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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Thanksgiving Menu

As a child growing up, Thanksgiving was a big deal.  A really big deal.  We always celebrated the holiday with our family.  Both sets of grandparents would come, my great aunt and uncle as well.  There would be games of cribbage, at least one jigsaw puzzle, maybe Aggravation and certainly some Phase 10.  There would be football and naps after dinner.  And turkey sandwiches for supper.

I married into a family that really doesn't do Thanksgiving.  Which made it easy which family to spend it with.  But then that family up and relocated to the hinterlands and left me.  One year we celebrated with friends.  Other years we've had Hubby's parents over or just celebrated by ourselves.  This year we have invited Hubby's parents and his aunts to join us at our new farm.

Here is what we'll be eating:

  • A Pastured Turkey - thankfully I saved one from last year for when my mom came home.  But she didn't come home this summer so I still had it in our freezer when the Great Mountain Lion Attacks I and II happened.  I'm not brining the turkey, although the I've always wanted to.  Just roasting it with some onions and garlic.  
  • Ham from our pastured pigs - So far, we've had bacon, sausage, ground pork and pork chops from our pigs and they have been amazing.  We can't wait to try the ham tomorrow.   No fancy glazes or anything on the ham, just baked in the oven.
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy - It's not a holiday meal (or a Tuesday) without  mashed potatoes and gravy.  I'll do a pan gravy with the turkey trimmings.
  • Sweet Potato Gratin -  I always try a new recipe and this is one that uses sweet potatoes but does NOT use marshmallows.  You wouldn't believe how many recipes I had to sort through to find a non-marshmallow one!  Recipe here.
  • Green Bean Casserole - My sister got me hooked on green bean casserole when we were in college.  Now it's a Thanksgiving tradition.
  • Creamy Confetti Corn - My second new recipe this year.  This one I can make on the stovetop and since oven space is at a premium.  Recipe here.
  • Stuffing - Yes, we eat stuffing.  And yes, it is stuffed inside the turkey, not shamefully baked in a pan along side.  I took my mom's recipe, made some modifications and now it's my own delicious concoction.
  • Pies - I'm baking apple, pumpkin and possibly pecan pie this year.  I've never done pecan because I don't like it all that well.  But my mother-in-law loves it so I'm going to try and give it a go.
  • Homemade buns - I made them on Monday and immediately froze them so they'll taste fresh tomorrow.
  • Relish tray - Of course, there must be a plate of pickled things:  cucumber pickles, pickled beets, etc.
That's it!  That's our Thanksgiving meal.  I can't wait to eat and laugh and share and love around our table tomorrow.  What and where are you eating?


  1. We are having Thanksgiving at our house this year. We are having turkey - I'm going to get it from the butcher right now and Chad is going to brine it and smoke it on Saturday. We are also having ham (in case the smoked turkey doesn't work). We are having a mashed potato casserole that I can make ahead (won't have any gravy as we are smoking the turkey, and i'm not so big on ham gravy). Stuffing (cooked along side for my mom's gluten allergy purposes - plus the whole smoking thing). Squash. Broccoli and cheese sauce. Glorified Rice. A jello salad with special non dairy whipped topping (my nephew is allergic to dairy). Pickles and olives. Rolls. Homemade cranberry sauce. And homemade pumpkin and apple pie. :) Lots of work to do! But we aren't doing the meal until Saturday, so I have time! Anna

    1. I'm free on Saturday. And I'll be ready for another round. Perhaps if I stand on the highway with my thumb out, your folks will pick me up!

    2. That would be fun to have you!! I'm sure they'd slow down enough to let you jump in. :) Hope your meal is an absolute success! Happy Thanksgiving, Annie! I'm sure it is quite the experience/feeling to now be living in the house you grew up in. And I'm sorry you can't be with your mom and that you miss your dad. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving! Anna

  2. Canadian Thanksgiving happens a month earlier than yours, so we have already dined :). And it was delicious. My brother's family and mine take turns hosting, and it was our turn. We had: homegrown pastured chicken x 2, stuffing made from homegrown onions, homemade bread, local everything else, homemade cranberry sauce from local cranberries, pan gravy, homegrown steamed carrots in butter and parsley, local brussel sprouts (the season for them started early!), homegrown potatoes, mashed and roasted, and my sister in law brought a green bean casserole. Dessert was apple crisp (our apples), and blueberry pie (local berries we'd picked in August). Did you catch the local theme? Enjoy your Thanksgiving in your new/old home - you're starting new traditions!

  3. We had a delicious pasture raised turkey from Morning Joy Farm Wednesday night with most of our family. It was so delicious. Several remarked that it was better than "normal" turkey. Along with the turkey I made mashed potatoes with potatoes I raised in my garden, my corn from my garden that I froze (we like it cooked on the stove with just butter, salt, and pepper), buns I made on Monday and froze, a couple sweet potatoes (they were big) boiled with butter, salt, and pepper added, Stove Top Stuffing (as this is what everyone likes best), a broccoli salad, relish tray, ribbon dessert (that my husband requested instead of pie and my oldest daughter made), Pilgrim hat cookies the youngers and I made, and a peanut butter pie from Perkins that my brother-in-law brought. Everything was delicious. My family was here, all except my oldest son who had to work late. I will be making his favorite hotdish with left over turkey for Saturday when he comes out. I also made a delicious turkey fettucini for our dinner on Thursday when son #2 came out and spent the day again. Our Thanksgiving tradition passed down from my mother's side is to play Bingo. Several of us buy prizes. We played that after dinner on Wednesday. On Thanksgiving we played card games all afternoon. We missed those who have passed on but did enjoy being with those still left.

    Here's hoping you will raise chickens and turkeys again next year. I will be wanting more.

    1. So glad you loved it! We will certainly be raising more. Our homegrown ham was much better than "normal" ham. Our family tradition is to have a puzzle set up and anyone or everyone can work on it. I finished it last night!


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