But it’s once a year and most everything is easy to reheat or freeze for later 🙂
I would love to do have an 18 pound turkey. All the turkeys I can find are under 12 pounds… I love turkey leftovers, and so do the dogs, so the bigger the better.
Cymru Llewes says
we actually have an ordered list of turkey leftover recipes,
first: turkey risotto with bananas and mushrooms
second: smothered turkey (turkey a la king/turkey blanquette)
third: turkey pot pie
and for lunches … just small piles of turkey with small servings of the Thanksgiving side dishes.
Turkey risotto with bananas and mushrooms? Would love to see the rest of the recipie…
Your dinner sounds delicious and I am glad Sookie has you well trained. Sadly our Thanksgiving plans were derailed with Influenza A. Me, the kid, and the husband all have it. However, I already bought stuff for green bean casserole and I have a turkey breast ready for pick-up.
R Coots says
oof. feel better soon! That is a mountain of food. i hope it all comes together ok and everyone enjoys
Carysa Locke says
This sounds a lot like my Thanksgiving, except my “additional meat to turkey” is ham. We also make a giant portion of green bean casserole, because everyone wants the leftovers. It’s probably the most popular dish on the table, other than the homemade rolls I do every year.
Good luck with everything! Having help certainly makes it easier. I plan to prep everything I can today and tomorrow, so the day of cooking will be easier.
What happened to roast goose? I thought turkey was too dry! 😀
Too expensive. 🙁
I always see free geese strolling around at the park like they’re not delicious. Wonder if I’d get in trouble if I snabbled one up? Probably breaks some law, which seems a bit silly with how much people complain about them pooping everywhere. Between me and my oven, it’s a very fixable problem. 😛
Sorry to hear it. Glad the turkey turned out well though.
I’m not sure if it’s a European thing, a Central European thing, or an Austrian thing, but here on November 11, the Feast of St. Martin, is Martinmas dinner. Substitute a roast goose for a roast turkey and all manner of local side dishes and you essentially have a Thanksgiving dinner. Pre-pandemic, I alternated a Martinmas dinner with a Thanksgiving dinner.
I cooked the goose twice. I had followed instructions carefully, but my first time cooking Martinmas* was my first time tasting goose. And although my guests seemed to eat it happily enough, I figured I must have done something wrong. We were on COVID lockdown the next time I was scheduled for Martinmas (2020). The following year (last year) we weren’t fully on lockdown, but my friends were still leery of gatherings. So my husband and I went to a restaurant that was reputed to have the oldest and best Martinmas in Wien (pre-pandemic, you required reservations a year in advance, we got ours in late October). They had two goose offerings on the menu, and brought me the wrong one, so I was disappointed cutting into my goose.
We went there again this year. This year, they only had one goose offering. I can now say officially that I really don’t like goose.
*my husband had been fond of saying he just didn’t understand Thanksgiving (I had only been able to do a very small Thanksgiving in his bachelor apartment with a galley kitchen). The first time I offered to cook Martinmas, in our new apartment with a bigger kitchen, he got this horrified look on his face, and said “honey, you don’t understand! It’s not just the goose, it’s all the SIDES!” To which I replied “and now you understand Thanksgiving.”
Goose I can live without, but I would love to have roast duck. Unfortunately I am apparently the only person I know who loves duck. Drat it.
I used to roast a turkey happily every year but now I would be the only one eating it. (I’ll look for a turkey breast for myself after the holiday.). If anyone is having problems with dryness, I seriously suggest a roasting bag. I was a convert the first time I tried it! They come out so nice – browned, moist and still enough broth to make a very tasty gravy.
Sara B. says
Or cook breast-side down — not as pretty a presentation, but delicious moist turkey
Or get a flat turkey (the official name is spatchcocked). It all cooks in the same amount of time & none of it gets dry. We tried it as an experiment maybe 5 years ago and we aren‘t ever going back…. ????
Happy Thanksgiving to House Andrews, Mod R and the BDH! ????????????
I’m thankful for the awesome stories & worlds, the virtual companionship and Mod R’s cat herding skills.
I hope you feel better soon, Ilona!
Years ago, I heard on the radio that basting a turkey with coca cola will keep it moist. I tried it, but the reason it works is because it turns the skin to armour. Nothing gets through that. Not even the knife lol
I have two younger brothers. When I still lived in the US, my youngest brother was not yet married, and I had inherited cooking the Thanksgiving dinner*. One year I was asked how everyone could best help. My answer was “stay out of the kitchen and don’t try to help.” It was the easiest Thanksgiving dinner I ever cooked.
My youngest brother (D) is now married with two kids, and grabbed the Thanksgiving cook mantle with both hands and will not give it up while he has life in his body. The in-between him and me brother (S) brings his two kids to D’s house every Thanksgiving. Sometimes older siblings show up. S was complaining to me the other day — not EXACTLY complaining — saying D’s Thanksgiving dinner is wonderful but he wished D could spend more time visiting with company.
I totally get it. There is something incredibly satisfying about cooking such a large and delicious meal for 8-10 people. Or more. But the sacrifice is not visiting with guests you may not see often. And for those of us who cook the meal, ordering in is heresy.
There should be another solution, but I’m d—— if I know.
There is: spread the cooking out over several days. Of course, you need to not have a day job, and you need lots of fridge space, but this works. On Thanksgiving day, I just have to cook the turkey and the ham, my husband makes the mashed potatoes, and I reheat the sides when the two meats come out of the ovens. Easy peasy. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Hanging out with your people is kinda the point, though.
Another solution is to share the cooking: host family cooks the turkey, one or two sides, and sets the table. Everyone else cooks the other sides and/or desserts at home and brings them. Anyone who can’t cook brings wine, non-alcoholic beverages, olives, pickles, cheeses, or [heat & eat] bread rolls.
Reheating or putting last-minute touches to our dishes is a bit like an under/over square dance set in the host’s kitchen, but it’s chaotic good. Our extended family of 5 siblings (and their families) have always done it this way. Many fond memories of great food and a few catastrophes (often involving dogs). It’s easier to divvy up leftovers, too, and less washing up when we all take our own containers home.
This year, it’s just us with our three adult kids (and their families or partners). We all have our specialties. Mine are two kinds of cranberry sauce (one jam-like with cinnamon and allspice, the other a fresh relish style), baked winter squash or cauliflower fritters, and sourdough/cornbread stuffing with herbs, leeks, and pecans. Our Kid 1 makes salad and the green bean casserole. Kid 2 makes the gravy base with cider (drippings added where the turkey is), mac & cheese, and Great-Grandma Rosa’s recipe for candied yams. Kid 3 makes a vegetarian main dish (if needed) and is famous for her pies. She occasionally goes wild, like the year she made a puff pastry dragon guarding a clutch of cheese-filled pastry eggs. We’ll miss my siblings’ corn pudding, oyster dressing, and cranberry-apple-walnut pie this year, alas.
A woman I worked with would precook everything before guests arrived. She wanted time with family. Mostly, the meats (turkey and ham) were served cold, but heated foods were reheated. It worked for them
I know the solution to this…have everyone in the kitchen with the cook at various time with assigned duties. This one chops, that one stirs, the other hunts out elusive-only-used for Thanksgiving utensils and serving dishes from cupboards, drawers, etc.
