Monday, November 07, 2005

What is Thanksgiving all about?

Family. That is what Thanksgiving means to me. I always knew that my family would sit down and have a nice, long dinner on Thanksgiving. We would also go around the table and share a few things that we're Most Thankful for.
Then, when I started college in 1999, we began the tradition of watching the Egg Bowl (Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss) after eating. Of course, I had to wait until the Macy's Day Parade was over (my dad's contribution to the holiday).
The last Thanksgiving that I had with my whole family (mom, dad, sisters, and brother) was in 2000. That was during my sophomore year in college, and only 6 months before my mom, sisters, and brother moved. My dad stayed behind for another 6 months to finish school, close up the house, and move all their furniture. Dad and I went out to eat Thanksgiving dinner in 2001. I think we went to a casino (hey, they have the BEST buffets).
After that, Thankgiving was celebrated at the home of my husband's (then boyfriend's) family in 2002 and 2003. Their traditions are a little different than my own families' but I still felt right at home.
In 2004, we were married on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so our Family Meal was a few days "late." Yes, we served an entire "traditional" meal at our wedding reception. In fact, my bridesmaids (my sisters), my bestfriend, and another family friend helped me cook most of the food. We did all of this in my house, the night before the wedding! This is where the "mean turkey" from the previous post comes in. (I think I will post my Cooking Directions on another day.) My mom, grandma, MIL, and grandma-in-law also helped with a lot of the food.
Well, this year, it's all ME (and Dear Husband, R)! We are hosting our very first Family Thanksgiving Meal at our little house in Starkville, Mississippi! My MIL, SIL, nephew, and family friend will be joining us for Family Time, Hot Meals, and Football!
Currently, that is at the top of my "OMG! It's almost time!" list! And, being the planner that I am, I already have my "menu" and grocery list written up! Here it is:
Turkey (R wants to try frying it--I just hope he doesn't set our new deck or house on fire!)
Ham (Yes, we must have both meats--especially since he's cooking the turkey.)
Dressing (I always called this stuffing, and it came from a box, until I met my MIL. This dish is all hers. As I've already been informed that "nobody makes dressing like mom's.")
*GreenBean Casserole (Even if I am the only person who eats it, it will always be on my Thanksgiving table!)
Yams (aka Sweet Potatoes, swimming in brown sugar syrup, and covered with toasty marshmallows.)
Mashed potatoes (You can never have enough starch at the table.)
Rolls (See above. Besides, you need something to make sandwiches on for the weeks worth of leftovers.)
Gravy (To cover the turkey, dressing, potatoes, and rolls.)
Pumpkin pie (I don't really like this dessert, but the meal just doesn't taste the same withouth the smell of baking pie.)
Pecan pie (My dessert of choice. Complete with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.)

Now I'm curious about y'all's holiday traditions (whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not). And, what's the ONE THING that you MUST have to make the meal complete? *The Green Bean Casserole is it for me!


At 8:31 AM, Blogger ccw 's valuable input...

I must have my mom's pecan pie.

Our traditions vary depending on whether or not everyone (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) can get together. If we don't do that I eat with my parents and grandparents at my mom's house.

I did Thanksgiving for 20 when Kid L was a baby - a lot of work, but worth every minute.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Mon 's valuable input...

Im with you all, PECAN PIE! No pumpkin, bleh! To me, thanksgiving isn't the same without mashed potatos. MOUNDS of them! I make some damn good mashed potatos, taught straight from my mom on how to get an 'eye' for when their just right. Not too thick, or lumpy or pasty. No measuring. It took years of practice! YUM!

At 11:38 AM, Blogger MoDigli 's valuable input...

Hosting your first thanksgiving!?! Wow - you're definitely a grown up now! :)

This sounds fantastic. I'm sure it's gonna be a great one.

And getting married close to Thanksgiving and serving the whole traditional meal - what a great idea! Lots of work, but very homey, loving, and family-oriented. I like the sentiment of it. :)

At 4:00 PM, Blogger Lo Lo Lova 's valuable input...

Good luck with everything. I'm sure it will be a smashing success!

For me, the tradition was always just me and my parents. I'm an only child, and my dad's sister lives out of state and we don't see her, and my mom's brother goes to his in-laws. (My grandparents are all deceased( So for many years, it was just the 3 of us.

Then, I met my husband and we got engaged in 2000. For the first time ever, I went out of state for a holiday. It was awful. I woke up in PA, crying. I really missed my family! And I was staying at someone's house I never met before, and was introduced to about 50 people. So overwhelming!

In my house, no one liked turkey, so my mom always made chicken, mashed potatoes (w/lumps) & gravy, stuffing, yams (which I don't like), rolls, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie with reddi-whip. She has this recipe for "impossible pumpkin pie" that has a crust built in - I love it because I'm not a pie crust kind of gal.

Anyway, for dinner in PA we had turkey (yuk), yams (yuk), VENIZON stuffing (yuk), liquidy mashed potatoes (yuk), yak or some shit like that. They're all hunters and there were various types of dead animal there. And, the worst part of all is that they only had Cool Whip to go with the crusty pumpkin pie. I HATE cool whip.

Anyway, I learned my lesson, and now when we go, we bring - among other things - reddi-whip :)

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Celina 's valuable input...

ccw: wow! for 20? I can't even imagine!!

mon: yay! pecan pie is racking up votes! i like to mix everything in my mashed potatoes (turkey, gravy, dressing, greenbeans, even a little of the yams)! Yummmy!!

Mo: Yeah, getting married at that time was the best we could come up with to have most of our family there. And, I'm happy we did it, too. It was a really nice time!

LoLo: I'm not big on crust, either. someone should invent a "crust-less pie." (is that what the "impossible pumpkin pie" is?) And, what an experience! I get a little grossed-out by wild-game-meat, no venison or yak?(ha ha) for me! Well, at least things still worked out for you and the hubby! :)

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Lo Lo Lova 's valuable input...

Yes, "impossible" pumpkin pie has no crust. I guess it's just baked in with the pumpkin to hold it together. But it's awesome!! Yes, no yak or venison. And no Elk, either. Blech!!


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