Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving: Making Food and Memories

Thursday will be here in a jiffy, are you ready?  I absolutely love the holidays, no doubt.  One day I cannot wait to host my own Thanksgiving, with a big ol' turkey and all the fixings.  As for now?  I will respectfully attend my parents' house and bring what I can.  I just love being in the kitchen and cooking (and even baking) makes me happy.  I also know it's not easy to do with a tot who's not even two, and a bun in the oven.  I wanted to bring a few new items to share and some old standbys that are so engrained in our memories, that it is simply not an option to not have them be present at Thanksgiving.

We rotate my parents and Joe's parents, and this year we are at my parents.  It's a bit of a drive (45 mins) and I didn't want anything that required too much work at their house, since I know what the kitchen looks like as the main meal is coming all together.

We aren't going crazy with apps; you certainly don't want your guests to fill up on them!  But I know that it's important to have a little snack a few hours before sitting down to eat.

I'm not sure exactly what type of cheese I will use, but I want to incorporate grapes, a chutney, and some artisan bread.  I can't have goat, blue, or brie (any of the stinky delicious ones!) but I will figure it out.

I'm going to make a Fall salad because I do believe in the power of greens!! With all of the heavy foods, it's important to include leafy greens to help our systems digest everything properly.  I love the idea of pomegranate or orange slices in there to give it a festive spin.

Grandma's squash.  I wish I had written down the recipe, as for now it's all sort of taste and try to get it right.  I do know it was always our favorite and it was always piping hot; I'm talking, steam would be pouring off your plate because it was so hot!!

She used a buttercup squash, roasted it, scooped it out and then cooked it some more with something along the lines of, frozen orange juice concentrate, maple syrup, butter, and maybe even a little brown sugar.  Tastes like candy.

Grandma's cranberry bread.  I think us girls loved it so much because 1.  It's truly tasty and 2. We could help her make it very easily.  She always added fresh cranberries to the mix, which gives is an extra punch, which you can taste in almost every bite.  It may not be "homemade" but I make this every year, and only at Thanksgiving.  I make no apologies for this!

I already start to wonder what recipes my children will remember most about holidays.  Of course I cannot wait for some Turkey, stuffing, my dad's mashed potatoes and gravy.  Pumpkin and apple pie will be present too, I am sure.  I think the reason that food is so important with holidays, is because as life goes on, we don't have anything but memories.  Little bits of here and there; snapshots of what was, and what used to be.  I would love to have one more Thanksgiving, where Grandpa carves the turkey and Grandma makes her famous bread, squash and fruit salad--(my sister's got that covered).  But life doesn't work that way, and we must create new memories, with old traditions mixed in with new.  The most important thing we can do, is enjoy the time we have together and sincerely make the most of it.

I may have started listening to some Christmas music, and one line that gets me all choked up from Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, "Someday soon, we all will be together, if the fates allow."

Now, I am certain that it's mostly the pregnancy hormones I tend to blame a lot on them haha but in reality, this Thanksgiving, we won't see Joe's parents, so I know that's tough on them.  We won't see my mom, because she's down in S.C.  We won't see our step brother Tyler because he's in New Orleans.  So, really, we just have to make the most of the loved ones we can see and enjoy it.

As far as the food is concerned? One thing I've definitely learned is to taste just little bits, and I can always take home leftovers.  I don't really have much room to eat a lot being pregnant, but I know that you don't need to shovel all that food in, and make ourselves feel sick.  It's good to indulge every now and then, but more important to be honest with ourselves about when and what we are indulging in.  Just my own personal thought…

What are some of your favorite traditions, past and present?


  1. This is absolutely perfect - that salad looks absolutely amazing!
    Thanksgiving is always a tough one for me - holidays in general can be so beautiful, but can also remind you so clearly on those who can't be with us during those times. Hang in there (and FaceTime!).
    I'm so with you on indulging - it feels so good at that moment, and then awful later on. Plus, the day after is made for leftovers and if you eat them all, you miss out on that wonderful, lazy day :)


I'd love to hear from you. Each & every comment is so very much appreciated!! :)