Anyway giving each one a finite task means that the cook gets to chat with each a while cooking. I bonded with my mother-in-law by being her sous chef during family dinners. Put a tall stool or other seating in the kitchen for chatting. My MIL had a marvelous stool/steps combo I wish I’d claimed just for this.
My cat, when he got old (18) used to walk to the fireplace and meow. Then walk to the garage door where the wood was stored, and meow. Back and forth until we got the wood and built him a fire. He’d lie in front of the fire for hours.
Patti HN says
Happy thanksgiving! Hope you feel better!
We are in California (and it’s not as cold as the rest of the country, although our house is badly insulated and very drafty). Our cats mournfully move from room to room, following the sunlight as it comes through various (alas, small) windows. They think it’s my fault that the sun keeps moving. Oh and their stomachs and expectations are still on daylight savings time—they start meowing for dinner around 4. I wish they were smart enough to learn to tell time. ????
J Tehranchi says
This is my first time living near my mom and sisters again in nearly 20 years. My sister is cooking, but I e been assigned desserts and green bean casserole. I’ve never made green bean casserole in my life, so here’s hoping.
Mary Barton says
check out Andrew Zimmerns recipe on his web site
I hope you start feeling better. Our family fry turkeys. This year we’re doing 4 turkeys so everyone has enough to take home doggie bags. Use peanut oil because it really does make a difference in the crispiness of the skin. My daughter has been dreaming of fried turkey – she keeps talking about how she can’t wait.
Have you tried a Sous Vide to cook your steaks? My husband wanted one and Sam’s Club had one on sale. So I got it for him. He’s only cooked steaks with it but you can do other stuff too. Once you’re done using the sous vide, he throws it on the grill to get the crust on the outside only for a few minutes. And the steaks come out ohhh so good. He marinates his steaks in oyster sauce (Panda brand), sugar, a little soy sauce, garlic powder and onion powder – I think that’s all he puts in it.
I have a friend who uses hers a lot, and it is yummy, but I’m not as much of a fan in my own cooking. There is something about steaks that says high heat to me. 🙂
I was going to say the same thing. we sous vide (which I learned about on this blog after a Thanksgiving fiasco with the prime rib) steak and then finish on the grill with high heat to get a nice crust.
The advantage of cooking beef with a sous vide is you can use very lean cuts (usually cheaper) and still get a really tender and rare texture inside.
We usually buy top round but extra lean are: Eye of round roast and steak
Sirloin tip side steak
Top round roast and steak
Bottom round roast and steak
Top sirloin steak
here’s a link to mayo clinic article on it
I live in Houston and buy a Popeyes turkey almost every year, the fam loves them! Hope it’s a hit for you, too. Happy Thanksgiving!
Leslie Cogle says
We’ve been getting Popeye’s turkeys for years. The skin and drippings have a kick. Best turkey ever.
Mary Cruickshank Peed says
I’m doing the orange cranberry sauce today. my husband is doing a cranberry compote for the baked brie. my mom is doing her version of ambrosia salad which started out as ambrosia and changed thru the years and is now called “Patrick’s salad” because it’s my youngest son’s favorite thing and it morphed because of his food allergies.
we have turkey, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, green bean casserole, green salad, my grandmother’s sausage stuffing, rolls, pumpkin pie, mince meat tarts, my friends are bringing a cheesecake, my oldest son does deviled eggs and curried eggs, shrimp dip, crab stuffed mushrooms, veggies and dip,
and a dozen or 14 people coming for dinner.
Michael Vincenti says
I am going with a seven pound “turkey” breast, all dark meat, that I picked up at Sam’s Club yesterday. and mashed potatoes.
Looks like my Christmas “turkey”. Enjoy!!
I have a simpler feast. Turkey with Stove Top Stuffing,, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, rolls, maybe a green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. everything is home made (except the stuffing). It pretty much keeps me in the kitchen for hours. I don’t know how you do all the side dishes that you do. As to steak- frying it in butter is just gross. Steaks should be lightly seasoned and grilled in my book.
Butter basting (using just a tablespoon of it, not drowning the steak in butter) can give the steak a beautiful flavour, particular if you’re not using expensive meat. I once had a steak cooking competition with my husband when we first got married. We both used the same cuts, seasoned with salt, but he did a reverse sear and I cooked mine in a pan, basting with butter, garlic cloves and thyme for the last minute. Mine won hands down.
When we are cooking with high grade beef though, we only use the grill. I’m not a heathen.
Fireplace memories! We had a blue Persian who adored a fire, even with all his fur. He would plant himself in front of the fireplace and wait (and wait) until someone gave in.
Your menu sounds incredible. I have used Pepperidge farm cornbread stuffing for decades. Add some finely diced onion and celery, pepper, stock until moist enough. Put in a pan, dot with butter and bake. Can be easily done ahead of time but you might have to add more stock before baking as the cornbread soaks it up.
I’m with you on well done beef. Not in my kitchen.
Here’s hoping you feel better soon and that you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving.
No. No sneezing. Small fine print. Person who just wrote out their menu CANNOT come down with something this close to the feast.
Your family’s depending on you. Plus if you insist on this sneezing thing you lose your appetite. Then you’ll have remorse that you didn’t eat much. There’ll be leftovers. More remorse. Well you see how this will end. So get ahold of yourself and NO SNEEZING.
Happy Thanksgiving. Drink more hot tea.
The brothers are discussing the Christmas week menus. Brother 3 who’s hosting got a new big smoker that Brother 2 wants to break. I mean, break in. He once burned a hole in the deck of one of Brother 3’s previous homes when he put too much oil in a deep fryer when he tried cooking a turducken, so I’m rather surprised Brother 3 is trusting Brother 2 with a cooking appliance on the deck of his new home. On the other hand, it’s just not Christmas if Brother 2 doesn’t break something while cooking.
regarding dogs and fire places. We had a fire box or wood burner, all my dogs – standard poodle, 3 greyhounds, bull mastiff x pit bull would lay in front of it and just keep on looking at it then looking at me this continued until I light it. The cats would wander along and lay even closer, in fact one of them, Grayson (Manx) would lay onto of the poodles head to get closer.
I am in NZ we don’t do Thanksgiving but hope you have a good Thanksgiving any way.
Hope the tea works magic and helps you feel better. Heh on the animals training hoomanz – my circus cat has learned to find important papers to shred delicately when she wants to be fed. Older black cat has learned that when he hops on a stool and meows while maintaining eye contact, odds are god he’ll get a little milk.
Small family / friends dinner this year. SIL is doing most of the side dishes, my Mom is cooking a turkey. I am making corn casserole and bringing pumpkin pie, real whipped cream, and ice cream. Everyone goes home with leftovers, because in my family Way Too Much Food is just about right.
You could do a crock pot corn. This is requested every year. I get a bag of yellow sweet corn and a bag of white sweet corn..frozen. One package of cream cheese cubed. Salt, lots of pepper. About a half stick of butter. About a teaspoon of sugar. About a 1/4 cup half and half. Place all in crock pot and cook on high for about 4 hours. Sorry for all the “abouts”. I never measure anything.
