Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions and Good Eats!

Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday in my family... and I'm pretty sure it's my mom's favorite day of all year! In my life, I've spent two Thanksgivings away from my mom (once when we lived in Las Vegas and the other when my mom was down in UT with my Dad's family... Josh, Kaylee and I had Thanksgiving dinner at the Cracker Barrel... I didn't know people actually did that!) My whole family is going to be able to be together again this year... how lucky am I to live in the same town as my parents and siblings?
Over the last few years, my extended family has grown into quite the crowd. Including spouses and children, there are 16 of us all together... quite the houseful! And for us, Thanksgiving is a FULL day's event! The girls used to wake up early and cook together, but now that we have our own families, we typically just each plan a few dishes to make at home then bring it to my mom's house. And in Mom's house, appetizers are as important as the real meal! We typically don't eat until 5:00 or so (I'm learning that's somewhat unusual??) And Mom has been very opposed to do it any earlier! As for dishes, we tend to switch up a few things each year, but there are definitely some constants. Thanksgiving just isn't the same without lots and lots of chips/crackers/dips... especially clam dip (a family tradition!), ham pinwheels, bacon wrapped chestnuts, salami coronets, glazed baby carrots, macaroni salad, potato salad, crescent rolls, around 6 different kinds of pies that everyone is too full to eat anyway, a glass of tomato juice to drink before dinner (per Dad's request), well and of course, a ridiculously large turkey that gets turned into turkey tacos the next day! This year I'll be bringing an appetizer (not sure what yet... any good ideas??), funeral potatoes (thanks Jensa for your amazing recipe) and my sweet husband will be making pumpkin and chocolate pies from scratch... yumm!!
Of course, one of my favorite things to do is spread out all the Black Friday ads and carefully search through them. Josh always works the day after Thanksgiving so I don't usually go... but I still think it's fun to look (come back tomorrow for some info on where to find those ads early!) The guys usually spend most of the day watching football but we tear them away long enough for a few games or karaoke. The kids are just excited to hang out with their cousins all day and play, play, play. Mostly, the day is spent eating (a lot), being together, and realizing all the wonderful things we are grateful for. Nothing too out of the ordinary or creative... but fun all the same!
So, I want to know...
What are you family Thanksgiving traditions?
What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
(Feel free to share the recipe!)

1 comment:

Andrea said...

For the last few years we've split between Boise and Cali, depending on the year and weather. So our little family traditions are very mumbled.

When we were growing up we always went to my Gma's in Nampa. The whole family would be there with lots of cousins and fun. We ate lots of chips, dips, summer sausage, cheese and olives on our fingers. We would have a traditional dinner with all the trimmings, the adults sitting around the table and the older kids sitting at the counter or on the couches with TV trays.
After dinner we would put all the cousins' names in a hat and you would draw for Christmas, the adults would do the same as couples. Then we spent the next hour cruising the paper and making a list.

It was always such a good time and I truly miss those days.

My favorite thing at Thanksgiving is the green bean casserole. I make it every year because there are only a couple of us who eat it.
Made off the fried onion can, substituting Cream of Mushroom for Cream of Chicken with Herbs.
Next year I may get adventuresome and try Guy Firiete's recipe that was on the other night, creamy sauce, fresh green beans, bacon and maybe some cheese. Hhmmmm.