With the holiday coming next week, preparations here are well underway. Decorating, cooking and sharing time with friends and family is the heart of the holiday. With over five years of posts, sometimes it is good to revisit past posts with holiday ideas. In looking back, I realized I’ve not done a post on stuffing/dressing. I’ll have to get some good photos this year for one on the many variations I like to do. This one was made with sourdough bread, onions, bacon and mushrooms with sage and oregano, a recipe from Bon Appétit from at least 20 years ago. Yum!! But I’ve also done dressing with Italian sausage, and another time with wild rice. So many ways to create great flavor for the holidays.
One of my most read posts from 2015 and updated in 2016, is How To Brine and Bake a Moist Succulent Turkey. It doesn’t take as much as you think, and I show you how to make room in the frig for it too.
While the turkey is brining, serve some wonderful hot nibbles from my post on Appetizer Meals. These are lighter versions of fun football food, to take the edge off hunger on the holiday.
If it is just the two of you, try my Roasted Garlic Turkey Breast. It is special enough for a holiday if you add some cranberry sauce to the meal, but we often have it through the year.
Or try my Panko Crusted Turkey Breast.
If you like ham instead of turkey, or you need a second entree for a large gathering, try one of these ways to cook Slow Cooked Ham with Two Methods.
Maybe this is the year to try a new side dish. In years past, my mother and I would experiment with side dishes, dressing and desserts every Thanksgiving. Even the turkey had different herbs and spices from year to year. One year heavy on the sage, then the next would be a lighter version with garlic and oregano, or some other variation. Of course, the cranberry sauce had to be there, but the one year she tried a whole cranberry sauce with orange peel there was a small revolt. Jellied only, please. Still, there would always be something new to try. So here are some ideas for you. First, make the mashed potatoes a bit more special with my Cheddar Onion Mashed Potatoes. Still delicious with a bit of turkey gravy on top, it also makes great side dish for ham if that is your holiday main course.
Give the vegetable side dish a new twist with my Squash Broccoli Casserole.
Perhaps some Garlic Zucchini would hit the spot. Or, make this for a fresh side to go with the leftovers.
Try my Baked Spinach with Roasted Garlic, a great side for turkey, ham or Prime Rib.
Another great side for ham is my Parsley New Potatoes with Sour Cream Sauce.
If you have a bit of baking time the day before, try my Rustic Egg Bread as your bread for the holiday meal.
Need a different pumpkin dessert for the big day? Try my Pumpkin Toffee Dump Cake.
Sometimes I’ll do a Creme Brulee, when we’ve had enough pumpkin.
Then, make sure your home is guest ready with Getting Really Ready for Company. There are so many things to think about, and you might be surprised at what you find in your own home when you do one simple thing.
But most of all, hug your loved ones and enjoy the fellowship of the day. Cherish the small moments, rejoice in being with your family and friends. Those times are precious beyond measure, greatly missed when loved ones are gone. It is a season of gratitude, which I often mention, like this post – Itadakimasu and Musings on Gratitude. From that post, these words still ring true “I will strive to live in the moment, letting go of the past, savoring the present, looking forward to the future. We can all take a moment each day to stop and breathe, listen to the rain on the roof, appreciate the fragrance of a fresh flower or a delicious meal, delight in that moment which is unique to that day and time and will not come again in exactly the same way. Cherish family and friends.” I did an entire month of Japanese Inspired posts, which you can see by clicking on that category on the sidebar. I hope you will read that post on living in the world and in the moment.
Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year, a whole day of fun, enjoying good food, watching the parades and football, and I am looking forward to it next week. I have the turkey in the freezer, and the required jellied cranberry sauce in the frig still in the can. As I’ve said many times before, it just isn’t Thanksgiving unless it has the can markings on the side and is served in my grandmother’s cut glass dish.
Are you trying anything new for the Thanksgiving holiday?