Friday, November 27, 2015

Our Thanksgiving feast

Sharing our thanksgiving meal...and documenting it so I remember for next year...what worked...what failed

Turkey - It is only the 3 of us, so last year I cut our small bird in half and only cooked one half...this year I thawed the other half and cooked it... It was already brined from last year (a huge time saver!) and it turned out perfect!  The half size is perfect for our family as we will have enough for dinner tonight also and possibly turkey with gravy tomorrow.

Gravy - cooking just the half bird can make gravy time a bit scary, but I've learned that if I carve the bird I get enough juice to make the gravy with.  A brined bird makes for a really flavorful gravy.  This is something that always concerned my mom.  She searches all over town for her special sausage and then bastes her bird constantly.  Me, I brine the bird and roast basting! 

Mashed Potatoes - this year after boiling the potatoes, I ran them through the food mill into my crock pot with a stick of butter and some milk.  I set it at low until it was heated up (a lot of heat is lost in the milling process) and then left it at warm until after dinner.  We had nice soft potatoes that didn't get all dried out in the oven.  The only problem was that the potatoes did dry and stick to the sides of the crock...but a bit of soaking and scraping (I use an old gift card as a scraper) got it right out.

Rolls - I made the rolls with my bread maker several weeks ago...I just had to thaw them out and pop them into the oven.  yum

Yams - couldn't be easier.  I don't care for yams.  But DH & DD like them in the syrup that they're packed in add in brown sugar & butter.  Bake for an hour.  done!

Rutabagas - I'm the only one who eats these, but since I don't eat the yams, this is my treat.  This is also how I sliced open my finger last year!  But I searched online how to cut the rutabaga... and while I didn't find it any easier, I also didn't end up in the ER again this year.  I just cut it up, add some salt & sugar and boil them until soft.  Then run them through the food mill.

Mushrooms with quinoa - This was my attempt at a stuffing replacement.  I'm the only one who eats stuffing.  But basically stuffing is just bread with fat.  I read online that it was done as an attempt to add calories to the diet.  My family stuffing recipe does that quite well...and I don't need it.  So I tried the mushrooms & quinoa instead.  It tastes just fine, but Thanksgiving food it is NOT!  So I'll probably have it for lunch this afternoon.  I'll stick with just mushrooms next year.

Green Beans - just microwaved with seasoning

Corn - just microwaved... no matter what I do to the corn, hubby always adds salt at the table.  So I stopped bothering to add any salt when I cook it.

Cranberry Sauce - DD could just eat the entire dish with a spoon.  oh it is just the jellied cranberry juice.  She'll eat the whole cranberries also (but not the fancy stuff with oranges & spice :p ) but I get the cheap stuff and she loves it.

Pumpkin Dessert - This is sort of like a dump cake or cobbler.  Mix pumpkin (I get whole pumpkins and make the puree myself...which no one seems to notice or care.  If I manage to grow the pumpkins myself it's a savings of money.  fingers crossed for a good crop next year!)  with spices, sugar, eggs & evaporated milk.  pour into a greased pan and sprinkle a dry yellow cake mix on top.  pour melted butter on top.  The original recipe called for pecans, but DD might be allergic and it is fine w/o the nuts.  bake til cake is golden brown & delicious!

Cherry Dessert - Oh this is soooo easy.  Cherry pie filling (that's the hard part...finding one that isn't full of garbage) dump into greased dish and sprinkle with dry cake mix and pour melted butter on top.  bake til cake is golden brown & delicious!

and that's it.  For lunch, I served cheese, sausage & crackers.  I served dinner at 4:30 because it was done by then.  Lilly thought it must be midnight though.  sigh!


  1. You had a feast! I love the idea of using the crock pot to reheat mashed potatoes. Very clever! i love mashed potatoes too and will have to remember this trick. I need to learn how to brine a turkey too. :)

    1. I also tried using a heating pad to keep the food warm, but that failed. going to have to employ more heating devices so everything stays warm...I did leave the yams in the oven because those who eat them have them after the rest of their meal, like an early dessert. And the brining is easy...loads of recipes for it online. I use Alton Browns...or a close version of it as I typically do it from memory now. ;) veggie broth, brown sugar, salt, all spice, peppercorn & ginger.