Sending healing vibes! The food sounds incredible. I love the sounds of “the final fight”. Looking forward to reading whatever that is!
Colleen C. says
I do stuffing in the crockpot. Super easy and leaves the stove/oven for other foods.
Have a great holiday!
I live alone and all the family is out of town this year.
My daughter-in-law wants to do a big dinner when they get back, so I will have everything but turkey*, but on Sunday or Monday (When she rests up a bit from vacation), including left-overs.
Since I do have to eat on Thursday and I do like turkey, I bought some sliced turkey breast in HEB’s deli. I will cut it into smaller pieces and cook it for a little while in the “water” for a box of HEB brand (out of Stove Top the day I shopped) cornbread stuffing mix. I have always used chicken broth instead of water, so I have a turkey / chicken flavored stuffing casserole. Add cranberry sauce and some green beans and I am having a pretty balanced meal.
If I feel the need for dessert, I will just have some more cranberry sauce. It’s close enough to pie filling and I won’t miss the crust.
(Alas, it should be a low-carb, pre-diabetic meal, but I am not giving up stuffing and cranberries for Thanksgiving until I am forced to. And my meals before and after will be make my doctor much happier…)
I hope your day will be happy and filled with family and maybe a friend or two. May you be recovered enough to enjoy it, also.
*I am the only one that really likes it. We’ll probably have ham.
There are only 4 of us this year but should have some drop-ins. The daughter is working almost 7 days a week so she and I will be getting together Wednesday evening to do prep. But we kept it simple this year:
1) 14 lb. turkey (smallest butterball I could find)
2) small ham
3) some dressing she will make (it’s her thing)
4) green bean casserole (a must according to grandson)
5) mashed potatoes (already made)
6) sweet potatoes and apples in a butter, cinnamon and sugar sauce covered with lightly browned marshmallows
7) cranberry sauce from scratch (basic recipe and so easy)
7) crescent rolls
1) cranberry/raspberry jello with a cream cheese/marshmallow/whip cream topping
2) Marie Callender pies (just arrived from a fundraiser!)
Nothing too spicy or the kids won’t eat it. Very low key this year. Hoping to watch a Christmas movie with them but we will see.
Hope you are feeling better soon and your Thanksgiving is a wonderful family gathering.
Happy Thanksgiving! I hate green bean casserole, or thought I did until my sister made Alton Brown’s recipe. Fresh green beans and home made mushroom sauce, mmmmm! Turns out I loved it, ???? and what I actually hate is frozen-beans-and-canned-cream-of-mushroom-soup casserole. ????
Oh! +1 to the Alton Brown recipe!
I use that one every year, this year we’re not having quite as much of a crowd as usual, so my list is short.
Homemade family secret stuffing
Instapot mashed potatoes ( my MIL ASKED for them!)
Cherry Pretzel Jello Salad
Hopefully my mother in law is bringing some vegetable sides. I may have to make the green bean casserole next week if not.
I do turkey all the time so it’s normally not too crazy. I mix my stuffing up the night before and then I baste it with the turkey drippings.
Hope you feel better soon! It’s not much fun to try and cook and celebrate when you’re feeling eh.
The only reason I make Thanksgiving dinner any more (not usually on Thanksgiving) is for the leftovers. I end up layering dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, turkey, cranberry, and another layer of dressing and gravy in individual containers that I freeze. Delicious emergency dinner.
Even thinking of all that food makes me feel full. I’m making french onion soup and a side salad for Thanksgiving dinner this year with a pumpkin/cranberry custard for desert.
Love dressing though. I also make the easy kind mostly like yours, but I add dried cranberries and a bag of frozen pearl onions.
Have a joyous holiday!
Sacrilege I know but may I suggest getting an electric fire place. Will look Fake/real. Lots of heat no cleaning afterward or dealing with logs and ashes etc. and you just flip a switch and it comes on. Best thing in the early morning.
Get better soon. Also, let the kids help if this cold persists. 😀
Mmmm steak. Can totally attest to low bake thr tomahawk cuts then sear. Works a dream…
I go to parents and help cook, ours is super low key and my Dad does it as Mom used to work Thanksgiving, retired nurse, so she could have Christmas off.
Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope that you accomplish all on your list! I am making dinner for 6, sounds easy, but, we have 2 vegans, 2 vegetarians and my husband and I who are carnivores! Somehow every year we are able to please all!
Enjoy your holiday and being with those you love!
Sounds like us, throw in some dairy and nut allergies! (the latter not coming this year, alas)
Any chance Kid 1 would be willing to share the green bean casserole recipe? *LOVE* green beans!
Mary Beth says
My family warned me there were no turkeys or hams to be found this year. My sister prefers ham, since her husband likes to deep fry turkeys–which tends to have unfortunate results. (Set his garage on fire once.) I think she did find a smaller ham and a turkey eventually.
I can’t travel this year, so we’re going to have roast duck. It was the only bird other than goose to be found. I’ll roast it, and serve with green beans with bacon.
Re steak: Hubby uses a sous vide for tough cuts of meat, and also for steaks. He vacuum bags the steak with ghee, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Then he sears them in a cast iron skillet. Best steak ever and it’s always medium rare.
Erin H says
My inner cook both loves and (slightly) fears your menu. It sounds wonderful, but wow, I’d lose my mind making it. That said, I’m usually the only one cooking holiday meals. If it’s a group effort like you said, it would be a pretty awesome spread to sit down and enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving! It all sounds great . Going to middle daughters for dinner- the first holiday her husband has not been deployed for in their house!! We are bringing an apple tart, corn casserole ( my grand recipe) and homemade cranberry sauce. Daughter is making turkey, ham and the rest. Homemade rolls are a must in our family- we all feel that grandma Jane would reach from the grave and wallop us otherwise!! I hope you feel better. Final fight scene?????
Can personally highly recommend the fried turkey from Popeyes.
My Thanksgiving has morphed into a good movie matinee (loved “Encanto” last year!), pie, and whatever side dishes in the deli inspire the “party food” vibe.
Bill G says
Sounds like a lot of work for a lovely result. And now I’m wishing we had a Popeye’s near us for a Cajun turkey.
Judy Schultheis says
If you want to make a pecan pie that doesn’t taste store-bought, use maple syrup.
I used the good Canadian stuff and it still tasted the same.
You can also substitute part of the corn syrup with a good local honey. If you use all honey it is too sweet.
Or use Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead of corn syrup, for a subtle caramel flavor. (Never going back to Karo!) And it’s hard to find an all-butter crust in store-bought pies. (Never going back to Crisco, either.)
To make corn special we do corn pudding (the Shakertown recipe). It’s got all the buttery corn goodness with extra nutritional value from the eggs and milk. It can be made the day before and then just be added into the hot oven to reheat…
Linda Trainor says
have fun cooking.
Jessica Smith says
My mom always made her version of hot browns to use up the left over turkey.
I’m a rimmed baking sheet place toast with turkey layered on top.
Make a medium white sauce (3T wondra flour, 3T butter and 1 C milk)…I make about 1/2 C for each hot brown because it’s soooo good.)
In the microwave melt the butter, stir in the flour and whisk in the milk….add some velveeta cheese (amount depends on how cheesy you want it to be) Cook on high for about 4 minutes and stir…repeat at 1 minute intervals until it reaches a nice “gravy” consistency.
