Author Topic: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013  (Read 5694 times)

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Amara

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Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« on: November 24, 2012, 04:26:23 PM »
Based on this year's Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday do you have any changes you definitely intend to institute for next year's weekend? It could be anything from a menu item to a relationship to the way you shop.

For me, I came to the realization that even though I did all the prep work in the days before the holiday (and thus was, on Thanksgiving morning, wondering what to do with myself) that I really don't like turkey and trimmings. I suspect that has to do with the prep work, that I kind of "taste" the menu in the days before I actually eat it. And that once it is before me on the table I am tired of it. Plus, the cost isn't exactly inexpensive any more.

So I am thinking that while I liked, really liked, the quiet and peacefulness I had this year that I will no longer do a turkey & trimmings dinner. I'm going to make something simple, something I adore like vegetarian tacos or my favorite pasta dish, or maybe if I can get them fresh that morning, splurge on steamed littleneck clams. I am simply not going to go to a lot of trouble to make something I apparently don't care all that much for.

Plus, I am more unwilling to become part of a family celebration that is so insistent on doing everything the way it has always been done that the day has a fair amount of tension that ramps up very high during the last half hour before dinner when far too many people are in the kitchen making things, crowding things, stressing out while trying to get every dish to the table at the same time. It just doesn't make it much fun for me. My holiday gift to myself will be to avoid it.

What do you want to change?

AngelicGamer

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 05:11:28 PM »
Inviting my very cranky uncle* who complains about all of eating too much on the holiday and the days after.  But that'll never happen because we can't really have him without having my aunt.  I love my aunt, but as my uncle gets older, he's a lot more cranky.  I'm thinking duct tape to the mouth isn't EHell approved.   >:D

*Said uncle isn't always cranky and he had a stroke a while ago.  It's just that, as he gets older, the stroke shows more and more through him.  I can just hope that he's not as bad at Christmas.




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RegionMom

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 10:09:31 PM »
No cranberry sauce in a can.  No one touched it!  We had real cranberries that were homemade into a lovely concoction.  Yum!

Also, let the little kids run outside and play before eating.  Take the family photos first, then let the little ones have fun while the kitchen is busy.  More quiet and focused for eating!
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Jones

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2012, 10:23:35 PM »
Online Black Friday shopping was great; I was able to see if items were available at my local store, pay for them online, and stroll in around 2 PM to pick them up at the counter. None of the running through a crowd, asking employees if there's a display that I missed somewhere. No standing in the freezing cold. No wishing I had brought a basket as there aren't enough in the store to go around. No being pushed or shoved and wishing I could at least get a "sorry" out of the shovers.

Last night (Black Friday night) my town set off fireworks. Very loud fireworks at 9 PM. Not Thanksgiving, the night after. I may take the kids and chihuahuas and spend the night at my parents' house (an hour away). Such. A. Rukus.

GratefulMaria

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2012, 11:21:30 PM »
Next year I will try to:

Get a bigger turkey -- we're almost done with our leftovers already!  There are four of us with a 13 lb. turkey, but I send a bunch with my mother and MIL when they leave.

Have a fire in the wood stove.  We skipped it this year because DH and I warmed up running around doing things.  But I missed it, and will just wear something lighter next year.  And maybe work less!   :)

Get more sleep the night before.  It's been crazy busy this weekend and I haven't caught up yet.

magician5

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2012, 11:52:34 PM »
This year we had a huge 10-lb turkey breast, not the whole bird (our tribe is diminishing in numbers) and for the first time we really kept watch on the internal temperature. It helped that we had a temperature proble built into the oven.

Surprise! It was finished to 165' in half the time the package said (actually stopped at about 162' and let the temp keep rising while it rested, covered)

I never had any idea white meat turkey could be that moist and flavorful! Tender and delicious, not dry and boring!

We'll be doing it that way next year for sure!
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.

AylaM

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2012, 12:28:39 AM »
Never assume the host is providing the "staples".

Usually our host makes the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes.  I thought it was a rule. 

Apparently it is not.

I found a new recipe for sweet potatoes I wanted to bring.  Didn't because that was the host's job.  Wish I had.  There were no sweet potatoes.

Sad.

Dindrane

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2012, 01:24:44 AM »
I'm going to prep more in advance. I'm also going to try to avoid going out of town right before Thanksgiving (which, fortunately, is not something I normally do).

This year, we went out of town for a milestone birthday celebration, and didn't get back until about a week before the holiday. So the weekend before Thanksgiving, we were catching up on laundry and sleep, and didn't really prep very well for the holiday. We didn't buy our groceries until Monday night, and we didn't cook anything in advance.

We got everything done that we needed to get done, but we ate about 3 hours later than I'd intended, and things weren't really ready at the right times (because of a lack of oven space). I've decided that, while it's all fresh, I'm making myself a darned spreadsheet with ingredients, cooking times, and whatever else I can think of that might be useful, so we don't dither over our shopping and planning. It also didn't help that we had to go to the store on Tuesday, Wednesday, AND Thursday to get forgotten items that we didn't buy on our big trip on Monday. That wasn't fun at all.

On the other hand, I am totally going to buy a whole turkey if we can find another small one (we bought a 13 pound one this year). We had been doing turkey breasts with some bonus dark meat (since the grocery store typically sells drumsticks separately). It's a lot of turkey for just the two of us, but we got basically 3 Thanksgiving dinners out of it, and we still have a bunch of breast meat for sandwiches next week. Whatever we don't eat next week we'll freeze and put in a casserole or something. On top of that, the turkey was easier to cook, because we use Alton Brown's recipe and put "aromatics" in the cavity. Which, incidentally, is much easier to do when the turkey has a cavity.

