Author Topic: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...  (Read 6583 times)

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mbbored

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2012, 12:05:12 PM »
North Carolinian here. Growing up we did turkey, wild rice, Stove Top, rolls, green bean casserole,  cranberry sauce from a can, and pumpkin pie from Libby's can in a Pillsbury crust. But I became vegetarian in middle school, so no turkey for me, just lots of carbs.

During college and a few years after, I spent Thanksgiving with a boyfriend's Louisiana family who ate a catered meal with lots of Cajun dishes, including oyster dressing, stuffed mirliton, and caponata.

Since then I've moved out to California. I spent the first two years at cocktail parties in San Francisco, a year at an orphan Thanksgiving where we had corned beef and cabbage (a separate pot of boiled veggies for me!), and one when my family came to visit, where our center piece was a mushroom tart.

This year, I'll be hosting potluck orphan Thanksgiving with an international guest list. Most of us are vegetarian, and the rest are from non-meat centric cultures, so it's going to be all vegetarian. Among other things, I will be contributing green bean casserole (entirely from canned foods) and pumpkin pie (from scratch, with a homegrown pumpkin.)

Valentines Mommy

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2012, 12:25:33 PM »
While the traditional elements are on my table, since papa died 15 years ago, my family makes different things. Sometimes it's just a turkey, others we have ham or prime rib too. The green bean casserole never made it to my table until I married DH. But I make everything in it from scratch; Cook's Illustrated has a great recipe.

Our tradition is thanksgiving will be dessert centric. And some type of mashed potato is a must. We've done skin on, garlic, milk and mustard cooked, bacon and chive, the list could go on.

ETA: born in Louisville, raised in Arizona, living in Houston. So if a Deep South- Mexican-Cajun holiday meal works for you, there's always room for more at my house.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 05:53:02 PM by Valentines Mommy »

dietcokeofevil

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2012, 11:51:22 AM »
I always have at least 2 Thanksgiving meals a year, sometimes 3.

My immediate family gets together on Thanksgiving - around 10-12 people.  Sometimes we'll have a few extras join us.  Hosting varies each year.   We used to rotate, but things pop up and stuff, so I've hosted the last 3 years or so.  Not a big deal, I find Thanksgiving dinner one of the easiest to fix.  Everyone brings something to contribute, but the host does the majority of the cooking.  The food is always similar, but the preparation might be different.  For example, last year I made bourbon mashed sweet potatoes instead of with brown sugar and marshmallows.  We usually have both turkey and ham.  My family isn't that big on turkey, so I wouldn't be surprised if steaks became our meat of choice in the future.   We always have a big variety of side dishes and desserts, although pumpkin pie is always included.  Almost all the food is homemade.

Then we always have Thanksgiving dinner with my husbands immediate family, 10 of us now, but 3 are 5 and under.   We rotate between our house and Dh's brothers house.  MIL used to be part of the rotation, but she's just not that good of cook and she doesn't have dishes and stuff for everything.  Again everyone contributes no matter whose house it's at.  The menu is pretty set: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, tolls, pumpkin pie.  We'll make another dessert and a couple other sides that vary.

Then some years we'll also do Thanksgiving with my mother's extended family.  There'll be 20-25 people then.  Everyone brings food and there's just tons of things to choose from.


baba

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2012, 02:52:11 PM »
Born and raised in Chicago.  Now live in Dallas.  We have the same menu every year - roast turkey with the "family" stuffing (P. Farm bread stuffing), mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, asparagus, pumpkin pie, apple pie, something chocolate, deviled eggs and other assorted appetizers.  Once we ordered a  deep fried turkey and we all liked it, but agreed that we loved the smell of the turkey roasting in the oven and permeating the house more.  This is the same menu my mother and grandmother used.  Sometimess I will make green bean casserole for my son-in-law, who grew up with it.