Ladle cheese sauce over turkey and toast…add some bacon on top and pop into an oven on broil until it’s all hot and bubbly.
It’s not a “real” Kentucky hot brown, but is pretty darn close!
That sounds yummy!
Happy Thanksgiving! Eat, nap, repeat….
So sorry you are fighting the crud! I hope hot tea and snuggling under the blanket by the fire helps.
Final fight? I look forward to hearing more when you’re ready to share!
We do eat the turkey except my hubby who does not eat poultry of any kind. I used to do steak for him but it takes too much time for one dish one person. when my firstborn was not eating meat we did not have a turkey. No point for me and one tiny person. This year I’m doing a small ham and a small turkey.
Thanks for sharing your holiday!
We are trying to avoid Scream n’ Clean by repeatedly pointing at objects in the room. Me, to Triplet2: “We have 30 guests coming. Do you see anything in this room that your mother might think The Guests will not wish to see?”
Me, pointing over T3’s shoulder at the inexplicable dirty socks, “Anything at all?”
Happy Thanksgiving! You described our T’day dilemmas to a T. Everyone wants the dressing but they don’t eat it, ditto turkey. Landing on the right formula for your family is a whole thing!
Angel Mercury says
When it comes to Prime Rib and different levels of preferred done-ness the easy and really good way to go is to cook it rare as you generally would and then slice and pan sear (with butter if you like) to the desired level for those who want it cooked longer. Low fuss while keep the meat tasty even for those who want it well-done and is generally how it’s done in restaurants.
Recipe for the beer stew?
MELINDA FLICK says
We’re doing Popeyes too. It’s yummy. I’m bringing turkey gravy from Trader Joe’s because I’m not fond of the Popeyes gravy. My job is pies (and Christmas cookies). Son in law dislikes pies with egg, so pumpkin pie and cranberry tart are tiny. Large pie is apple caramel this year. Other people are making green things to eat.
I have a single solitary and SMALL turkey thigh to cook for myself when I get back home again. And MORE PIE….
Its grey and rainy here too in the PNW, and the old cat is hunkered down on her heating pad, and the Young Lummox is up on top of the redwood cupboard, just under the ceiling. Asleep and no longer pestering me.
I saw a recipe for pumpkin pie I want to try sometime. Slices of pumpkin are battered and fried in butter, then layered over tart apple slices in a pie shell, dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg, the baked without a top crust. It looked very yummy
Donna A says
Hope everyone celebrating this week has a great Thanksgiving ????
Zaena B. says
Miss Ilona, your menu sounds great! Regarding the beef- or any meat really) take a large hypodermic needle and fill it with the liquid yumminess you like and inject it at areas around and in the meat. Cook however your style is- oven, fry pan or grill, BBQ…it works!
I hope this sniffle turns out to be a false alarm and you’re feeling great by tomorrow!
My family isn’t doing a big gathering this year, but we’ll have good food and at least the traditional family desserts (pumpkin pie, apple crisp, and a sinfully delicious custard sauce we only make for Thanksgiving and Christmas). We’ll be going over to visit my grandfather at his nursing home in pairs, and Mom and I will bring him his favorite desserts.
Maria Schneider says
happy thanksgiving. You have a great plan. I know you will have a wonderful time/food.
Ooh zucchini bread.
Is this like carrot cake but with zucchini? My American branch of the family make this and I love it but never realised it’s a thanksgiving dish.
Laura Martinez says
Funny. Son #2 proposed Popeye’s turkey but we were outvoted by my long suffering husband, who does the shopping. Mainly because he’s allergic to onions and was concerned that the spice would contain onion powder. So no rest for the wicked.
I feel for you. I’m also battling some crud. Testing negative for Covid so far, but slept most of the day today. Got to do some baking tomorrow.
Rhonda Burrell says
the best pecan pie recipe is on the side of a KARO syrup bottle. it’s simple and beats store bought any day of the week.
I have to agree. It’s the only reason I own Karo syrup.
One of my favorite uses of our soup vide is cooking steak. After it is cooked, yOu sear the steak on a cast iron griddle so that it isn’t “ugly”. It is cooked perfectly every single time. You might want to try it sometime.
I will be making my Aunt Carrie’s pecan pies tomorrow. I’m retired, so I don’t buy Thanksgiving pies anymore. If you want the recipe, let me know.
Thank you for your books. I am thankful for everything you write. Enjoy your family celebration.
Kathleen Schalk says
You are very funny and a good and practical soul!
I really enjoyed reading your bit on “pre-Thanksgiving food thoughts”. May you and your family have a lovely day together!
Beth Leffler says
Happy Thanksgiving and feel well fast! Pie,pie and more pie!I have been teaching the grandson about pumpkin pie. He is three and wants his own pie????????
Tina in NJ says
My son went vegan a couple of years ago, so now I’m making vegan bread for his vegan stuffing. I was able to find canned full-fat coconut milk for vegan pumpkin pie and oat milk eggnog (minus the eggs). Tomorrow is pie day. My daughter thinks she does most of the cooking on Thanksgiving, but that’s only because I do a lot the day before to free the oven up for the bird.
Lovely menu; sounds delicious! Happy Thanksgiving!
Ugh, under the weather just in time for the holidays. My go to is always hot tea with lemon and an anti-inflammatory. I swear by aspirin myself, but I am not sensitive to it either. And if you can manage it, extra sleep really is amazing. Hope you’re better soon!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! The menu sounds good to me. Ours will be small and my brother has made his usual request – meatloaf. With scalloped potatoes, steamed broccoli, and a salad for me. We don’t usually bother with dessert, but I’ve pecans that really need to be used, so I’m actually thinking about a pie. We’ll see how ambitious I get.
Best wishes to ModR and all the BDH, too!
For steak, if you use dark sesame oil once to pan-sear, you will never want to use anything else. The flavor is phenomenal.
My favorite stuffing is diced apples and bread with tarragon or whatever herbs you like. Really fast and easy.
However this year it’s only me, so I’m doing turkey thighs and sweet potatoes in the slow cooker. I did this for myself and the then-husband during the pandemic holiday of 2020. He said at the time that there was no reason to make turkey any other way ever again. Green beans on the side, of course.
I hope the crud resolves quickly so you can enjoy the holiday, not to mention taste the food. Have a great time!
That sounds exhausting. I’m sure it will all be wonderful.
We’re going simple this year. I went to a friend’s farm who pasture raises turkeys. This year they were small so I got a whole turkey and a breast. I’ll brine tomorrow. Then, my son’s significant other really likes my goat cheese dip served in roasted bell peppers, eaten with toasted bagels, so she requested that even tho it’s not a Thanksgiving thing. She’s Asian and had never really done traditional Thanksgiving and we did it up for her a couple years ago but I don’t think she was impressed. So dressing and I’m adding some roasted potatoes, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and onions, and a salad. Fruit for desert. Not very traditional but I think I’m the only one that actually like most traditional southern Thanksgiving foods.
We’re the oddballs that don’t eat meat so we kinda do an extravaganza of sides.
