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PreciousPantsofDoom

We had Canadian Thanksgiving last month.  Was just the family that lives in town (Mr PPOD,my Dad, my MIL and my BIL.)  Missing were my sister and her BF, who live a 6 hour plane journey away, my Mum ( who died 5 years ago), my FIL, who is in a care home with Alzheimers, and my SIL.    And I  was very Thankful that the S'IL was not there.  She has a mental illness which makes things tense at best, but this year she decided to go to Paris for a week.  And no, my BIL does not really have the kind of money for her to go jetting off to Paris, so I'm not sure how that happened, other than she is extremely hard to deal with when she is manic. It would help if she wasn't in denial about it, but mental illness isn't a simple problem.  So yeah, just a small calm gathering this year. 

We mostly do small family only dinners for the holidays, although we have gone to a restaurant a few times.  We did do potlucks a few times, but now I tend to host it and to only ask people to bring the odd thing (BIL brought wine, MIL picked up an extra dessert for my husband because he hates Pumpkin pie)  I might ask for more participation if we had more people, but with a smaller group I find it easier to do it myself rather than coordinating who is bringing what)  I do send everybody home with leftovers because I'm not much of a turkey fan. 

I agree with the people who wish their long gone relatives could still be with them at the holidays, and that you do think of those holidays of childhood where you were just happy and unaware of any troubles in the world.  At least I do, and I'm thankful for that too because I know so many people have harsher memories to deal with.

 

 

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EmCatlyn

Dinner will be for my husband, the only one of his daughters who lives in the area, my son ( who also lives in the area), my daughter who is flying in tonight from New York, my best friend and her husband and me.

Dinner is turkey, with cranberry-chutney, Cuban-Spanish "stuffing" (but it is mostly going to be a side-dish/dressing), steamed green beans (with olive oil "sofrito" poured over them),  New Orleans style sweet potato casserole (made with oranges), corn on the cob, apples and onions and a wild rice and mushrooms side.  Dessert is pumpkin pie (with real whipped cream to top) or applesauce spice mini cupcakes with vanilla ice cream.  

My daughter will be in charge of the turkey and cupcakes.  My friend and her husband will bring the salad and the wine, and my son is bringing the frozen rolls and the butter and will be in charge of them.  Hubby shopped with me, carried groceries etc. and will do the bulk of the dishwashing.

I guess I am very lucky because except that I wish my 92 year old mother were sufficiently aware and could be with us, and I would love it if daughter (who wants a family) had an SO to introduce as a potential father of my possible future grandkids, this is pretty much the company I want.

Edited by EmCatlyn

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SnazzyNazzy

Me, MrSnazzy, and the two SnazzySprogs, are going to my inlaws house. I have no idea who else will be there, and we will have the standard Thanksgiving fare.

Riveting I know.

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Nervous
HerNameIsBuffy

Add me to the camp of missing the old days when my parents were here.  The holidays have had an element of loss since they died and while it's gotten easier to deal with over time I credit that to my getting used to it more than actual lessening of grief.

i hate going elsewhere for the holidays, so once again it's just us at home.  I invited my sister but she's not feeling well, my other siblings do the in law thing.  Losing parents as young as we were it was easy to just turn holidays over to inlaws as we didn't have the parental hub/home to rally around and we never got it back.

this year is unusual in that 2 of my 3 kids have opted to go to their bio-dad's house.  they all have a complicated relationship with him and he doesn't cook so I've been selfishly annoyed having to deal with the frustration on this end over the logistics.  He still cannot cook - at all - so I'm doing the meal here for the kids to take over so they have their favorites.  He was going to pick up every thing pre cooked but I have picky eaters and God knows they are all Rapunzel's mother for the family stuffing.

i can get a lot of my prep done as I cook their stuff tonight so should make a relaxing day tomorrow.

holidays are the rare occasions I don't usually get bothered by end users needing something on my off hours, headship is working so well eat when he gets home.  It's just the 3 of us so a rare stress free day where I can putter around the house which is my favorite thing.  I do wish my siblings were coming and of course that my other 2 kids were home but this is fine.  

I never check Facebook but got a message from there in my email that my aunt was thinking of us and wished us a happy thanksgiving.  My mom comes from a huge family and we have no contact with any of them for the last 20+ years except the now occasional FB message from this aunt.  I saw the pics from part of the giant family thanksgiving on her page last year and it's a weird emotional dichotomy.  Family events - large gatherings of any kind - are a nightmare for me and I can't think of anything I'd hate more than being obligated to go to something like that.  But then there is this awareness that something is wrong with me and that my kids have a huge swath of family they don't know.  And that people who were once family are now strangers.  

I showed them the pics last year just because I had it up and one asked who someone was and my answer was "they used to be my cousin, Spurgeon."  My kids were like...aren't you still technically cousins?  Yeah, but it doesn't feel like it.  And it's worse than if they were strangers since I never even notice what strangers think of me...people who are genetically similar but don't like me is a whole 'not her level of awkward from stranger.

holidays are complicated so I'm going to go bake a pie - keep my hands busy as my mom would have said,

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Jana814

My family is going to my mother's best friend's house.