violinp

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2012, 03:21:50 PM »
Born and raised in the South. We always have a huge turkey (12+ pounds for 6 people), mashed potatoes, gravy, cornbread dressing, deviled eggs, creamed corn, oyster chowder, cranberry jelly/jam, and a choice of pumpkin or pecan pie for dessert. Man, I'm getting hungry thinking about it!
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


readingchick

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2012, 03:52:41 PM »
Born, raised, and live in Indiana. In my mother's family (14-17 people depending on which year it is), we do Thanksgiving semi-potluck: my aunt (who has hosted for as long as I can remember) is in charge of the turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, cheeseball and desserts, with everyone else bringing a side dish (dressing, noodles, red cabbage, the infamous green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, layered salad, corn, cranberry fluff, deviled eggs and whatever else strikes someone's fancy) and my SO bringing the alcohol. We've started using disposable plates though which is good (in years past it's been ceramic plates).
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 08:11:32 AM by readingchick »

Dindrane

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2012, 01:42:26 AM »
I was born and raised in Texas, but live in the PNW now. My husband was born overseas, and so didn't celebrate Thanksgiving until about 6 years ago. :)

My family always had a big, traditional, pot-luck style gathering. There were some constants in the meal, but it was mostly a product of specific people taking on the dishes they liked best and then more or less making them the same way. My grandparents mostly hosted until my grandfather died, and then my aunts and uncles started taking turns. Whoever hosted did the turkey, and whatever sides they would have made anyway.

Now that I live rather far from home, DH and I have our own Thanksgiving. It's basically the same as the one I grew up with (albeit much smaller), although we have tailored all my favorite dishes to suit both our tastes and DH has had some influence on what we eat. I never actually had cranberry sauce with my turkey until he started buying the canned stuff for his. Now I've decided I like it, and will probably see about making our own from scratch this year. I also brine my turkey, which I'm pretty certain nobody else in my family does (and which is why I never cared particularly for turkey until I started making it myself...).

There would usually be anywhere from 15-30 people at my family's Thanksgiving. Guests were sometimes invited, particularly when people were in college in the general area and had friends who didn't go home for the holiday. They were certainly always welcome, in any case. As I mentioned, food was always and is still pot luck within the family. Now that my generation is all grown up, the grandkids will often bring a dish or a bottle of wine, although it's still not really expected. Because it's always been pot luck, food is always subject to change, although it never changes all that much. People preserve their favorite dishes by taking them over a lot of the time, so that way everybody gets to just bring what they like the most.

The biggest changes to the holiday, I think, are all of us growing up and a number of us moving away. The out of town cousins (myself included) do not often travel back for Thanksgiving. I've never been back myself, largely because I think it's the worst holiday to travel for. If I'm going to go home for a holiday, I'd much rather go home for Christmas -- I get more time off, the travel itself seems easier, and I miss being with family more at that time of year. Plus, I rather like celebrating Thanksgiving with just my husband. We get to make all the food we like, avoid all the food we don't, and eat the leftovers all weekend.


learningtofly

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2012, 09:51:43 AM »
DH's family is very traditional.  Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce.  He almost fell over the first time he joined my family.  There was a turkey...and a ham.  We didn't do stuffing although by college I had tried Stove Top stuffing and that was added to DH's horror.  We also did sweet potatoes not mashed potatoes.  Mom's family never ate rice, mashed potatoes, or stuffing.

Now my favorite stuffing is DH's andouile and cornbread stuffing.  He does an awesome acorn squash.  MIL's Thanksgiving....I've either blocked it out or we've successfully managed to avoid her house (going to BIL's or we host).  This year I've kidnapped Thanksgiving and invited both sides of the family.  Everyone can bring what they want, but there will be a ham and a turkey as well as my Dad's favorite dessert.  If the cornbread stuffing appears I won't complain  ;D

Amara

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2012, 01:56:42 PM »
Now I've decided I like it, and will probably see about making our own from scratch this year.

Ooh, Dindrane, you are going to love the homemade version. I think so anyway. It's very different from the canned, but so good especially if you don't use as much sugar as most recipes call for. Don't forget the fresh zest.

My family always had roast turkey, gravy, bread stuffing, canned cranberry sauce, frozen fruit salad (canned fruit cocktail in whipped cream and frozen, courtesy of my maternal grandmother), mashed potatoes, boiled-to-death green beans, also boiled-to-death carrots, and pumpkin pie with real whipped cream and later the canned stuff. Oh, and olives and pickles for an appetizer.

