20 November 2017

On Not Holding Too Tightly: Turkey Day 2017

An F for Forster Buttermold.  We won't be using them this year.  And that's okay.  

When Paul and I married in 2006, we were twenty-one and courageous young idiots.  In the spirit of that, I decided that seven months after said marriage, while 5 months pregnant, I would host Thanksgiving at our house.  And we've done so ever since.

But, this year, my Mama asked if we could move the celebration to her house.  She doesn't ask for much, really.  And she wasn't asking that I not play hostess - just that I play hostess with her at her house.  But, I struggled.  And that's when you know you're holding a tradition too tightly.  Families are not made for traditions, but traditions for families.  If I can't move Thanksgiving up the road 15 miles and joyfully give thanks, well, I may need a talking to.

And if you know you may need a talking to, you should probably swerve to avoid.

So, north to Mama's we're headed.

If you love Thanksgiving menus and the evolution of tradition, here are the last eight.  I didn't record the first three.  I grieve.  But, see, I let go, because I've just learned about not holding too tightly, right?  Oh, we need more than one lesson in the same thing?  What is this?

I digress.  Here are the menus:


To Twenty Seventeen:

Pick Up Food 
All me, because I'm a pick up food enthusiast:
Sweet & Spicy Pecans
Goat cheese, Honey, Rosemary, Bacon with pears to dip.
Hot Almond Swiss Dip

Main Dish
Turkey - I'm brining it and baby brother is smoking it on The Green Egg.  I'm thrilled with this arrangement.

The Side Board

The two standards return and the six in rotation continue...

Cornbread Dressing - Mama is doing her dressing.  Which is also my dressing.  As I've said before, this is *the* dressing, and we won't ever do anything else, I don't imagine.  Celery, Onion, Two different cornbreads, pepper for days.

Sweet Potato Casserole - Mama is also doing this.  And she'll never tolerate a pecan, so it will be covered in all the sticky marshmallows she can muster.

1) Scalloped Potato Gratin - I try to vary these sides.  We did this last year, but I asked Ada if she had any requests and this was the only thing she said, and I'm trying oh so hard to remember that she's not a little kid anymore and if I asked an adult what he or she wanted, I wouldn't then trample the request in the quest for the tradition of variety. Not holding too tight.

2) Big Beautiful Salad - our dear friends the Sinclairs are coming, and Petula makes a delightful green salad and she's bringing that and I will say thank you.

3) Butternut Squash Gratin - I sent Paul to the store for squash the other day.  He came back with enough to feed two armies. So, I'm wasting not and putting it to use.

4) Carrots - Mama is roasting carrots for us. I imagine they will involve butter and honey.

5) Brussels Sprouts - Our friends the Kelleys are coming and offered these.  They are my favorite vegetable, so that works out very, very much.

6) Creamed Corn.  I just love corn, and I love cream.  I usually spice it up a bit.

On The Table

Gravy - My dear stepmother Carrie is just better at it.  And so this year I just asked her to make it.

Cranberry Sauce - Mama is making cranberry sauce.  I'm asking her to triple it so I can take it to the school thanksgiving feast as well.  Because my husband finds efficiency the most attractive quality in a person, and I like to get him all doe-eyed because I'm only boiling cranberries once.

Eason Family Homemade Pickles - Sweet, Spicy, All The Time

Canned Spiced Peaches - Every year.  And every year I think I might stop, but I'm not going to.  Though, last year they were out of spiced peaches at the store and so I had to make some.  I was quite popular.

Bread Basket - Mama is making butter biscuit rolls.  I'm making sour dough, buttered and toasted.

Dessert Cart

Cheesecake - Carrie. Second year in a row.  I. Can't. Wait.

Pecan Pie - I just love it.  As long as the pecans are chopped so tiny.  I'm going to make two - one in a gf pie crust.

Chocolate Chess Pie - AB and I accidentally made an improvement on this recently.  We were out of baker's chocolate.  We tasted the finished product and both though it was better than the original.  Which I didn't think possible.  We're going to do the same thing, but with a couple of festive tweaks - amaretto may be involved.  Also one gf option.

Apple Cake - Mama.  So good.

Gluten Free Dessert Surprise - Petula. I know it will be excellent.

We're so excited - the folks around here are so ready to chop and stir, though they're happy playing donkey kong right now.  Plenty of cooking to be done over the next 72 hours.  And now, I'll type out the schedule.  ;)

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