If I could go back it could be when I was younger & we had Thanksgiving at my aunt's house.  Even after my uncle died in 1992 she continued to hold Thanksgiving till she moved.  It was the only day I would watch football I got to see my "cousins" and us kids had a saying that if you sat with the kids then you "graduated".  When we were younger we put on skits for the adults. 

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PreciousPantsofDoom

Oh, and I forgot to say that the other thing I was grateful for this year was that my MIL just wasnt feeling up to making her cranberry sauce (which is not terrible sauce just not what I want) so I finally got to make my Mum's cranberry relish instead.  ( you basically dump a small package of cranberries into a blender with a cored apple, and a whole orange (with the zest, but pith removed).  Whiz it up and add a little sugar to taste. That's it. ) Tart and fresh and  makes me think of my Mum.  

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Lynn18

Dad's 7 years gone, Mom has dementia and is in a care facility. MIL 6 years gone, FIL in his 90's and lives across the country with BIL's family. Stepmom still alert and fine at 80, but has a new BF and her "own" family - I'm occasionally included.

Not to put too fine a point on it....Thanksgiving with my husband and two sons and one of husband's bachelor friends? Best Thanksgivings Ever.

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Wine time!
47of74

As usual it'll be most of my mom's side of the family, her brothers and sisters who live around the area, and cousins.  My brother will probably be in then.  Not my sister or brother in law since they live so far away.

It'll be different this year because my aunt passed on back in September so we won't have her with us this year.  She won't be here to help people when it comes time to play Euchre (or tell me that if I keep using colorful language I'll need to go to confession when the tricks don't go my way).  My uncle should still be coming though, we've been making sure that he's still part of the family.

And of course I'm going to make sure all the connections on the indoor turkey fryer are nice and tight before we put the oil in so we don't wind up with a whole bunch of oil on the basement floor like we did last year.

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Tired
clueliss

by choice, Me, Myself and I will be celebrating alone with The Queen (Spooky).  While I decompress, catch up with household chores, write, decompress, color, read, and a bit later cook for myself.  Wait, did I mention decompress?

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Lynn18

I guess it will be just the four of us...husbands friend has a terrible cold. We'll take him a care package since he has no one here. Poor buddy.

Maybe I can convince my men to pose for the Christmas card picture today!

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Satisfied
church_of_dog

Since I became an adult, I don't have much of a family history of holidays -- we were only perfunctory about it at best when I was a kid, and then my only sibling died and then my parents separated while I was still in high school.  Over the years I have mostly had friendsgivings, although occasionally Mom and I would make a day of it by ourselves.

Then I grew into my objections to all the big holidays -- what I call the "Hallmark-Capitalist-Imperialst" holidays and lost any interest in mainstream celebrations.  For Independence Day, Halloween, Christmas and New Years, I have no qualms about telling people I don't celebrate and prefer to spend the day quietly at home -- but somehow Thanksgiving was always the one day that "got" me, when I found I wanted to be around people.

This year, my ex-boyfriend and I (still close friends) were invited up to some friends' place about 30 miles away.  But I'm having a perfect storm of craziness in my life right around now, and it culminated with a beautiful snowstorm that just finished, now arriving a deep freeze that will not see 32F even as a high temperature for the next 4 days or so (in other words, icy roads) combined with a nasty cold as well as a badly wrenched back, both on my parts.  So our original plans have been scrapped.  Instead, the ex-boyfriend is coming over to my house and I'm baking potatoes and pumpkin pie, and roasting veggies and making split pea soup, with bread and salad, and we'll sit around on the floor (oh yeah, did I mention my new pine floor is installed but not yet varnished, so I'm sleeping in the back room and all my furniture is out on the porch?  And the floor is covered with tarps so we don't traipse snow or spill anything onto it until the varnish is applied next week.)

Oh, and I think the electrician is stopping by as well -- he thinks he's only dropping off/picking up some equipment for a project, but I bet he'll stay for food...  The ex and the electrician are good friends, so I plan to just sit back and watch them entertain themselves.

Then they will split me a little extra firewood in thanks and each go their merry way, and I will sink into a hot bath for my sore back, and thank Dog it's past for another year.

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withaj

Just my parents. My sister is with her fiancé's family (they're Jewish so they will probably always do Thanksgiving with them and Christmas with us). My only local aunt and uncle do Thanksgiving with the other side of the family since my uncle's mother is still living but my mom and aunt's (my grandmother) passed away several years ago.

I actually prefer holidays without my sister... she is a kitchen control freak, so cooking is way more fun with my mom.

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Arete

Me and 20 or so other relatives.  Sometimes we split Thanksgiving up by individual families, but this year we decided to have the whole crew in one house.  It's  been nice so far.