Yukon mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole topped with pecan brown sugar butter mix, sweet peas, P. F. Chang’s air fried frozen green beans, air fried tempura cauliflower, canned whole berry cranberries, stovetop dressing (pork flavored), store bought rolls, sometimes a broccoli rice casserole and a Mac and cheese casserole.
Desserts are pumpkin pie made with coconut cream instead of milk and pecan bars with splash of bourbon on shortbread crust.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
ooo can we get your zucchini bread recipe… love zucchini bread
Reverse sear method- low in the oven until 10-15 degrees below temp, then sear in a screamjng hit cast iron or broil to get a crust- is the way I do my steaks when they need to be done inside. If you are undecided as to method, check it out.
I just roast a chicken. I can’t be bothered to make something no one cares about especially for how few of us will be here.
With just my spouse and me I find cooking for 2 recipes useful. On good weather years we visit relatives and return laden with tasty leftovers. I take my in-laws their home baked fruitcake wrapped in brandy soaked cotton dishtowels that has been curing in the freezer in a zip lock freezer bag for a month. On years when it snows too much to travel we usually end up eating Lean Cuisine Turkey and Dressing with Cinnamon Apples. It’s better than trying to fix dinner in a rush or finding someplace open to eat. So far I have made the fruitcakes, the lace cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, the almond crescents and the jam thumbprints . I still have to make almond pizelles, gingerbread cookies, double chocolate drops, and maybe honey spiced pecans or baklava. Good Luck to everyone in their holiday cooking this year!
Katie B says
What are jam thumbprints please Bev? Are they a sort of biscuit (cookie). As I am English, I am interested in recipes for Christmas, not thanksgiving.
Moderator R says
I’m sure Bev has a personal recipe which will be delicious, but in the meantime, look! We have them in the U.K. too https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/thumbprint-cookies – a simplified Jammy Dodger!
Getting over Covid–finally got me! So no cooking right now. Hopefully fully negative by Thursday to meet up with family.
I hope you feel better soon. There are a lot of viruses going around this year.
Deanna Zinn says
Best way ever to do corn: buy frozen corn. Put it in a pot, add several tablespoons of butter, and add milk to cover. Bring to a gentle boil then simmer for ten minutes. Yum!!
Janet Scurlock says
Turkey is my least favorite meat and I have never cooked one so usually we do a Ribeye toast, but after 10 years my youngest daughter decided that she would finally tell me she hates roasts. So we decided to do Porterhouses this year. I am sous vide them so that should be interesting. They have been dry aged for over 30 days so am excited to see how good they are. They cost a pretty penny so they better be good.
Your list is making me drool…
I’m not a cook so my only contribution to Thanksgiving has been cranberry sauce (my mom’s recipe) using fresh cranberries and orange marmalade. So yum!! And leftovers are awesome on toast for breakfast! ????
Happy Thanksgiving to the HA and the BDH! ????????
To thaw the turkey, if you have a sous vide, set it for 34 degrees, put it in a cooler / plastic bin filled with water and the turkey. The sous vide will move the water an keep it a bit above freezing to fairly quickly thaw the turkey. Depending on where you start, from a few hours to a day.
When I am struggling to take on the day, a bath with Epsom salts and essential oils helps me rejuvenate and face the day…hoping you all you need.
Wow, that food sounds amazing! have a great Thanksgiving day!
Another sous vide fan. We’re doing a beef roast on Saturday sous vide. For Thanksgiving, I can’t recommend enough a dry brine for the turkey. Also doing a glazed ham. I think you make even more side dishes than I do. I spread the cooking out: today I made the chipotle sweet potato casserole and prepped the elote corn casserole. Also made the filling for the spanakopita and I’ll bake that tomorrow along with the four pies. We love the dressing from the Silver Palate cookbook–that’s my favorite dish. And we cook our mashed potatoes in a crock pot with a warm setting so they can be done a couple of hours early. Saves some of the pre-dinner chaos. Some.
What I want to know is ‘what final fight’? Is this a new work in progress or part of an existing series? Hmmm.
We have a pot luck Thanksgiving. Hosts provides the turkey and we supply the side dishes. Bringing a Spanish torta or egg potato dish.
Abigale Marcus says
Chicken soup, zinc supplement and vitamin D for what is ailing you – and rest, if possible.
It all sounds really good. Since we are going to my Mother in-law’s for Thanksgiving I am making cookies tomorrow and will help cook Thursday.
My brother asked me once if I had a recipe for cranberry sauce and I told him yes it was called Ocean Spray ????. My brother just told me, he would be making the sauce. I don’t mind homemade sauce but I do enjoy the stuff from the can.
Turkey leftover ideas – Turkey Hash stuffing, turkey, some broth till moistened and in the oven 350 about 30 minutes, cover for 20 if you don’t want it too crispy then smother with gravy. Another idea is turkey enchiladas
Hope everyone has a great holiday
Penny Gestro says
Sear first then bake in the oven
Barbara Erwin says
That’s a beautiful photo and I want to go there. Poor tarantula! And TG sounds wonderful. For Thanksgiving this year we are skipping the meal and instead we’re taking my granddaughters to visit Castle Neuschwanstein and Then onto Rothenberg ob der Tauber. It’s supposed to be the most authentic medieval town in Germany. In appearance, anyway! And the Christmas Markets are opening this weekend so it should be fun.
Susan Dale says
Sounds absolutely delicious, hope you, Gordon and family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, we all have a lot to be thankful for ????
Sookie sounds much loved and spoiled ????????
When my cats got old I bought them the heated cat beds, which they loved. No fireplace in our apartment.
Sounds like you are putting together quite the feast. Enjoy!
“Sometimes when I feel fancy I throw in almonds.” When I read this I had a mental image of you doing a Salt BAE but with almonds flowing down your arm. Also I stole the tomahawk steaks idea. Thank you and happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
My kids would scream if I tried to do Stovetop Stuffing as the stuffing for Thanksgiving. They eat it year round, but Thanksgiving is to be the fancy stuff, in large quantities. Usually it is Roasted Cashew Stuffing. Even my kid that doesn’t like mushrooms with eat this. My husband was making bread, dicing it up and drying it in the oven for the last 2 days to prep for it.
We don’t care for turkey either. Kids insist on it. So it’s the only meat I do, because I refuse to end up with an uneaten turkey. But by some miracle we found a 10 lb turkey. Hallelujah less leftovers!
We were supposed to be visiting family, but Covid decided to rear it’s ugly head and it was cancelled, so small Thanksgiving at home.
Nothing like the accusatory eyes/whine/cry of a beloved pet to ladle guilt:) Have to say though Sookie has a point – cold, grey, rainy day, what’s not to like about a nice warm crackling fire?
Tomahawks are hilarious! I always think of the Flintstones cartoon, where the waitress brings out the ginormous rack of ribs which tip over the car when she sets it down. I like to coat tomahawks with something that sticks – Melinda’s Chipotle Ketchup with additional chipotle ground pepper mixed in, or Dijon mustard with some honey & a healthy dollop of herbs du Provence mixed in. The idea is to have a coating that cooks onto the surface, doesn’t just drip everywhere & make a mess.