I'm also going to try to perfect my roux-making skills. I finally managed it for the gravy this year (seriously, like first time ever). The gravy was worlds and away better than what we've had in the past, but still has room for improvement. I think we're going to try roasting more chickens as a regular meal thing, so I'll get to practice my gravy-making on that.

Also, we're buying a roasting rack. I'm done trying to elevate the turkey from the pan with tubes of aluminum foil. Now that we consistently make our own turkeys (and want to roast more chickens), it's worth buying.


cicero

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2012, 12:59:21 PM »
Well, i didn't do t-giving this year (it's not really celebrated here) but I have in past years.

last year i made a stuffed turkey breast roll - i bought a fresh breast (skinless and boneless), marindated, then sliced it not all the way through, and made it into a big rectangle which i spread with stuffing (onion/mushroom,nuts) and then roasted. amazing. and oh so much easier than a whole bird.

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Lady Snowdon

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2012, 01:13:54 PM »
Based on this Thanskgiving, I'm going to try and get out of making mashed potatoes whenever possible!  I love mashed potatoes, but usually think that other people don't make them quite right.  This year, someone else volunteered to make them before I could.  I made cranberries instead, and it only took me an hour to make six pounds of cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving (43 people total at dinner this year), instead of the three hours it took us to make 10 lbs of mashed potatoes two years ago.  The other person's mashed potatoes tasted just fine, and I was so happy to have some extra time back in my day!  I'm fine with making small batches of mashed potatoes for a group, but no more mass production for me. 

jpcher

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2012, 01:26:03 PM »
Next year I will insist on bringing a veggie tray or garden salad.

TGiving day is always at SIL's home and in the past I've brought the veggie tray appetizer (which has been put on the table during dinner so I never really noticed that SIL never served salad). This year SIL told me not to bother. She has plenty of food/apps.

While dinner was delicious, there were absolutely no fresh greens to fill myself up with. So I stuffed myself with carbs and really felt the effects later.


So, even though it might be considered rude, I'll insist on bringing a salad next year.

happygrrl

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2012, 01:26:30 PM »
I'm growing a pair, and having the dinner at my house next year. I truly, really, postively love to cook, and I am t.i.r.e.d. of having to go to MILs every danged year and listen to her whiiiiine how tired she is and how much woooork it is, blah, blah, blah. It's a good thing she does nothing outside of play computer games all day; otherwise she might expire from utter exaustion. (no offense to any gamers on here!!)

I'm also tired of not having any of *my* family's traditions; I like presenting the turkey at the table, and using real china, crystal, and flatware. I like to decorate my formal dining room, and I love leftovers, No---correction---I love leftovers.

Yep.
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jpcher

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2012, 01:29:47 PM »
Based on this Thanskgiving, I'm going to try and get out of making mashed potatoes whenever possible!  I love mashed potatoes, but usually think that other people don't make them quite right.  This year, someone else volunteered to make them before I could.  I made cranberries instead, and it only took me an hour to make six pounds of cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving (43 people total at dinner this year), instead of the three hours it took us to make 10 lbs of mashed potatoes two years ago.  The other person's mashed potatoes tasted just fine, and I was so happy to have some extra time back in my day!  I'm fine with making small batches of mashed potatoes for a group, but no more mass production for me.

I'm betting most of that time was spent peeling. Have you ever tried mashed potatoes with the skin-on? It sounds weird, but I really like them.

AylaM

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2012, 01:53:09 PM »
I'm growing a pair, and having the dinner at my house next year. I truly, really, postively love to cook, and I am t.i.r.e.d. of having to go to MILs every danged year and listen to her whiiiiine how tired she is and how much woooork it is, blah, blah, blah. It's a good thing she does nothing outside of play computer games all day; otherwise she might expire from utter exaustion. (no offense to any gamers on here!!)

I'm also tired of not having any of *my* family's traditions; I like presenting the turkey at the table, and using real china, crystal, and flatware. I like to decorate my formal dining room, and I love leftovers, No---correction---I love leftovers.

Yep.

That reminds me.

When we host we tend to have a boatload of turkey leftover that no one wants to take.  Next year I vow to do so.  There are some leftover turkey recipes I've wanted to try, but I never get to the turkey.  Grandma nabs it and makes pounds and pounds of turkey salad.  With all of the leftovers.

I'm ok with turkey salad, but not hers.  And not with all the turkey.  Other people like it, but I don't.  Its Miracle whip (which I don't like), celery (which I don't like), onion (which I don't like raw), and salt and pepper.  Maybe other stuff too, but that's all I know because I taste it and it isn't yummy.

But for 3 years running I've not been able to touch the turkey before she gets to it.  Next year I will.

sparksals

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Re: Changes for Thanksgiving 2013
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2012, 02:09:52 PM »
Never assume the host is providing the "staples".

Usually our host makes the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes.  I thought it was a rule. 

Apparently it is not.

I found a new recipe for sweet potatoes I wanted to bring.  Didn't because that was the host's job.  Wish I had.  There were no sweet potatoes.

Sad.

Is it possible the host doesn't consider sweet potatoes a staple?  I dont. I never have had them at TG in Canada or the US.