Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving 20!!!

It's time to pull the china from the cabinet and start pressing the linens! I love Thanksgiving! Here are a few of the things our family does on Thanksgiving and a recipe too.  

1) Do you cook all or part of the meal? We cook every bit of the meal! I grew up in a home where everything was cooked from scratch and that is the way we like it in my home. Nothing quite tastes as good as homemade, I think.

2) How much do you spend buying groceries for the meal? I would say the entire meal costs us about $200. I find it's easier on the budget if you pick things up a little here and a little there. Plus then I can plan my grocery list around the sales if I start early. This year we really have not bought much for Thanksgiving yet.  As I said before, I usually make the meal here at the house even if we do go somewhere else....BUT this year I haven't even looked at turkeys, and that is not like me.  I usually like to pick up one or two to have in the freezer.  Things have just been a little crazy at our home this year and Thanksgiving is coming up quicker that I am ready for.  BUT, maybe next week we will pick up one or two for us.

3) Do you eat at home or go to someone else’s? It seems like each year is a little different. When Kevin and I first got married we never had Thanksgiving in our home. We would switch off each year. One year we went to his parents then the next we would go to my parents. As the years have gone by, that has changed. Now we pretty much leave the decision making up to my sister-in-law. She tells us if we are having the dinner at my home or hers and we go from there. Not always my favorite way to do things, but it works. Besides, Kim is the planner in the family.  I think she could plan just about anything. If I had my preference, we would have dinner at my home. Only because having Thanksgiving in our home is new for me. Kevin and I have been married for 26 years now and I have always felt that we really never had the chance to start any of our own traditions around the holidays because we were always too busy keeping up with what our families were doing. I regret that, and now that our own children are getting older, I look forward to having them over for dinner if they want to come over....and if they can't make it, we understand that too.

4) White meat or dark?  WHITE all the way!  We really are not dark meat people.

5)  Stuffing with giblets or without?  I prefer it without. My Mom has always made hers with, but I don't.  I can barely remove the package from the bird before we cook it without losing it.  So giblets are out.

6)Anything you won’t eat at the Thanksgiving meal?  Probably peas and onion pearls.  I have never liked peas and probably never will eat those.  AND sweet potatoes or candied yams.

7)Carve Mr. Gobble at the table or serve on a platter?  I love the idea of carving the bird at the table, but realistically, we usually carve it before the meal and present the platter.  It's just easier that way.

8) Favorite pie?  I love Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream this time of year.  But we usually have all the others in the home too.  Apple, Chocolate, Lemon Meringue,  Banana Cream.

9) Formal table or Chinet?  I love a formal table.  Even though I don't have a lot of china, I just think Thanksgiving deserves all the special dishes, and I love everyone sitting at the same table, if you can.  Only because I think it becomes more personal for everyone involved.  That way everyone that comes feels a part of the group and hopefully no one feels left out.

10) Your menu:
Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Rolls with Butter
Sausage Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole or Sauteed Green Beans, Peppers, Bacon and Almonds
Cranberry Sauce
Some kind of fruit salad usually of the jello type
Cranberry Nut Bread
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Chocolate Pie
Banana Cream Pie
A complete veggie tray with dip
An olive/pickle tray
Crackers and Cheese
Ham once in a while for those that do not like turkey
Baked macaroni and cheese
AND whatever else we feel like trying out.

11) Favorite leftover?  I love leftover turkey.  We always try to make the entire meal here at our home no matter if we actually eat at the house or leave and go somewhere else.  Just because there is nothing like Thanksgiving leftovers.

12)  Extended family, friends, both or just the immediate family for dinner?  I say invite everyone!  The more the merrier!

13) After dinner, do you go to the latest movie or watch football on TV or just a turkey induced snooze?   Football is a BIG part of our Thanksgiving Day.  The boys always go out early that morning to play in the annual Turkey Bowl with all the men and young men from our ward.  Then later in the day, there is usually a game on and if there isn't we try and watch a video.

14) Do you watch the Macy’s Parade?  The girls and I always watch the parade.  My mother and I use to do this when I was little and now my girls like to watch it too.

15) Christmas decorations up before or after?  Christmas decorations come up after Thanksgiving.  I don't like to rush through Thanksgiving ever!  I think we need to take the time to celebrate everything about Thanksgiving only because we need to remember the reason for this holiday and what the pioneers did for us and give thanks for all the blessings we have because of the sacrifices of those before us.  We are a very blessed nation and we need to never forget that and remember to show our gratitude.

16) Black Friday shopping or sleep in?  I have always worked outside of the home and have only experienced Black Friday shopping once when my friend Julie took me with her.  She was looking for things for her kids.  She found what she needed, but frankly, I prefer NOT to go out on Black Friday.  I would rather sleep in the Friday after Thanksgiving and spend time with my family.

17) Any special Thanksgiving tradition?  Our only tradition has always been to eat dinner around 2:30pm and spend the rest of the day with our family, but usually when we have the extended family over or go to their house, dinner is always at 4pm.  Since I work the next day, I prefer to get it out of the way earlier, but it's really isn't that big of deal.

18) Favorite thing about Thanksgiving?  I love how everyone has an attitude of gratitude.  Everyone seems a little nicer or a little less negative this time of year.  It's awesome.

19) Favorite Thanksgiving memory?  My favorite Thanksgiving memory has always been spending the day with my parents and grandparents.  I miss doing that.

20) Describe your perfect bite!  I love one of my first bites to be of mashed potatoes and gravy.  Not too much gravy...just a little.

Share your best Thanksgiving recipe today so that everyone can buy the ingredients and try it at their feast too!

Green Beans with Bacon and Red Bell Pepper and Slivered Almonds

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, ends snipped off and discarded, extra long beans, cut in half if you want
  • 1 - 2 Red Peppers
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2-3 slices of bacon
  • Black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice or cider or red wine vinegar
  • Slivered Almonds
1 Heat a pot of salted water to a rolling boil (1 Tbsp salt for 2 quarts of water). Add the green beans and boil them for 4-5 minutes, until just tender enough to eat (you may have to cook longer depending on the particular green beans you have). Drain and set aside.
2 While the water is heating up to boil the beans, slowly cook the bacon until crispy in a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Use a slotted spoon or a fork to remove the bacon from the pan. Set the bacon on paper towels to sop up the excess fat. You should have about one tablespoon of fat left in the pan. Pour off any fat beyond 1 tablespoon. (Do not pour the fat down the drain or you'll stop up your drain.) If you have much less fat than a tablespoon left in the pan, add a little olive oil or butter to the pan.
3 Once the green beans are cooked, sauté them over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes in the bacon fat.  Add the Red Pepper to the pan.  Dice the bacon and add to the pan and sauté another minute. Put the beans, red peppers and bacon into a large serving bowl and sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper and sliced almonds.  Toss with lemon juice or vinegar and serve at once.

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