Linda Ikle says
I cook a pretty big turkey specifically in order to have the leftover roast turkey and bones. With these I make a really delicious turkey rice soup and then a turkey pot pie. I make huge quantities of the soup and the pot pie and freeze in individual portions. I look on this as storing my labor in addition to enabling us to pull meals we really like out of the freezer whenever we want.
Instead of store-bought pecan pie, try Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. Fantastic & easy. The bourbon gives it a more complex flavor profile. I just took mine out of the oven.
You go, Kari! Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie beats ordinary pecan pie by a mile! MIL’S version:
CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE
1 ½ c. pecan halves
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
8 Tbsp. cocoa
¾ c. light corn syrup (can be slightly less)
4 large eggs
½ c. packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. bourbon or rum
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Melt butter, mix together with all ingredients except pecans and pour into a prepared crust (I brushed the crust with egg white). Arrange pecans over the filling (I just “pushed” them in). Bake in 350 degree oven, 30 – 40 minutes until the filling is just set when the pan is jiggled. (I baked mine longer to get to this point.) Cool on wire rack.
Ok, here’s my recipe:
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup corn syrup
2 Tbsp whiskey (or brandy)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups pecans
Preheat oven to 350. Microwave chocolate & butter and stir until smooth. Lightly beat eggs. Mix in corn syrup, whiskey, sugar, vanilla & salt. Mix in chocolate. Spread pecans on pie shell. Pour mixture over. Bake for 50 – 55 minutes. (It will still be a bit jiggly.) Serve with whipped cream.
I hope you feel better soon. Have a great Thanksgiving!
I see you completely well with lots of energy and laughter and love and surrounded by family and friends (human and otherwise). As Picard would say, (I think) “Make it so.”
Pollyanna Hopson says
feel better! I hope your thanksgiving is wonderful
Ona Jo-Ellan Bass says
Fisticuffs can wait. We’ll (BDH) still be here, waiting for those precious words. You are more than your words (and that is saying a lot). Hope you feel better soon.
Hilary H says
If Kid 1 is willing to share her Mac and cheese recipe, that would be fantastic.
Wishing you all a wonderful day of Thanks!
We make turkey and poblano gumbo with the leftover turkey. Kids usually don’t show up for the turkey, but nobody is willing to miss the gumbo. Also husband makes sweet potato pecan pies. They are the best.
Moderator R says
My BFF has a Christmas gumbo tradition and honestly it’s the Festival of Drooling for me when she describes it, I have to get on that!
Dalia Arlaki says
Happy Thanksgiving Ilona
Here is a tea for a cold that I swear by it
Start with cold water in a midsize pot,
a fist full of fresh Thyme,
peel of a whole lemon, only the yellow part
& fresh cut ginger, about 1 cup.
Boil & then simmer for 10 minutes,
take off the fire & add lemon juice from 1 lemon.
You can add Honey if you like it sweet.
You can also drink it hot or cold.
Marcia B-C says
Pumpkin pie is just an excuse to eat nutmeg.
Leslie Sexton says
Happy Thanksgiving House Andrews and friends. That cranberry sauce sounds delicious. Would you share. I make mine with red grapes and cranberries. It’s a little chunky but we love it.
Ann C says
I hope everyone has a Thankful Day. Count your blessings and pass it forward. ❤️
TIL: Popeyes sells turkeys for Thanksgiving. Literally never would have occurred to me that was an option!
I too run into an issue of too much turkey meat, so on years when the gathering is small I buy a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey. Its easier to keep the white meat from drying out when it’s not ‘competing’ with the dark meat for temp/time.
Feel better. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Sometimes you do luck out with a glorious autumn view in a rare good year here in Texas. At least a specific area of Texas can have an autumnal display that’s one of the best in the nation. But with the drought of the last year, that won’t be this year, but keep an eye on Lost Maples State Park (about a 2 hour drive from New Braunfels) in future years. Tip: if you do get a good year, try to avoid the weekend, it’s so popular people buy out the weekend reservations many weeks out in hope of a good display. Or where I am in DFW, the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens has the Japanese Gardens and they go glorious, peaking usually Thanksgiving week in reds and golds (past photo attached).
In our house we’ve kept it simple: rotisserie chicken, rolls, baked potatoes, corn, peas, stove top stuffing, and ocean spray jellied cranberry sauce. Outside of the potatoes, the rest takes less than 30 minutes to put together.
My cats when it gets really cold does a similar thing, they sit in front of the fireplace and give the dagger glare at you, hoping you will get with the program and start a fire. Ours is wood burning, and it can take over an hour to get one started, so we only break it out typically here in Texas about 5-14 days a year. But it outputs so much heat it alone can heat the entire 2 story house.
Hope you, and everyone in the BDH has a good time with friends and family.
How many people are you feeding? Just curious because that is so much food and I hope you’re not cooking alone! (Unless you love cooking better than almost anything else).
For your steaks, go to Milk Street and look up steaks. You season and put in fridge. Bake on low (250) then sear. Steak is perfect and cooked the same throughout. Absolutely Amazing.
Giving Thanks Happily . . . for remembering the day is about celebrating the gathering of the (a) group giving thanks for the ability to gather rejoice celebrate our survival.
Got a Flu shot, so the past 2 months I have been NOT having the flu, symptoms galore, but not the flu ????. I’m passing on interaction ???? but welcome to the new age skype zoom FaceTime and celebrate the old.
Neighbors bringing plates AND desserts ???? (come to moma) greetings called out and even cards
Commercials touted Black Friday in October, I thought I missed the holiday!
I don’t have the flu (FLU)
I didn’t miss the holiday
I won’t miss sharing with family and friends
I’m roasting a turkey drumstick, making oxtails, garlic mashed potatoes, a ham butt OR I been craving redpea soup w/ spinners and smoked pork neck bones . . . I don’t think I’m so much cooking a meal as stocking up for winter.
Either way I’m hoarding the Apple Strudel Danish.
Giving thanks to you and for you
Giving Thanks to and for the HORDE and because giving thanks you must feel it
Totally, but quietly shouting hallelujahs, while dancing to the unchained melody. . . December release is … 1 … 2 … 3 weeks close
Bill from NJ says
wow that is some spread. our peripatic musician son is home,so we are having a free range turkey ( we feel better it was raised in a pasture, no forced feeding, etc).
with Mac and cheese I think it is better made before and reheated. the recipe I use is like cheddar cheese, parmesan and cream cheese I think.
I actually am not fond of turkey, neither is my wife, it is more our son who likes the tradition. Well that and mooch 1 and mooch 2, our huge monster dogs ( then again any meetz is fine with them!). talk about whining ( it is why they are overweight, my wife is a softie,). I bet our resident fascist cat,Blue ( aka Boris the Brutal, he is a Russian blue mix) will demand his cut, or else ( little matter of chipmunk head left by our sliding glass door to the deck…).
Happy Thanksgiving to the IA clan, and the same to the members of the BDH. I also send out the heartfelt hope that anyone who is feeling down this time of year, know my warm energy goes out to all in the hope it helps,even a little. I know only too well holidays are not always great for many people.
