Friday, November 21, 2008

What MAKES Your Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 21, 2008

We are on local vacation for the next week. I think it's a great time to travel to places you'd like to go in the summer but can't deal with the crowds. I have my eye on Hawaii in a few years but still have to convince the husband that we can forego our traditional Thanksgiving for the sake of a good block of time on the islands (or where ever). Until then we will enjoy the down time locally.

Which begs the question. What MAKES Thanksgiving for you? What makes the meal? What traditions do you look forward to and want to carry forth with your kiddos?

I'll start. I love Thanksgiving. It's about the gathering without the pressure of presents; the closeness and no stress. I can say that because I don't host. My lovely sister-in-law tackles the 30+ family gathering. We all bring our favorites to share but she still has to HOST.

Culinary Must Haves
Because our group is large we need at least two big turkeys. We prepare one traditionally in the oven and my husband has been passed the torch of BBQing the other bird. It's d-lish! He has a science to it that involves adding a specified number of coals at particular intervals. All I know is that it is very tasty.

My staple items include the ridiculous, out-of-the-cans green bean casserole with shaved onions. I know it couldn't be more simple and is not at all interesting but it means Thanksgiving to me so I always make sure I bring it. I also make an out-of-this world (if I may say so myself) apple pie. The kind with the crumble topping. (Future post alert.)

I consider those easy and necessary contributions and will also add a fun appetizer (I am still considering this year's delight. It may be these since I'm fixing them every chance I can.).

I have to say I also make some really yummy brussel sprouts. Most people think they don't like them until they've had mine. I've converted a few folks in my time. (I'll post on that next week.)

As far as traditions go, we start the day with the Macy's parade. The husband heads over to his sisters to start the bird and I handle the nappers so we can have happy, rested for the big gathering. (We still have a year or two more of that.)

The absolute highlight for me though is the kids' talent show. Since my husband was a young boy the kids perform a talent show for the adults. We have everything from pianists, to tae kwan do, to 'magic', to joke telling, to singing, to...

The sweetest part is that it is a completely warm place for each child to showcase something special to them. The adults give as much attention and adoration to the advanced as they do to newest performer reciting their favorite lullaby. I look forward to it every year and hope the tradition never dies.

So, now it's your turn. Tell me what are your 'must-haves'. What makes Thanksgiving for you?


mybelle68 said...

First off I " must have" YOUR brussel sprout recipe. My hubby loves them , and I never really have had them...good. For me I love the gathering of family and talking about what we are thankful for right before we feast.
I love all the tradional side dishes, on a normal day I would never make all three, Mash pot, sweet pot, AND stuffing. Lastly, I love all the desserts that involve pumpkin, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin roll cake. I love it all. I truly love this holday too, no pressure of gift giving, just giving thanks.

amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

love the talent show! I may have to steal that one! great blog babe! xo

Anonymous said...

Definitely my favorite holiday.... good food, family time and no gift stress.

We usually go around and say what we are thankful for but... I heard a great tradition today that I am going to start this year... you get sharpies and a light tablecloth... everyone WRITES on the tablecloth what they are thankful for that year. You pull it out next year and do the same thing. (Once you run out of room, you start a new tablecloth.) I love it.

We also have a foam tree (from oriental trading, I think) and foam leaves. We write on the leaves what we are thankful for and add it to the tree.

I am having the kids make placecards and this year I also printed out a Thanksgiving facts quiz just for the adults. Just something different for fun.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!