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Thanksgiving dinner/bringing parts of....

Thanksgiving dinner/bringing parts of....

Old 11-19-2017, 03:56 AM
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Default Thanksgiving dinner/bringing parts of....

After many many years of being the person/place where family had thanksgiving dinner - and I doing all cooking - this year gd just having moved into townhouse wants to "have" dinner there for family(approx 12)---but we "bringing parts of dinner". I am assigned, by choice, sweet potatoes and stuffing for part of main meal....now my question......how do I do this....crockpot, casserole for her oven?? When I did group, I have several crockpots going, roaster for turkey, leaving oven for dinner rolls or whatever else....I will have to bring half of my kitchen as she only has stove and micro......would be much easier to just go there for dessert! But wait, she has no coffee pot....ill bring instant coffee!

Am am I just blowing this out of proportion....I guess I'm just so used to being the cook and my home being command central, I am at a loss as to how to coordinate this. And yes, I'm bringing the dishes and silverware too - service for 20 - was my MILs and has served this family well. I do give her credit for wanting to do this, and I'm sure we will all have a good time! I think I'll bring a bottle or two of wine too---better bring some wine glasses too.....and sparkling juice for the kiddos!
Happy Thanksgiving to all - we do have much to be thankful for!
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Old 11-19-2017, 05:22 AM
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Look at this holiday as a time to make special memories with your GD. Let her start new traditions. She will always remember her first "TG" in her little apartment and making do with whatever happens. LOL! Make sure you pass along the recipes too.

Does she need help the day before? If possible, offer your help and expertise with preparations. Take the dishes/silver and set up the day before. Certain foods and pies can be cooked the day before. It will help prevent that frazzled feeling for a new host.

Do you have a large cooler? You can use that to keep the food items warm. There are insulated bags that keep food warm. Just be careful with food temps.

Bring your coffee pot and coffee for her to use for the day. It could be a perfect time to give her an early Christmas present if you have coffee lovers in the crowd. Wine? Perfect!

Most of all, enjoy your day and relax! It's time to pass the baton and start new traditions.
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Old 11-19-2017, 05:31 AM
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I will be bring my part to a family dinner also this year. The oven will be in use so a crockpot is the way to go. If everyone brought items the need to go into the oven you will wait forever for all to be done. I hope all does well for your GD. Happy thanksgiving.
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Old 11-19-2017, 05:50 AM
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Definitely crockpots.

But, ask gently about everything else. She may have a plan for the rest or she may have forgotten, never having done it before. She'll appreciate your help.

Watson
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Old 11-19-2017, 06:21 AM
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Definitely crockpots and they don't even have to be plugged in near or in the kitchen to keep warm until meal is served. This is a new experience for her so I'm sure it will make some great memories.
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Old 11-19-2017, 06:51 AM
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Growing up, my family was not close, and did not get together for holidays. I wanted different for my children, and so I was the one who took on all the planning, preparation, and expense of hosting a dinner each Thanksgiving and Christmas for a reluctant family. At first, I was pretty sure my mother only attended because she had nowhere else to go, and I'm pretty sure my brother only brought his family for the free meal. But, over the years, everyone has accepted that holiday dinners are my "thing", and everyone goes along.

Until a couple of years ago, when my SIL decided now that my children are grown, she wanted to take over the tradition, and host Thanksgiving at their house. All they asked me to bring was soft drinks. I admit I had a really hard time with that.

Upon reading your post, I was struck by several of the comments that reminded me so very much of that Thansgiving at my SIL's:

Originally Posted by Geri B View Post
I am assigned, by choice, sweet potatoes and stuffing for part of main meal....

When I did group, I have several crockpots going, roaster for turkey, leaving oven for dinner rolls or whatever else....

I will have to bring half of my kitchen as she only has stove and micro......would be much easier to just go there for dessert! But wait, she has no coffee pot....ill bring instant coffee!

I guess I'm just so used to being the cook and my home being command central, I am at a loss as to how to coordinate this.

