I met a woman who entertained in her home often. She kept a menu journal of what they served and how it went with the guests. I thought I might start a tradition of sharing holiday menus on my blog so my family and friends can try new recipes! I hope you will share your favorite recipe with me, and I will give it a try! I will also let you know what was a hit, and what was not a favorite! The links are provided below for you to consider adding to your holiday fun! Enjoy!
THANK YOU LISA WEBB FOR SHARING YOUR RECIPE! I HOPE OTHERS WILL DO THE SAME IN THE COMMENTS.
The Turkey! Parish grew up watching his father cook a turkey on the grill. We have continued this tradition!
The big bird: We bought Wegman’s Fresh Turkey (not frozen) because we will brine the bird!
We had a 16 pound turkey and it feet well in the 26 inch Weber grill. When you place the big bird in the grill, we noticed you have to account for the temperature drop. Shooting for 350, once the bird was placed into the grill, the temperature dropped a 100 degrees. It took about 1/2 hour to get back up to 350.
An hour in, flip the bird! The bird starts off breast side down.
The bird is done! It went on at 9:20 a.m. and took about 3 1/2 hours.
Adapting this to a smaller breast portion:
The barbecue turkey breast was a unique cooking experience. Instead of a brine, we used a compound under and on top of the skin. This helped to create a basting underneath and crispy skin on top. The butter had ingredients like parsley, lemon zest, and Texas chili powder.
Creamed Onions We boil the onions, make the sauce, and then combine!
We used a cast iron pot to display and serve. Better to make this just before the guest arrive, along with your gravy. This took an extra 30 minutes but guests were happy to eat appetizers and brother John helped to carve the turkey!
Homemade Sauerkraut We also bought some bagged sauerkraut for the non adventuresome. We use Krrrrrisp Kraut from Silver Floss.
These were delicious! I cooked them ahead of time (about 2 hours prior) so I could have time and space in the oven. They would have been better served warm, but they were still good! I could have warmed them up real quick, but we were so busy with other last-minute items.
I used canned string beans. They were good–traditional taste. I wonder how fresh string beans would have been? I did not want to risk making them fresh because most folks like the traditional canned beans.
I made the mixture the day before and put in the fridge. This was such a time saver! I’ll do this again!!!
WOW! This was most people’s favorite! I don’t think I’ve ever had stuffing so savory and delicious. I told Parish this would be our signature stuffing for the years to come!
Cheese Tray (the usual–cut up some yummy cheese and add crackers)
Shamelessly bought two trays of frozen Mac and Cheese (whatever is on sale). It’s always good and saves on time.
The cheese tray was good while folks waited for the turkey to be carved and the gravy to be made. Also, I’m so glad I gave the mac and cheese to my daughter to cook at her house. You truly run out of oven space at some point. If you can, share the wealth with others and get their help on your special day.
My kids LOVE buying the holiday cookies from Pillsbury! Their favorite is the Christmas Tree.
What others are bringing, and I will beg them to share their recipes! More later…
This was everyone’s favorite appetizer! Addison, my nephew, loved it the most. It’s always a good feeling to have a dish folks want more of and it’s all gone by the end of the day. This was a recipe that my niece, Amanda, shared with us many years ago. It’s served in a crock-pot and easy to make.
For years my sister-in-law has been bringing this light and fluffy salad to gatherings. This recipe was her mom’s favorite, too. This goes well with all the heavy foods, and provides a slight sweetness to the salty.
Various pies for dessert
Desserts are an easy thing to ask someone else to bring. I love that Linda is always so helpful and checks in a few days prior to make sure the list is covered and volunteers to bring more items if needed. She also brought a veggie tray which is great to snack on.
Potatoes (Mashed of course!)
My daughter brought mashed potatoes in a crock-pot. This kept them warm and smooth for the afternoon.
What kind of crafts or fun things can you do the day of? We looked online with Amazon and found a turkey craft. Victoria found coloring place mats on sale at Target. Take notice of prayers or poems you can read and gather in a circle to pray and recite. Traditionally, we go around the circle to share what we are thankful for. It’s always a treasure to hear the children share their hearts. I also found on Amazon Thanksgiving photo booth props. Don’t forget to take the time to take family photos.
Heather McCafferty, a wonderful, compassionate friend, shared this idea with me after the holiday, and I just had to include to consider next year!
I had been trying for a long time to come up with a way to have a daily gratitude practice that was visible for my boys. I looked at pottery barn and on Etsy and then it occurred to me that this would be so much less expensive and I’ve been super pleased with how it’s gone. Caden (8yo) even said that having the gratitude tree was something he was grateful for this year! I started it when Caden was 5, and Sean was 22 months old. Caden has written his each year, and Sean started with scribbles each day (at 22 months), and this year he wrote some of them, but at least wrote his name at the bottom of each of his leaves. We started the tradition in 2015!
1-A glass vase- cylindrical is probably best.
2-A bag of mixed beans and/or popcorn
3- A printout if your favorite leaf types to use as a starting point for the stencils.
4- Cardstock (I use fall colors like gold, orange, dark-ish red, green and yellow)
5- a pencil, scissors, a single-hole punch
7- a tree branch (I usually grab one from the yard, but with kittens in the house this year, I chose to buy a more sturdy version at Michael’s. It will last many years, so I will stick with that for a while.)
1- Fill the vase with the beans and push the branch into them so that it is sturdy.
2- trace and cut out the leaves from the card stock. Put a hole in each one.
3- place the leaves in a small dish next to the vase so that they are accessible, as well as a pen or two.
4- cut the lengths of yarn and put them in another dish, or a ziplock bag (I had to put mine in a drawer due to kittens this year ).
5- once a day, whenever you are sitting together at the table, each person writes what he/she is thankful for and then reads it aloud before tying it to the tree. We have found that the more time specific (seemingly small things), the more fun they are to read later. Ex: Caden wrote “that I have a loving teacher”, and Sean said “that I had a treat today!” at one point this month. I was definitely grateful for electricity and our safety, after we lost power for a couple of hours one very cold evening this year because of a car accident nearby.
6- On the day after Thanksgiving, cut them off of the tree and put them in an album to enjoy in future years!
One suggestion- if you don’t use a real branch, be mindful of how tightly you tie the yarn to the branch so that it’s easy to take them off!
What to do with leftovers?
- Buy Ziploc bags ahead of time and share them. We also had small mason jars and put the gravy into the jars for folks to take home.
- Eat them! We use Ziploc bags to store the food for space purposes. We pull all the bags out buffet style and partake of our personal favorites.
- Make turkey stock for meals to come!
4. Be creative with new recipes. This was one of our favorite recipes for leftover stuffing:
The Family Photo
A beautiful day
Being silly is a must!
What are you thankful for Adelaide?
We ended the day with “The Wobble”