It’s almost that time of year again…you know what I’m talking about! Time to give thanks to the Lord for all He’s done while also stuffing your face. Gluttony much? Lord, help us! I know there are many types of people who celebrate this day because of its historical significance as part of American tradition. But I do hope that people will take the time to be thankful for all they’ve been given and to restore its meaning as more than just a time to overeat and sleep and overeat some more. Now that I’ve spent time on my soapbox (see–I’m aware); I’m in the mood to share (and prepare) what’s on the menu for my family (Husband, Mom, Bro and SIL).
We’re a small group these days, compared to the large groups of people who gathered together when I was growing up (I miss the craziness that comes with big numbers), but I’m so grateful these three are coming over to share with us. Husband and I are in our first home and we need to kick off the first year here properly as we begin our own family traditions.
So, here’s the deal–I’m not a big fan of turkey…growing up we always had a turkey AND a ham. Of course, I was a vegetarian then, so that didn’t really matter other than to instill a resolve in me that I still think it’s natural to serve both. Seeing as how we’ve become such a small group of people since those days, we’re just having the turkey this year. Now, if you’re like me and actually not that impressed with the bird you’ve been served, I have exciting news to share!
Of course, don’t forget about this: Now, I don’t have a clue where you’re from or what your personal traditions are, but my family has one of these puppies and it’s life-changing. Seriously–you WILL like turkey. In fact, that same Thanksgiving where my brother used two jars instead of one (Thank you, very much!), we had my Great Aunt Hazel and Great Uncle Leonard over and instead of them eating their requested smoked turkey (which was on the table), they indulged in this with much satisfaction!
Now, I can’t spill the beans on our SWEET POTATO recipe because it’s pretty much the ONLY family secret we have–but I won’t eat other people’s sweet potatoes in a dish (yes, I’m a S.P. snob…blame those amazing Thanksgiving traditions). BUT, what I will tell you, is these sweet potatoes involve fresh oranges, rum and a few other key ingredients. The result? Something I’m afraid to have now that we’re pregnant. Oh yes…I haven’t shared that with you yet. WE’RE PREGNANT!!! So, for the sake of baby, no S.P. greatness this year:(. And no, I don’t want your plain old orange mush topped with marshmallows. Thank you very much. Moving on. (Hey, I already admitted to being a snob about my sweet potatoes, so don’t hate;).
Next up, GREEN BEAN BUNDLES…AHHHH. My grandma used to make these and then my mom, and of course, I make them, too. Super easy and it’s one of the only times I say it’s okay to eat full fat bacon. All you do is take green beans (the good ones) and wrap em in a slab of fat (bacon). If anyone tells you to add anything else to this simple dish–stop the conversation and just walk away. The result: Heaven with a toothpick stuck in the middle.
CRANBERRY RELISH!!! That’s right. I’m not talking canned store-bought crapola, here (though I would only eat that when I was a kid–thank goodness my taste buds grew up a bit!)…I mean real cranberries made into a yummy relish that winds up looking something like this: Love it. Love it. Love it.
I’ll be honest, here…not the biggest fan of DRESSING. I can honestly take it or leave it. At the end of the day, though…it comes with the Thanksgiving territory. This is not my specialty–it is another family recipe and all I know is the women in my lineage are not big on dressing from a box and it seems to be a BIG deal. Now, while I totally took someone else’s photo, ours looks very similar to this:
What’s left…oh, well…homemade gravy (no pic. of this for obvious reasons…we don’t use the giblets, though) and I suppose we’ll have rolls or mashed potatoes. No matter what, there will be the new addition to the menu this year–ROASTED CARROTS:
Okay, so once the main meal is over and done with, most people move on to something like pecan pie, pumpkin pie and cheesecake. Of course, we had to change these things up just a bit, too. My Great Aunt Hazel used to make the best pecan pie (from scratch, of course), but my SIL made a dang good version and I have zero clue what she did to it, but it’s a recipe from her family and I’m just glad we get to experience it on this side of things.
My madre always makes LEMON JELLO CHEESECAKE and it’s SO good. I personally don’t care for the “real NY cheesecake”–it’s just too rich for my tastes. This cheesecake is light, cool and fluffy. Here are the ingredients:
And last, but certainly not least is the Nolen Family closer…PUMPKIN DREAM PIE: Now, it goes without saying you’ll have to make fresh whipped cream for all these mouth-watering and waist expanding treats, but it’s just a fact of life. Cool Whip won’t cut it for Thanksgiving!
Okay, so you know what’s on my mind right now. I have a lot of grocery shopping to do and it’s past lunch time and I’m starving. So, it’s off to get a nice turkey sandwich. If only it were fried…