We had a great Thanksgiving! Becca, Carl, Collins, Craig, Anneli, Ethan, Dylan, Andrea, Zain, Aalia, Nial, Charles Jessup, and of course Bob and I…it made for a memorable Thanksgiving.
We celebrate what is probably the most traditional American Thanksgiving dinner possible (1950’s style)…the kind every baby boomer remembers.
Turkey and Dressing, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Yams with little toasted marshmallows on top, Green Bean casserole, Jello Salad, Rolls, cranberry sauce and pickles and olives and of course pies! Pies include pumpkin, apple, mince meat and pecan and this year lemon meringue and dixie with ice cream. Our only departure from tradition is no homemade ice cream but Murrays Ice Cream from Westport.
The dressing recipe is one my mother did (with my own updates until I arrived at one everyone seems to like). I stuff the turkey and make enough to also cook a separate casserole dish full of dressing. I make it the night before and let it refrigerate overnight which seems to help to make it even more flavorful.
The yams with little marshmallows on top are the same as what my aunt Lola used to make for Thanksgiving.
Yams with little Marshmallows recipe (.pdf format)
The green bean casserole is right out of the fifties. I think everyone in America served the green bean casserole for Thanksgiving in the fifties…it was so trendy then! I decided to look up the history of the green bean casserole and had to share …so straight from the history channel!
This year I had a recipe for make-ahead gravy. I liked having it already made so I will probably use it again. I used a recipe I found on all recipes.com. The only change I made was I used twice as many turkey wings…I like more flavor in my gravy.
Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
Nothing special with the mashed potatoes. This year I tried Yukon Gold variety. I also add a little canned milk and potato water and just a little butter (if I don’t have my low-fat guests attending I use cream instead of canned milk and more butter) and salt and pepper to taste.
Why a Jell-O salad? I grew up in Utah…need I say more?? At least it is not green. If you don’t understand read “Jello-O and Mormonism: The stereotypes surprising origins” or Jell-O Love: A Guide to Mormon Cuisine . During the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City the most collectable pin was the green Jell-O pin.
(My mom’s favorite Jell-O dish was orange Jell-O with shredded carrots and if she got fancy it also had crushed pineapple in it. We had it often.)
The Jello salad I make every year for Thanksgiving is one my mom used but it has “evolved” ….it is more a fruit salad held together with a little Jello BUT it does have cranberries in it.
CRANBERRY FRUIT JELLO SALAD (.doc format)
CRANBERRY FRUIT JELLO SALAD (.pdf format)
ROLLS (.doc format)
ROLLS (.pdf format)
PUMPKIN PIE (.doc format)
PUMPKIN PIE (.pdf format)
APPLE PIE (.doc format)
APPLE PIE (.pdf format)
Pie Crust Recipe (.doc format)
Pie Crust Recipe (.pdf format)
Thanksgiving this year was somewhat quiet compared to other years. Our daughter Becca and her husband came home. My sister and family also had Thanksgiving dinner with us and our good friend Dr. Charles Jessup. Even though not everyone got to come home this year we still kept up with our usual Thanksgiving traditions; lots of homemade pies, homemade rolls, the tradition yams with little marshmellows and green bean casserole, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy and of course the turkey and dressing. Every year I also make a cranberry jello salad that has become a tradition. It is made with raspberry jello (using the juice from the pineapple and a fresh squeezed orange for the liquid), with chopped apples, chopped cranberries, chopped pecans, tidbit pineapple and pomegranates. I decorate it with raspberries.
Our Thanksgiving pie table includes pumpkin, apple, mince, lemon meringue and this year instead of pecan we had a Dixie pie:
The Pie Table:
And of course the traditional cookie turkeys:
The Thanksgiving table:
Enjoying the Thanksgiving Feast:
Jen and Adam and family enjoyed Thanksgiving this year in Phoenix, Arizona with close family friends the Esplins. Just wanted to share an adorable picture of Henry, Caroline and Becca on their way back…completely tuckered out.
For the first time since we have been married, nearly 35 years, Bob and I did not have our Thanksgiving dinner in our home. B.J. and Jenn were heading to Los Angeles, Becca and Carl are in Sweden, so Bob and I agreed to travel to North Caroline. It would be two people traveling, Bob and I, vs. five people traveling; Jen, Adam, Becca, Henry and Caroline. We enjoyed a beautiful traditional Thanksgiving at Jen and Adam’s home.
We enjoyed a few other activities:
I am not sure how it got started, but a few years ago I made turkeys from cookies to place at each place setting. My children got involved, and year after year it became a holiday tradition. However, as my kids grew older they did not want to make “typical” turkeys and it became a contest to see who could make the most “unusual” turkey from cookies and candies and frosting. This year was relatively tame, since we were involving a two and a three year old…and we did not have everyone home. But we still made our turkeys from cookies. Jen made a special turkey for Carl with a big bandage on his leg, representing Carls repaired achilles heel and post surgery dressing. (Becca and Carl are celebrating Thanksgiving post Carl’s surgery in Durham, North Carolina.) It was quite true to form. She also made a “Mama” turkey with a new baby for Jen and B.J. who are enjoying Thanksgiving in California with almost two week old Jack.