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Thanksgiving...same old, same old, or?

Thanksgiving...same old, same old, or?

Old 11-04-2022, 09:28 AM
  #21  
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we pretty much stay with the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing. But we have simplified everything. The turkey is no longer stuffed with a special dressing. We just make Stouffer's chicken (not turkey) dressing on the stove top because they all insist, they like that the best (OK with me, way easier). My mom used to make a ton of sides like three different vegetables, a raw vegetable tray, cranberry fluff salad, jello salad, at least three kinds of pies. Lots of different pickles, sweet, dill, beet, crabapple, and watermelon pickles. (all home canned) Would have a cheese plate and cold cut plate. Homemade dinner rolls (really good) sweet potatoes baked the day before and then sliced and caramelized in butter (took one person to do just this dish but definitely a favorite of everyone). Now, we maybe do two vegetables nuked in the microwave. We buy bakery rolls. We have increased the amount of the fresh vegetables as the kids love the carrot and celery sticks. Oh, and we added chicken wings as the kids also love those. No longer do we set the table with a linen tablecloth and take out the best dishes. We now just stack the plates and leave the food on the stove and counter, and everyone picks up a plate and dishes up their own. I do miss the way my mom used to do the dinner, but as I was the main chef's assistant and bottle washer in the days before dishwashers, I find even in my old age, I am not nearly as exhausted at the end of the day.

Last edited by sewingpup; 11-04-2022 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 11-05-2022, 02:57 AM
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I have a large family locally. This year my cousin is hosting. We have deep fried turkey, smoked turkey, and honey ham. Others sorta sign up for the sides on a private family Thanksgiving group or bring what they want. I'm making sweet potato pecan pie and oven roasted yellow squash. Here is the only pic I can find on my new computer. We are at my aunt's ranch. After dinner, we had a skeet shoot!
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Old 11-05-2022, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by tropit View Post
I allllmmmmmosst got out of making the Thanksgiving feast this year. I just about had my dau talked into it, but she switched to doing Christmas dinner instead. I like Thanksgiving, I do, but it's always the same, old dishes. Everybody has their favorite dish and I can't leave it out. Well, this year I want to change things up. Any ideas? (Don't even mention green bean casserole!)
We just had this discussion at the guild meeting yesterday. I love my traditional Thanksgiving dinner but was wondering how change would go over. What would I change? I want something different but at the same time I look forward to what we do every year. Decisions, decisions.
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Old 11-05-2022, 09:15 AM
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My dau wanted to do paper plates and self-serve, but I said NO WAY! I do like taking down all of the fine china and using it. That's more work, but seeing those beautiful dishes, fresh flowers and my great grandmother's silver butter dish on a linen tablecloth makes me feel warm and cozy inside. Besides, I have a dishwasher that cleans them right up. I don't know what she was thinking...she never does the dishes after the meal anyways.
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Old 11-05-2022, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by aashley333 View Post
I have a large family locally. This year my cousin is hosting. We have deep fried turkey, smoked turkey, and honey ham. Others sorta sign up for the sides on a private family Thanksgiving group or bring what they want. I'm making sweet potato pecan pie and oven roasted yellow squash. Here is the only pic I can find on my new computer. We are at my aunt's ranch. After dinner, we had a skeet shoot!
Thanks for sharing your traditions and that picture. Look at all those humans!
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Old 11-05-2022, 10:40 AM
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I just have to say, simplifying everything, gave us more time to just sit around and enjoy each other's company.
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Old 11-05-2022, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tropit View Post
My dau wanted to do paper plates and self-serve, but I said NO WAY! I do like taking down all of the fine china and using it. That's more work, but seeing those beautiful dishes, fresh flowers and my great grandmother's silver butter dish on a linen tablecloth makes me feel warm and cozy inside. Besides, I have a dishwasher that cleans them right up. I don't know what she was thinking...she never does the dishes after the meal anyways.

Just one word of caution about using your older fine china, hand cut crystal and silver flatware for the holidays. None of these items should ever go in the dishwasher. Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news. I sold fine china, crystal and silver for over 20 years and the results can be heartbreaking. I had more than one customer come in with broken crystal and shattered fine china after running it thru their dishwasher. The heat and detergents are very hard on them and will craze the finish on your old fine china, crack your crystal and discolor any metallic trim you may have on either one. I know that the last thing you want to do after a long day of entertaining is wash dishes by hand, but if you have these beautiful and costly items, they do require special care. Sterling and silverplate should not soak in dish water for long periods, and crystal should be washed and dried one piece at a time to prevent chipping. I also use fancy plastic or acrylic spoons in my china or crystal serving bowls as we all have "rappers" at our table that rap the spoon on the edge of the bowl, which will cause chipping and cracking. I too love a fancy table and the feelings and memories that it carries with it, but it does come with a lot of extra work. Newer china or glassware, which is now pressed instead of being hand cut, is being manufactured to go in the dishwasher and microwave, but unfortunately, the treasured vintage items we have are not.
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Old 11-06-2022, 07:10 AM
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I despise having to clean up after a big meal. So I don't do it. We use all disposables. There are very nice disposables now, looks like china and silverware. When the food is removed from the table, the table cloth is gathered off the table holding all the dishes and then taken out all at one time. Dishes done. My best dishes are my everyday ones and those gets used for regular meals.
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Old 11-06-2022, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by tropit View Post
I allllmmmmmosst got out of making the Thanksgiving feast this year. I just about had my dau talked into it, but she switched to doing Christmas dinner instead. I like Thanksgiving, I do, but it's always the same, old dishes. Everybody has their favorite dish and I can't leave it out. Well, this year I want to change things up. Any ideas? (Don't even mention green bean casserole!)
I have frequently switched things up. Almost every holiday meal, I usually try a few different dishes or have made permanent changes. I approach cooking the same as my quilting and I like the challenge of trying new things! I believe our food preferences evolve while sometimes we are forced into alternate eating styles due to health reasons or food preferences. Yes, I miss some of the old traditional items, but they no longer work for me or my family. Embrace these changes, they are the new normal and incorporate them as new traditions. Life is too short to be stuck in a rut, that no longer works.

I usually start with my "traditional" menu and then pick which items I want to tweak or change. For example, the "green bean casserole" might be changed to an alternate green bean recipe or some other green vegetable or maybe a medley of vegetables. Just like my quilts I keep my menu colorful, the more color the better. I also consider healthier recipes, kid-friendly choices, senior-friendly choices, oven space, etc..

Have fun changing up things. If I get comments then I offer to share my recipes and they can make and bring it next time., Or it might appear for a different holiday meal! If I make a huge change then I usually warn the family of the change before hand - so the comments don't happen that day. My family understand why I make changes and accept my quirkiness!
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Old 11-06-2022, 09:24 AM
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Forgot to add that my menu does change based on the crowd size too. When new family members are added, I try to incorporate a favorite of theirs, to merge their traditions with ours.
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