22. November 2022 · Comments Off on Ah, Thanksgiving! · Categories: Domestic

Day after tomorrow, so Turkey day is about to descend upon us, in this troubled autumn of 2022. Frankly, after reading all kinds of direful stories around the holidays in 2021, we were wondering if we would be able to celebrate at all … so we cannily bought a turkey at a bargain price the day after Christmas last year and stashed it away in the garage deep freezer. We’re always a bit mixed in feelings about turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas anyway. When I was growing up and the grandparents were unable to do the feast alternately as they had early on, Mom was in the habit of doing an absolutely gargantuan bird … and then we would be eating the leftovers in various guises for three weeks. Just when we had finished the last of the eternal turkey soup, then we would start the cycle all over again with turkey for Christmas. I like roast turkey, really I do – but six or seven weeks of turkey leftovers is just too much. We’ll do turkey for Thanksgiving and practically anything else for Christmas. Last year we did Beef Wellington and it was lovely. We stashed away a beef tenderloin roast in the freezer, when it was comparatively cheaper this summer, so will do that again for Christmas.

The other thing is that my daughter and I don’t really care for the traditional sides, either. Green bean casserole is revolting, and so is baked sweet potatoes dotted with marshmallows and brown sugar and whatever. Mom used to make a casserole of tiny onions baked in cheese sauce, because her father liked it, but hardly anyone else did. Even stuffing – if barely OK the first time out, is disgusting when warmed over. I like pumpkin pie, but my daughter doesn’t, unless it’s just a thin wedge. We both dislike the tasteless take and bake rolls that almost everyone has. It’s all too heavy, and too much, and frankly, I really don’t care for eating myself into a coma, anyway. It’s nice to be with friends and family for the holiday – but honestly, I prefer my own cooking best. (And I still shudder over the ghastly Thanksgiving dinner when my Air Force supervisor invited me, with small daughter in tow – to his house for the holiday dinner. Only he hadn’t told his wife that he had, until we showed up at the door. Talk about an ice-cold atmosphere… I never accepted another invite from a supervisor for Thanksgiving, the rest of my time in the military. If it meant just my daughter and self with a half-breast of turkey baked in a small oven, then so be it. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.) Of the traditional sides, mashed potatoes with giblet gravy, and cranberry sauce is about all that we really do relish. A couple of years ago, I found a recipe for a medley of brussels sprouts, red onion and slivers of Kielbasa sausage, spritzed with olive oil and broiled until done and served with a lemon-mustard-cream sauce – which we both adored and repeated frequently as a holiday side dish. This year, I found another recipe for a simple cheese and corn casserole, which looks pretty enticing, so will try it out – if successful, this will be added to our personal repertoire.

I did a batch of home-made cranberry sauce today – just cranberries, orange peel, sugar, water and a splash of Grand Marnier, and baked a pie. Prepped the brine mix for the turkey, and maybe I’ll put together the corn casserole … or maybe not, as the brined turkey will be taking up just about all the available space. And that’s my planned Thanksgiving – yours?

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