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FundieFarmer

Waffles topped with sweet potatoes & vanilla ice cream.

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princessmahina

Potato pancakes!

http://www.justataste.com/cheesy-leftover-mashed-potato-pancakes-recipe/#comment-214502

I love this recipe. I make it after every holiday. I'm also contemplating stuffing waffles, but I may just devour the stuffing on its own. I'm also contemplating cranberry sauce over ice cream.

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Lynn18

The last of the leftovers are gone. I can't believe how salty everything tasted tonight. Bleh.

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CrackerbackJocks

I've made turkey pot pies in years past using the leftover turkey meat, and homemake turkey broth in the white sauce.  It's work, but it's really good.

If you have a liter or two of stock, you can make risotto.  Add leftover meat to it too.

The stock and leftover sweet potatoes make a fine curried soup.

Cranberry sauce goes well with duck. 

 

 

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Arete

I love duck but have been extremely unsuccessful preparing it at home.  Not sure where I screw up.  Large meat roasts for holidays don't scare me, but I have been brought low by duck. My duck comes out greasy.  I save my duck cravings for a New York City Chinese restaurant that makes excellent Peking Duck every time.  It's just too expensive for me to screw it up at home.

 

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Aggravated
Coconut Flan

I used to have to make duck for an extremely allergic cat. :)

 

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MarblesMom

Well, we are less than two weeks out for Thanksgiving in the US.  Can we gather together here and share some recipes?

I haven't put on the full spread since the kids moved out ... it is just the two of us, and we usually get invited elsewhere, and I get to bring wine or flowers.  I miss the whole production of Thanksgiving!!!

 

:turkey:

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Bethella

I haven't done a ton of planning yet, but I'm leaning towards a pomegranate-cranberry relish (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/cranberry-pomegranate-sauce/ or http://www.aspicyperspective.com/pomegranate-apple-cranberry-relish/2) and I will definitely brine my turkey :turkey::cookedturkey2:(http://bbq.about.com/od/brinerecipes/r/bl61203d.htm

We still don't know how many people are coming or who is making what, but we still have time.

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MarblesMom

That brine sounds amazing. I hope I get to do the turkey this year :)

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Happy
PennySycamore

I don't brine my turkey, but use the recipe out of the late James Beard's Theory and Practice of Good Cooking.  It involves roasting the turkey on one side and then the other and finally turning it breast side up to finish roasting.  It makes such beautiful juicy delicious turkey.  The Cook's Illustrated/ America's Test Kitchen people said admitted this was a good method if you didn't want to brine the bird.  I did buy a new roasting pan the other day.  I've got a good sturdy one, but the coating is peeling a bit and I don't want to use the juices to make gravy.  This one is better.  Still sturdy, not peeling and should be easier to clean.

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Depressed
Maggie Mae

It's been just the two of us the past four years or so. I stopped inviting people over due to the fact that people refuse to just say "no i can't make it" until it's late and I've spent money. I know it's a common thing in this area to not have family and to make your own and also the laid back easy going life style with stuff planned at the last minute.. anyway, I have a rule of flaking out two times and no more invites. So to save the stress, it's just us. We usually make a (small, free) turkey with alton browns brine. We run the Turkey Trot in the morning, and then cook, watch football, and drink in our house pants. We usually make scalloped potatoes (home grown!), open up a can of cranberry jam (midwest traditions, what what and I will defend that until I die. (we also sometimes have the fancy stuff, but the can of gelatinous goo is just so familiar)) and I make mac & cheese. We then eat thanksgiving food for ever until I never want to look at it again. 

The Partner doesn't like turkey and I don't like stuffing the way he makes it so if we aren't gifted a turkey we eat ham (which I don't like, but I get steak or prime rib for winter holidays). I used to make sweet potatoes (i have a maple syrup curried sweet potato recipe with I love) but he won't touch it and I don't want to cook that dish just for me.

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Pretzel

Thanksgiving is, of course, an American thing but Mr. Pretzel loves typical Thanksgiving food, i.e. chicken, potatoes, sweet potato fries, cranberry sauce etc.

So I rise to the occasion this time of year and usually make chicken involtini/ roll ups with goat cheese (or feta) and spinach filling, rub them with homemade garlic butter, roast 'em quickly in a pan or skillet on high heat, put 'em in the oven and on very low heat (80-100° Celcius) and let them cook until done. I make a side of potato and carrot mash with some garlic, parsley and lemon juice. My sweet potato fries get roasted in the oven with herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil. 

I cook my cranberries in half cranberry juice (pure) and half unfiltered apple juice. I add brown sugar, a cinnamon stick, all spice kernels, ginger, pepper, nutmeg and whole cloves (and I pick all these spices out by hand after cooking) and let it cook until slightly coagulated. Sometimes I use the blender, sometimes I don't. 

I serve it with a cold yogurt-beetroot-cucumber-and-dill soup and serve pumpkin muffins for dessert. 

Edited by Pretzel

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