|Thanksgiving Table at my Parents|
In America, Thanksgiving has evolved to be a day of of food, family, football, and parades. Originally, the intent of Thanksgiving was to celebrate the meeting and sharing between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. Some people do still reflect on that concept, especially in schools, namely elementary schools were children make hand turkeys and put on pageants, etc.
To me, Thanksgiving should be a day to reflect on all that you are grateful for. It is also a holiday that revolves around eating for me, and my family.
I have NEVER made my own Thanksgiving. Heck, I've never even cooked a whole turkey! I would like to. It's a project I'm thinking about embarking on.
From as far as I can remember, my mother is the one who does the majority of the cooking on Thanksgiving. My aunt contributes by bringing certain items. But my mom does a majority of the work. And is really good at it! She is an excellent cook, who always provides a terrific meal.
My mom cooks a whole bird. Now I have been watching a lot of food television about how to cook a turkey and it seems there are a million ways! But my mom has a fairly basic approach. And I have to tell you, this year I think the turkey was the best one yet. It was moist and tender, properly cooked and properly seasoned. She does not brine her turkey, or fry it, like some people do. She roasts it in the oven, for approximately 15 minutes a pound. She is partial to the Butterball brand. There is a controversy about whether to actually put stuffing in the turkey, but that's the way my mom has always done it, including this year. I personally like the "stuffing" that is baked separately because I like the crunchier bits. But I can attest from this year's bird that stuffing the turkey did not dry it out.
We have a bunch of side dishes that include the traditional gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce (and yes, I ADORE the canned stuff - this year we only had canned, but in previous years we have also had fresh cranberry sauce in addition to the canned variety). Our vegetable varies, this year was green beans. We also had rolls, mashed sweet potatoes with a delightful topping made of brown sugar, nuts, and some other things. We also always have pickles, olives, and cream cheese filled celery sticks. And my aunt makes this fantastic dish that consists of broccoli, cheddar, and ritz crackers.
For dessert we usually have three pies. Apple, Pumpkin, and Pecan. Everyone has their favorite so we have to have all three. We usually have a choice of Cool Whip or ice cream to top them. Pumpkin is my favorite, and I always top it with cool whip.
The boys watch football (as would be the stereotype, the girls don't care about the games and are busy cooking, cleaning, and setting up). It's a great day for everyone to catch up. Usually it's mostly family, although we will have one or two people who are friends or boyfriends/girlfriends. I have brought two different boyfriends home (at different times of course!) and a couple of friends.
This Thanksgiving the meal was phenomenal. I really do think it was the best to date. Although this was a very rough year for me, getting to see my family and getting to eat my mom's cooking was a bright spot. I hope everyone else had a great Turkey Day! (More pictures in the next post)