Show Time! An Almost Traditional Thanksgiving

Well, yesterday was a whirlwind of activity, as I put together a traditional Thanksgiving meal in one day. OK, that’s an exaggeration, I admit. I made the pumpkin pie the day before, and I had family bring over many of the dishes. So, why did it seem like so much work? I didn’t even worry about setting a nice table, like I normally do! 

I told my foreign exchange student that the real tradition with Thanksgiving is that we prepare way too much food, get stressed out over everything being perfect, often snap at our loved ones for not helping enough, sit down and eat, and then spend hours cleaning up. It’s a strange holiday, to say the least!

However, it’s somehow a great holiday! There are no expectations of gifts, and as long as dessert is good, then nothing else matters. It’s OK to have football games or movies on TV, games are played, kids run around outside (depending on the weather, which was beautiful here!), and even the dog is happy to go around vacuuming up crumbs and the occasional juicy tidbit of turkey that falls to the floor!

Having an early Thanksgiving might actually become the new tradition around here. By doing so, I’m able to fly out to California to visit my daughter. Some family members are planning to help cook meals at our church, to be delivered to the homebound and needy families in the area. Other family members are helping with the delivery. It sounds so rewarding that I might have to join in that effort next year if I’m around. 

There are many opportunities to help others this time of year. I work part-time at Good Shepherd Ministries, which includes a food pantry among other ministries. Last week, we had a lovely Thanksgiving meal for any of our clients who wanted to come, and then we passed out Thanksgiving baskets. Check out your local food pantries, as the demand definitely increases during the holidays. If you can’t give of your time, you can always make monetary or food donations.

Here’s how my final Thanksgiving menu ended up, including all of the food that my family so generously contributed (as noted).

Appetizer: Salmon-Cream Cheese Ball with Crackers (Mom)

Turkey with Garlic Herb Rub 

Southwestern Cornbread Stuffing

Roasted Garlic Gravy 

Cranberry Chutney (Mom)

Homemade Whole Wheat Rolls (Mom)

Walnut Pear and Apple Salad (Elizabeth)

Garlicky Parmesan Butternut Squash Bake (Elizabeth)

Green Beans with Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Thyme

Pink Stuff (aka Strawberry Jello Salad-my grandmother’s recipe) (Mom)

Pumpkin Chocolate Cake (Zina)

Chocolate Chip Cookes (Mie)

Pumpkin Pie

Did I leave anything out? I think that was it! I’m sorry that I didn’t get any pictures of the dessert spread, especially Zina’s popular Pumpkin Chocolate Cake! I did take a picture of a slice, at least. Enjoy all of the pictures below. It was a pretty fantastic meal and even better company!

Here's the whole spread, waiting to be devoured!

Time for dessert!

The meal is over, and it’s time to play Pegs and Jokers!

Or watch cartoons...


© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™