A day to celebrate all that we are grateful for
A day for reflection ~ count the many blessings
A day to share our bounty with others
A day to share in tradition with friends and family
A day of preparation
Can you smell the Turkey????
Let’s talk turkey 101: Let’s begin with the preparation and the planning process
If planning and preparation time is allowed, we are better able to enjoy the day, give thanks, enjoy our family and friends, as well as the bounty before us. Thanksgiving is a banquet – a feast! If you are the host/hostess, invite each guest to bring their favorite traditional dish so that everyone enjoys being a part of the festivities. Take time in sharing your holiday memories surrounding each favorite dish and what those memories mean to you. Create new traditional dishes to celebrate as we connect the old with the new. Invite each guest to bring their hand-written recipe card to share. Create a recipe scrapbook of Thanksgiving 2010 and share for a holiday gift.
As a means of ‘breezing’ through the Thanksgiving holiday, first confirm the number of guests that will be attending
Plan your menu, and get the kids involved in their favorites
Create a shopping list and shop at least one week in advance for most items
Order your fresh turkey allowing at least 1 pound per person (more if you like the leftovers)
Plan your table setting, and make sure there are enough platters, bowls and place settings
Purchase mums and pumpkins while there is still a supply before the holiday rush
If you’re using silver pieces, polish
Check your kitchen tools and purchase what you may need (roasting pan, roasting rack/lifters, carving knife and fork, carving board, bulb baster, sauce whisk, turkey platter, gravy separator, thermometer, linen twine, trussing needles, gravy boat, and a fine-mesh sieve)
Pick up special beverages
Have all linens pressed and ready-to-go
Create memories…When my daughters were little girls, and I was putting dinner together, I brought out the autumn-colored paper with crayons, scissors, and colored pencils. We traced their little hand prints, cut out each hand print, and then they colored them. The thumb was the turkey’s head, the fingers were the feathers, and after decorating and coloring the hand, each guest’s name was written. They were so proud of their contribution, and of course, everyone loved them! Insert the place cards on a dinner plate, or into a pine cone or a napkin ring, if you like, and add to your dining table. Everyone was happy, and dinner was served !!
A traditional family favorite – Sausage Stuffing. Thanksgiving memories…it’s all about the stuffing! Enjoy our tradition ~ our Thanksgiving family favorite ~ Buon Appetito!
Sausage Stuffing for Turkey (page 72 – MaMa Mia Cucina)
1 pound of sweet sausage (without skin)
1 stick of butter
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small carrot, diced
1 tablespoon dried thyme, or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage, or 2 teaspoons fresh sage
1 tablespoon dried parsley, or 2 tablespoons of fresh-chopped parsley
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
15 oz bag of unseasoned bread cubes
1-1/2 cups home made, or canned chicken stock
In a skillet, crumble sausage and cook well. Drain fat and set aside. In a skillet, saute´ butter, onion, celery, mushrooms, and carrots until tender. In a large bowl, add vegetables, seasonings and cooked sausage, bread cubes and chicken broth. Combine well. Reserve 4 cups to stuff a 14-18 pound turkey. Place remaining stuffing in a buttered casserole pan. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
I remember Thanksgiving being more about the stuffing than about the turkey! This is our traditional family favorite ~ Enjoy!
As we approach this holiday season, please remember those who are less fortunate ~ a member of your community that may be alone (invite them!), for all serving our country, and all that we are grateful for. Turn your head, and look at the person that is next to you…the day just got better!