I have given up on real stuffing as well. The kids like stove top so much better. But this year by unanimous decision we are going for a real honey baked ham. My kids will eat their weight in it. And they all prefer the Hawaiian sweet rolls so I no longer mess with baking real homemade yeast rolls. And although I fought it for a long time, my family prefers the Kraft Mac and cheese over my homemade. I don’t understand but I have finally given up and caved. Otherwise, I end up with tons of mac cheese to eat and I am just not THAT fond of it. But I still make my homemade apple crisp, cranberry/orange quick bread and a key lime pie from scratch. Have a wonderful thanksgiving
Soo hungry after reading all the menus, ours is small herb roasted turkey, baked ham, onion/bacon/butter consome rice, loaded potato salad, green bean casserole, cream corn casserole, sweet potato casserole, creamy spinach, cornbread/ pear/ cranberry stuffing, orange/ pecan /cranberry sauce, pecan pie (COSTCO BOUGHT), pumpkin cheesecake/ graham craker crust/ whip cream parfait cups, cheese flan. Everyone takes home leftovers.
I recommend the reverse sear method (low oven first, sear last). I use it all the time on thicker cuts of red meat (pork and beef) and cannot stress enough how AMAZINGLY juicy and tasty the meat turns out. Preheat your oven to 250F. Place the steaks on a baking rack to elevate for airflow around the beef. Cook until the internal temperature is 10 degrees below your desired doneness, then finish on the grill over high heat just enough to give a nice color. Also, with this method, you do not need a rest time before serving. Anyway, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I grinned when I saw the menu. I’m also making green bean casserole, corn souffle, sweet potato casserole (laced with Grand Marnier), homemade cranberry sauce (mine is from an internet recipe, made with blueberries and wine) dinner rolls, homemade pumpkin mascarpone pie, and store-bought apple pie because no time left. We opted out of turkey this year, but since this is my daughter’s boyfriend’s first Thanksgiving with a family in years, we are doing a small ham. It’s all about food and family.
We share the things that we have been grateful for in the past year. One of the best, most joyful gifts this year has been the gift of this blog and your books. Thank you so much for sharing with us!
Sue S. says
Bless you for hosting. I love the leftovers but prefer to eat at another family member’s house. Less worry, work and planning. Please enjoy and I am thankful for so many things.
I just fell off the deck
Lord only knows what I will get done with a new GS puppy
Cracked ribs and contusions
I need Orro
Moderator R says
So sorry to hear! Hope you get to make some happy memories to make up for it!
Your dinner sounds lovely, Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and know you’ve got the thanks of all of us for sharing your fantastic imaginations and incredible writing skills!
Be sure to let us know how you liked the Popeye’s turkey. I’ve always wanted to try it.
This year I’m trying a spatchcocked turkey with a dry brine for the first time. So far I’m pleased; it took me longer to pick a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves for the brine than it took me to cut out the backbone. Overall, much less time than I’ve spent in the past getting the turkey in a garbage bag in a cooler with a wet brine. And tomorrow it should only take 1hr 15min to cook! If it tastes good, it will be my new method=)
pictures of your laden table or it didn’t happen!
Trying to finish hand quilting Christmas quilt and feeling a little tired yesterday. **little sneeze** Then I went to bed… **little sneeze, little cough** Then I **SNEEZE** woke up this **COUGH** morning **COUGH SNEEZE** went to the doctor and now **sniffling** am drinking LOTS of hot tea, honey and lemon slices. (Suddenly my beautiful, wonderful family is divvying up the cooking chores and I’m heading back to bed with a bad cold and a hot mug of goodness. Totally thankful for being blessed with the best family EVER!) Hope whatever holidays everyone is celebrating this year, that it brings Joy, Peace or at the very least someone to share this time with.
My Thanksgiving dinner is always the same because as many times as I’ve tried to change it up either calamity ensues or it is just not to the fam’s taste.
Turkey- butter under the skin, with seasoned salt and pepper on top. Cooked in a turkey bag so I don’t have to baste leaves the turkey juicy con: no crunchy skin.
We make lots of appetizers for ppl to munch on while the cooking happens. These are prepped or bought and ready the day before so we can set them and go.
meat and cheese tray with crackers
veggie tray and dip
fruit tray and dip
Sides with dinner that we are all too full to eat when the cooking is finished. It ends up being a small brunch with a bigger dinner of the leftovers.
Green bean casserole
Mash potatoes and gravy
Stove top stuffing (I am a basic b*tch in a family of basic b*tches)
Sweet potato casserole
Usually 3 pies and ppl pick and choose
1 cream pie (cookies and cream this year but coconut and banana are most popular)
1 fruit pie cherry crumble this year
1 pumpkin pie
Linda Churchman says
Hope you feel better. Sounds like a wonderful menu. Enjoy! Thankful for you.
Wow, all of these great menus and recipes are definitely making me hungry. For the first time since I was in the Air Force in the late 1980s, I am alone (no family) for Thanksgiving. I’ve been divorced for about 15 years now and my oldest daughter is married and the youngest is in a committed relationship and they are both spending the holiday with the signficant others families. Normally I would travel to my Mom’s and spend the day with her but that did not work out for a couple of different reasons. Anyway, I decided to just pick up a small ham and sides rather than cook. I do love leftover ham sandwiches. But all these great menus makes me want to invite myself over for dinner!
I hope you get to feeling better Ilona. I had the crud last week and all I wanted to do was sip tea and lay on the couch.
I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Interesting that you have the sweet potato casserole and the pie. We’re staying in a hotel and they have a buffet. I’m LOVING this no stress holiday. I already have Christmas reservations as we!!
I’m old and there’s just me and the old man now. Neither of us can eat all that food, even if we have just a bit of each dish and so we have one or two “traditional” dishes each day of Thanksgiving week. So far, we’ve had the mashed potatoes and the stuffing and today it’s green bean casserole. Tomorrow will be turkey Manhattans and some kind of pie.
You’re lucky you have help. I just do Maggiano’s stuffing and Turkey. Gives me traditional Italian sausage stuffing like my Dad made with no work . Can pick it up hot and serve it when I walk in the door
My husband and I used to do a whole brined turkey smoked in our Traeger, but we never finished it before we got sick of it. Then we downsized to just a turkey breast (because we both prefer breast mean over dark) finally we decided those turkey roasts were just the perfect size and would get finished off before we got nauseous just looking at it.
Your dinner sounds delicious, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Sara B. says
I have moved to the Stove Top + package of someone’s (Farmhouse, MJB, etc.) Herb and Butter long grain and wild rice. Voila, Rice stuffing. Add some bacon, and almost as good as Joy of Cooking version. 🙂
Also excellent to use to bury pork chops for a baked casserole.
Sara B. says
Thought I would give you a snicker … the Gravy colour chart.
My mother could not make gravy … horrible salty mess every time. So we learned early to rely on packaged gravy (Knorr/Swiss Knight by preference). Organized by a flavor colour-chart: Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Beef.
If you don’t have the right gravy mix, you can combine a package from each side and it makes the middle one. Chicken + Port = Turkey. Turkey + Beef = Pork.
Don’t laugh to hard, it actually works reasonably well!
Sara B. says
FYI – my cats are same as Sookie, without the sound effects. Will sit on sheepskin in front of gas fireplace and look over their shoulder at me, look pointedly at fireplace, back to me. I cave and make the fireplace go “phoomph” for them.
