Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Traditions

I am aware that Thanksgiving is over and people are battling the crowds for the shopping deals of the year but I thought I would share our Thanksgiving with you and the food we enjoyed.

Tradition has it that we eat turkey for Thanksgiving then turkey and ham on Christmas. We also eat rice not potatoes. We also eat collards but I missed getting any until yesterday :( This year we did things a little different.

Roasted turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce (canned jellied for my son) , raw cranberry salad, asparagus (normally it is collard greens), sweet potato casserole, and desserts! S'more truffles, cherries on a cloud and banana pudding.

Gobble 'til ya wobble! That's our motto!! Not really but it sounds like it.

Normally we go to my parents for Thanksgiving OR we have a ton of people over. This year our youngest son is preparing for his departure into the U.S. Air Force. He leaves in less than 2 weeks. So we wanted to spend as much quality family time as possible. The week before Thanksgiving we went to my parents for a family dinner so that on Thanksgiving Day we could spend it as a family with no travel involved.

As he is leaving, we also celebrated Christmas. That's right. We are done. Stockings, gifts, family photos the whole nine yards. Done. The tons of wrapping paper and empty boxes have already been taken to the dump, for those of you who are city folk, we have to haul off our trash to the county dump. The finer points of country living, ha!

For me, cooking is a passion. I live to cook. I live to feed my family and friends. It fuels me. Feeds my spirit and makes me happy. So the holidays are like drugs for me. I get high on the smells of roasted turkey, cookies baking and spices filling the air. It is almost spiritual. LOL With my health issues, it can be a struggle, but it is a labor of love that ignites me and keeps me going.

I put my turkey on the night before. I don't normally go to bed until around midnight as a general rule. So I put the turkey on before calling it a night. I place it in the roaster and set the oven to 250 degrees. When I get up the next morning, I check the progress. I make the stuffing and drain some of the broth that I will later cook my rice in or as this year would have it, made the gravy. I then crank up the heat to 350. This normally happens around 9. At 11 it is gorgeous, juicy and falling off  the bone. I do not believe in "carving" a bird. If I have to carve it , it is dry and I don't want it. 

Next the sweet potato casserole goes in along with the asparagus with I sprinkled with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and a little olive oil. The last 8 minutes the rolls were added.

On the stove top the potatoes are boiled and mashed, the gravy is made and the cold dishes are pulled out of the fridge.

We do buffet style, so everything is set out on the counter so each one can prepare their own plate. We normally use holiday decorated paper plates but this year since it was just us, we used our normal glass dish wear. This meant having dishes to wash, but I had to wash pots and pans anyway, what's a few dishes, right?

We had a wonderful day together, my sons fiance took our new family portraits and I will cherish these memories for years to come. My babies are all grown up and moving on with life. I am very proud and totally blessed.

That was my day. Hope you enjoyed my sharing with you all as this is not normally what I do.

Sweet Potato Casserole
Cranberry Salad
S'mores Truffles


Me and my boys! Jesse on the left, he will be 21 in a month. Joey on the right, he is 19 and leaving for the AF.