Now me, I like it a bit simpler: roast herbed turkey, dressing with bread and vegetables, fresh green beans that have been lightly steamed with perhaps a bit of sage butter, herb gravy, carmelized shallots, homemade cranberry sauce, an extravagant green salad, tiny individual raspberry-and Brie salads, homemade pumpkin pie, and a couple of bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau or Cabernet. No appetizers and no potatoes.

mj

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2012, 06:39:34 PM »
I am from the south, DH is from the midwest.

My family did a roast turkey, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, canned cranberry jelly, 7up salad, rolls, green bean casserole for the main course.  Appetizers were meatballs, celery with cream cheese, cheese ball and crackers, shrimp cocktail and eggrolls.  Over the years things would be added or taken away, but nothing major.  The eggrolls were added because a friend of the family always gave them as gifts (she made them homemade and they were delicious.)  The celebration itself was just family generally, although sometimes a person outside of the family would come (grandmothers roommate in the nursing home that was without family.)

It is too hard to keep track of all the food at DHs.  It always has the roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and corn.  So many people are invited that menu is vast and generally not the same year to year.  DHs parents always provide the turkey and do a really good job of it.

Firecat

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2012, 09:43:30 PM »
Native Minnesotan here. My maternal grandmother hosted Thanksgiving when I was very young, then my aunt took over for some years, more recently it's been at my mom's house. But the menu has always been more or less the same, with some variations over the years.

Roast turkey with sage stuffing (made by my aunt and always delicious, even cold. We all fight over the crunchy bits from top  of the baking dish since we don't usually actually stuff the turkey.)
Mashed potatoes and homemade gravy.
Cranberry sauce (usually both canned and homemade).
Corn
Squash
Brussels Sprouts
Relish tray (black and green olives, sweet and dill pickles, raw carrots and sometimes celery)
Waldorf salad

Mom, my aunt, and my sister do most of the cooking, since my aunt and my sister live closer to Mom - DH and I are a couple of hours away by car.

Dessert is usually homemade apple pie, which I provide. Since my sister got married, we've added pumpkin pie, since BIL is the only one who really likes it. Although some of us will take a sliver, which we promptly bury in a mound of whipped cream, because it's a really good excuse to eat whipped cream. Sis usually makes the pumpkin pie on the day, and it bakes while we eat the main meal, so it's still just a bit warm from the oven when we're ready for dessert.

MizA

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2012, 02:06:51 AM »
We're Canadian, living in vancouver.  If it's just the two of us, we usually have duck stuffed with apricots, nokedli, butter greens, roast potato cakes, and sour cherry soup.  It's a mostly traditional Hungarian meal, but one of my favourites for special occasions.

If, like last year, we're cooking for a crowd (of about 40 people, sitting around tables around a bonfire.  Superfun!) we'll do a deep-fried turkey, a roast turkey, a ham, and a veggie pasta dish like spinach and mushroom lasagna.  We mash sweet potatoes with roasted garlic, have maple syrup grilled squash, and roast beets with sour cream and dill.  We always have a qunioa salad and a green salad, and often have rice, bread and cornbread stuffing.  There's usually a kale or chard dish, roasted corn, and roasted fingerling potatoes.  Five of us usually handle all the cooking, and five to eight of us deal with getting everything on the table and crowd control.  Everyone but the cooks clean.

And for dessert, we have as many cakes and pies as we can handle.  It's never too much :)
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Amara

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2012, 12:47:41 PM »
sour cherry soup

Ooh, do you have a recipe for that?

Hmmmmm

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2012, 12:52:35 PM »
sour cherry soup

Ooh, do you have a recipe for that?

I'd like a recipe too if you don't mind.

BatCity

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Re: S/O T-giving planning - what do you eat, and where do you live, and...
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2012, 01:55:08 PM »
Born and raised in California (there are a lot of us here)!

My mom is the poster child for eHell approved Thanksgiving.  While my parents warmly welcome one and all to their table, they have a hard line about some things:

1. Thanksgiving is non-negotiable.  In our interfaith family, it's far more important than Christmas.

2. Sides are pot luck, but Mom and Dad do the turkey.

3. Some core foods are essential (cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie), but new foods can be added to the mix.

My DH has been wanting to do a fried turkey for years and has been told that he is out of luck.  When he complains, I explain to him that consistency keeps things together.  Then I start singing "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof, which shuts him right up.