Laurie B says
lol, I hear you about the corn preparation on your Thanksgiving list. ???? Here’s a recipe you might try on Gordon. I know this is for corn on the cob but it. is. Awesome! Take a shucked cob, drizzle it with a little bit of olive oil, add a sprig of rosemary, and wrap in tin foil. Grill or broil. Unwrap and enjoy. ????
Phil in Sydney says
I’m a great believer in searing first. Particularly if you have a thermometer. Searing last risks over-cooking. Hope it goes well for you 🙂
I’m a la carte tomorrow so Thanksgiving dinner will be turkey meatballs from TJ’s, waffle cut sweet potato fries and some interesting seasoned corn ribs, also from Trader Joes. And a decadent single sized chocolate dessert.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful day. ????
Well, hopefully Thanksgiving day will go better….the fat, black & white ‘squirrel’ blasted my dog Monday night. She had 2 baths that night & another just now with de-skunking shampoo (Wed. evening). Fingers crossed that takes care of it.
Our Canadian thanksgiving was over a month ago. We usually have our kids and their significant others and some how we usually end up with some
extra guests who have no one to celebrate with at the table as well.
I normally buy a frozen turkey (butter ball) and thaw it in the original packaging over night in a sink full water just like my Mom did for 50 years and I have done for 30. Yes I know the warnings but I like living on the edge. ???? I unwrap it rinse it out and then stuff and roast in a LOOK bag.
This year I found a frozen stuffed butter ball that was supposed to be cooked from frozen. It took over an hour longer than it was supposed to and the kids didn’t like the stuffing.
Christmas eve the sink will once again be holding a thawing turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
That’s how I do it too. I never have enough room in the fridge for the whole turkey, the sink works just fine.
Bob M says
Actually a rib roast is the easiest meal to cater to different tastes. Cook it med-rare, and then when you want to serve it, slice it and if someone wants it med or well done, stick it under the broiler for a couple of minutes.
Mod R, I have a completely random question that I’ve been wondering about that I was hoping to get added to the list for some point in the future.
– Whatever happened with the stained wooden cutting board?
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates today! ????
Moderator R says
I will ask ????
Thank you! ????
This is out third year of Popeye’s turkey! We did Bojangles before that but they stopped selling them. They are excellent.
Dana Siegel says
Alton Brown green bean casserole is great (but I still use the canned onion rings on top, his shallots don’t really cut it). Problem with Thanksgiving is everyone has their must-have food, and it’s all different. Son-in-law likes sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, no one else wants the marshmallows (and daughter says he’d prefer canned sweet potatoes, which is just no!). Menu: Turkey (brined), gravy, corn bread stuffing (made from home-made cornbread) with andouille sausage, peppers and fennel, the green bean casserole (made with fresh green beans, and mushroom soup I made yesterday), creamed spinach, carrots, braised brussel sprouts, cornbread (because no one wanted me to make Parker house rolls), pecan pie, pumpkin pie (which is almost ready to go in oven), chocolate mousse pie, black bottom peanut pie (SIL loves peanuts), and of course fresh whipped cream. For 5 adults and 2 small grandchildren. Leftovers: turkey tikka masala (really good) and turkey enchiladas (new recipe), and of course lots of turkey soup!! Off to finish cooking. Everyone have a great Thanksgiving
Michelle Perrin says
Happy Thanksgiving! Sounds like an amazing feast for the family!
hello from Europe ????
we dont celebrate Thanksgiving but have other interesting dates. For example on 6 th of December is St Nicolas day. We eat fish then. But because its also my birthday i add a cake to the fish menu ????. We dont like fish too much and the cake is good addition. Usually we have pork stakes in the fridge….just in case????????
Happy thanksgiving to all if you who celebrate it!????
Is Sookie celebrating her breed winning Best in Show?
For anyone who loves steak, enjoys a bit of science, and has yet to encounter Kenji Lopez-Alt, here’s some “Serious Eats” food porn for you; https://www.seriouseats.com/butter-basted-pan-seared-steaks-recipe
He does a Youtube clip of this recipe, too; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INiAM1u925E
Personally, I like to reverse sear to rare and then pan-finish using this method, but then I’m just fussy (and rear my own Wagyu!), and a 2-3 inch steak can crust up gorgeously while staying evenly cooked to preference through the inside this way.
Jo Ann says
I use my left-over turkey in chopped turkey soup and shred it up with mexican spices/marinade and use in burritos or enchiladas. Turkey is a mainstay in our household!
Kylie in Australia says
Well I better get to somewhere, because this final fight isn’t going to write itself. Onward, upward… ::sneeze:: Or maybe just more tea.
All I heard is FINAL FIGHT SCENE.
woo hoo, short story final fight scene, new book (as yet unknown) final fight scene? so many happy final fight scenes
And it looks like one way to divert the BDH is food, I don’t think anyone’s mentioned the final fight scene bit. It’s all food food food
Happy Feasting Day to you and your family!
I have been re-reading ruby fever and I am confused about Trevor, Tremaine’s body guard. What is his ability that her was just able to knock her out when Catalina asked? What is his story ? I feel like I missed a short story somewhere. Thank you!
Moderator R says
You didn’t miss a short story ????, some things are just for the reader to put together.
Trevor is a powerful bodyguard (wouldn’t be hired by La Tremaine otherwise) and Victoria was taken by surprise.
Jade Zbacnik says
Does Gordon like corn casserole? It’s simple to prepare, so tasty. It’s our thanksgiving special side!
8 ounces Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
15 ounces whole kernel corn (not drained)
15 ounces creamed corn (not drained)
1/2 cup sour cream
2T butter, oats (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F
2. Spray/butter casserole dish
3. Mix all ingredients except butter
4, top with small pieces of butter (optional, or spray with olive oil)
5. Bake uncovered for 50 mins or until crust forms on top and is lightly browned.
Moderator R says
That sounds yum!
I watch Jamie Oliver cooking shows. He sears the meat after searing the rosemary twigs (with leaves on) in oil or butter. He also leabes the rosemary in the pan when the meat is being seared. Then when he roasts the meat, he covers it with fresh bruised rosemary leaves. This is a suggestion for next time. The fresh rosemary leaves on the roasting meat is optional, by the way.
The French bulldog won the dog show on Thursday!! Such a cute guy!! And very aware that he was the Best In Show!!
I’m intrigued by your cranberry sauce with apple cider and oj. Would you be able to post your recipe, or is it a secret family recipe? LOL
Please, please, please and thank you… cranberry sauce/jam recipe. Please and thank you?
I feel you on the stuffing. My favorite stuffing is the Stovetop kind with some broth. It’s delicious and none of it will go to waste. Pecan pie’s a different story, I have a natural sweet tooth, but for some reason don’t like traditional pecan pie. I have to make it myself in a very specific way otherwise it’s too sweet for me to even eat a bite of it. And I’m the same person who demands homemade divinity every year, whether it’s by my hand or my mom’s. Give me that sugary goodness!
This year I ended up doing a Friendsgiving at a friend’s house. Everyone was either busy or working that night, and so I ended up skipping out on making all my favorite dishes and instead too in the relaxation of only having to make one. Overall a very relaxing Thanksgiving. 🙂