I'm bringing the dishes and silverware too - service for 20 - was my MILs and has served this family well.
think I'll bring a bottle or two of wine too---better bring some wine glasses too.....and sparkling juice for the kiddos!
It reminded me so much of myself that year. I was truly saddened by the loss of my holiday rituals. I truly missed the time I spent making everyone's favorite desert, the decorating, bringing out the special holiday dishes...all of my little rituals I had performed for so many years. I knew she wasn't a very good cook. I wanted to send her all of my recipes, or go early and help her prepare all of the food the "right" way. It was so hard, but, out of respect for her, I put on a happy face, thanked her for giving me the year off, and made sure she knew I was willing to help in any way she wanted. In my heart, I was convinced it would all be a disaster.

Will everything be how you would do it? Nope. Will everything be "perfect"? Absolutely not!! Will everything go well? Probably, in it's own way. Whatever mini-disasters" occur will become humorous anecdotes at future gatherings. Every year we fondly recall how that dinner was three hours late because she didn't fully thaw the turkey. Since that year, at Thanksgiving, someone always asks if it is a "Cracker Jack" turkey--one cooked with a surprise inside because she also had no idea that's where the bag of giblets was!

Not to brag, but everyone did miss my version of Thanksgiving dinner, and I missed making it. The following year, I announced that Thanksgiving has nothing to do with the date on the calendar, and everything to do with spending the day together as a family. Now, on thanksgiving day itself, everyone goes off in their own direction. My brother and SIL spend the day with her family, my kids, now grown, spend the day working or with their girlfriends. We have a second Thanksgiving at my house on another day, where I get to indulge in my rituals, no one has to chose which family to be with, and we still get to spend a special day together. My SIL comes over early so she can learn my recipes.

One year, my son was on deployment, so "Thanksgiving" was postponed until March. Another year, I had an extra Thanksgiving in June, just because I wanted us to spend time together. No one asks where we are I am having Thanksgiving anymore, they ask when, lol. It's our new family tradition, and everyone loves it.

Please take this with the kindness with which it is intended, but from your comments, it sounds like you, much like I did, are having a hard time giving up being in charge. You do not need to coordinate anything, your gd does. She is the hostess. I suggest you ask her how she would prefer you bring the dishes you have been assigned. Keep your apprehensions in check, be supportive, make sure she can count on you if she needs help, but unless she specifically asks, leave half your kitchen, the instant coffee, the dishes, silverware and the wine glasses at home. Trust me, years from now, no one will care if you ate off of paper plates instead of MIL's china, toasted with solo cups instead of wine glasses, or had kool-ade with dessert instead of coffee.

The important thing is not what is on the plate, the plate the food is on, or even what the calendar says. It is the blessing of being with people you care about.

Good luck, and I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:23 AM
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Amen to JJ.
My cousin and I now split the holidays so that no one has total responsibility. We took it over as our mothers aged, and her 86 yr old mom is the only one left. She can be a good cook, but truely does not enjoy cooking. I enjoy it less now that my kids are grown, but still enjoy the get together.
I used paper plates and plastic ware. The host provides the meat, potatoes & gravy, and stuffing if needed. The guests provide the side dishes. The ritual growing up was the same, but we went to grandparents, and as soon as the meal was over the "girls" were all in the kitchen doing clean up and washing ALL of those dishes while the boys were out watching football or napping.
My point is it does not have to be perfect. As long as the people here have a good time, I am happy.
Happy Thanksgiving,
Susan
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:25 AM
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jj, excellent, thoughtful respons! KUDOS!
....
oh! ..and when/where will we all get together for thanksgiving this year?
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:21 AM
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When my kids were small we had Nobody's Birthday parties because we loved birthday parties. LOL. We decorated and had dollar store gifts for every one to open. The kids still talk about our Nobody's Birthday parties. No need to be so silly as to stick with a date on the calendar. We have Thanksgiving meals several times a year. Each one has different relatives or the same ones. Same with Christmas. My kids have Christmas at home with their kids, we have Christmas on New Years most times for the grandkids. Work and rest come first for most young families not packing up to drive to eat and shame on moms and grandmoms that insist.
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:40 AM
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How about just letting grand-daughter know that you are willing to do "whatever" - but that she has to * ask* you for whatever.

How else is she going to learn what-all is involved?

I think it would be much easier to buy nice paper/plastic plates and disposable tableware - (if you are frugal, you can wash it and use it again!)

I do understand how hard it is to "let go" - but - surprise! surprise! - my female relatives are able to do this as well - or better! - than I was able to.

Last edited by bearisgray; 11-19-2017 at 09:43 AM.
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