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Thanksgiving Week -- What Are Your Plans and Menu?

By Trish
November 20, 2011

Here we are at week two of our ATP chat. Come tell us about what plans you have for the week!

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Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Nov 19, 2011 7:48 PM CST
Our family likes the traditional favorites. I wouldn't dare try switching out more than 1 dish each year to try something new. I like the fact this holiday doesn't require a lot of menu planning, but it can get a little boring if you don't try something new once in a while.

My 87 YO mom doesn't like to travel any more, so my sister and BIL come here for the holidays. I don't mind cooking, and try to make something everyone likes. We do a cider-brined fresh turkey, a baked leek fondue (our stuffing), mashed potato casserole, a green veggie, baked squash, some cranberry relish, rolls, gravy and dessert of course. This year, it's a pumpkin-pie gelato pie, an apple-cranberry pie and some pumpkin pie cupcakes. Need to send leftovers home with the sister, so the cupcakes will work well for a take-home dessert.

The thought of venturing to the stores on Black Friday just scares me to death. Loved to do it when I was younger, but now you couldn't pay me to do it Hilarious!


I'll spend my extra time this weekend making cookies to put in the freezer for Christmas.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Nov 20, 2011 11:34 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Linda- I agree about the simplicity of the menu! I think we had been married a couple of years when I realized that every year I struggled to remember exactly what to make and where my recipes for those dishes were when I just sat down and put it all together in one place. Made things so much easier! From then on, the only question was how many are we having so that I could adjust accordingly. Like you, I also enjoy switching one or two things up here and there for variety. Funny how things can get boring when they are really only served once per year!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

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PollyK
Nov 20, 2011 11:45 AM CST
We do totally traditional too. Although that turkey brined in cider sounds like a must try. We're going to my daughters, and we have everything traditional.

Trish, you are so organized it amazes me, although with little kids I guess you need to be.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Nov 20, 2011 12:07 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I'm very much a "Type A" personality. I absolutely hate wasting time, so any time something is clearly wasting my time, I try hard to figure out a way to organize it. I think I did the Thanksgiving organizing when we only had one child.

There are still things that I can fly by the seat of my pants with or that I haven't found a good system for, or just frankly haven't gotten around to, but for a lot of things I save so much of my time and mental energy by just having a plan. Otherwise, I'd not get done even a fourth of the things I'd like (or NEED to, for that matter).
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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Nov 20, 2011 12:31 PM CST
I'm the cook this year. Last year my wife made 9 pies and a cheese cake...we threw quite a bit away. This year a Mrs. Smiths apple pie and a pumpkin pie, also a chocolate cream. All by request. Turkey, of course, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, oven roasted yams, cranberry sauce, rolls, stuffed celery, and maybe cauliflower. My family loves the leftovers, turkey sandwiches with dressing and cranberry sauce. For many years before my mother passed we would meet at her house. Everyone would bring part of the meal and there would be about 35 of us. For a few of those years my wife had a little Italian Grandmother whose life revolved around cooking for others. She would fix a big traditional dinner also. We would eat at about 2:00 at Mothers, relax an hour, and then drive to Salt Lake City to Grandmas for the second meal I would always resolve to show some restraint at Mothers but always stuffed myself and had to act like I had a hearty appetite for another turkey dinner at Grandmas. I have many fond memories of family dinners on holidays as do my family members. .
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Nov 20, 2011 1:07 PM CST

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Paul, your post made me feel all warm and fuzzy!
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Name: tabby
denver, colorado zone 5
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tabby
Nov 20, 2011 1:47 PM CST
It's just my spouse and I and one adult kid this year. Nobody here likes turkey here and we're all fans of dark meat so the spouse cooks a duck. He does it with the duck raised up so the fat can drain and then bastes the duck with his own special concoction. The skin ends up so good and crispy that the first thing done is dividing up the skin. It's THAT good! He also has his own stuffing recipe that is so good. It has cranberries and walnuts in it. Only so much gets to fit in the duck so we bake a dish full of stuffing as well.

I'll be making the usual butternut pie (taste better than pumpkin IMHO), mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar and butter, some other veggie such as broccoli, cranberry orange relish, huckleberry pie and that'll be enough. We always have lots of leftovers. The cranberry orange relish is just the simple chopped fresh cranberries and orange with some sugar. What gets left over makes good cranberry orange muffins the next day.
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Nov 20, 2011 6:36 PM CST
My mouth is watering reading this thread. I think Thanksgiving is my favorite "food holiday".

Paul, your description of your family holiday brought back so many memories. I also miss our big family holidays....we are of sufficient age that we don't have many relatives left, and my cousins, sister, and I never had children. I do remember many happy times with our family and friends at the holidays. I"m grateful now even for our quiet holiday dinners with our small family. We still try to keep some of the traditions going.

Tabby--your duck sounds wonderful!

Trish, as always, I'm in awe of your organization. I'm always scrambling looking for recipes. I've been slowly adding them into an on-line database, but have a long way to go. *Blush*
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
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Trish
Nov 20, 2011 8:16 PM CST

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Mine aren't online yet either. I sure would like to get them there!! My "someday" plan is to include adding categories for things like "cheap", "company", "quick", "freezer", along with good sides for each meal entered. Then I won't have to think as much!
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Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ (Zone 9a)
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Aguane
Nov 21, 2011 12:09 AM CST
Posted my meal on another thread but just wanted to say I don't do shopping. I don't need a thing and don't want a thing.

I used to work with a guy who DID go shopping on Black Friday. On the Wednesday or early Thursday prior to Black Friday he'd go to Wally World and hide the food processor or bicycle or games or whatever in various parts of the store. That way he'd make sure to stash his inventory, and on Friday go back to the pots and pans to pick up his Nintendo hidden behind the Big Wheels and get the huge discount.
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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Nov 21, 2011 6:25 AM CST
Good one!! Rolling on the floor laughing

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