November 25, 2013

A Quiet Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving this week, it will be just the five of us.  We talked to a couple of people who do not have family in the area, but they are heading out of town.  It was a bit disappointing.
In talking to a friend, I realized the benefits of keeping a holiday personal and quiet, even without the extended family though they will be missed.  I will be thankful for the
love we have in our family and the opportunity to celebrate in our own quiet way. When it's just the five of us, we keep a simple menu.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Turkey and gravy
Sausage Stuffing, Gramma's recipe
Mashed potatoes
Broccoli casserole
Corn (from the cob)
Bread
Applesauce (homemade)
Grandma's apple pie

You might notice the lack of sweet potatoes or squash.  My husband is not a big fan.  Nor does he like pumpkin pie.  I also prefer apple pie, so we're all happy!  We always have the same basic holiday meal, though if others are with us, we would have a few more sides.

To better prepare for Thanksgiving, I will do a few tasks in advance to make Thanksgiving morning easy.
Tuesday: 
Brown sausage, chop onion and celery for stuffing.
Remove bread dough from the freezer.  (My bread recipe makes two loaves, so last week I purposely set the extra loaf of dough in the freezer.)
Remove applesauce from the freezer.
Wednesday: 
Make apple pie.
Prepare broccoli casserole, minus the topping.
Bake bread.
Season turkey and wrap in plastic.
Dry out the bread slices that I have placed in the freezer for the stuffing.  (I have never done this before.)
Serve leftovers, frozen pizza, or take-out for dinner.
Thursday:
Roast turkey early to have the oven available.
Fight with the gravy.
Put together the stuffing ingredients.  Bake.
Prepare mashed potatoes.
Place cracker topping on broccoli casserole.  Bake.
Cook corn.
Slice bread.
I will prepare to have the turkey fully cooked 1-2 hours prior to mealtime.  I can keep the turkey hot with this method.

MUCH easier!!  What do you do in advance?  Do you always serve the same things?  Even if I had to work on Wednesday, I would still try to prepare as much in advance as possible.  Since I know I will be spending the afternoon in the kitchen on Wednesday, I am planning to not make dinner that night.  We will likely have a frozen pizza instead.

Though similar, this is not part of our Less-Stressed Christmas series!  Or maybe it should be since Christmas is also often a time for a large meal!  Hmm...

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

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