And So It All Begins … Again

November 18, 2016

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Purchase this image at http://www.stocksy.com/417768

 

A three-year-old had this reaction to her Thanksgiving dinner: I don’t like the turkey, but I like the bread he ate.—Unknown

Occasionally, someone will say to me, “I’ll bet your family always has a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner.” Uh, no we don’t. No way.

Two holiday meals never stray outside the bounds of our family traditions—Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving is always turkey and dressing with the usual trimmings, and Christmas is roasted chicken with homemade noodles and mashed potatoes and other regular accompaniments. It’s possible we could become briefly untethered and offer a new side dish or salad but it just wouldn’t be worth the backlash.

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In recent years, Bob and I haven’t always been able to make it to our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. That’s when I usually steer away from the usual feast. True confession: Like that little girl in the quote above, I’m really not that crazy for turkey. I do eat it, but I much prefer chicken over turkey. And when it’s only Bob and me, I defy convention and make a pork roast. We still have dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and all of the usual fixings, including pumpkin or pecan pie, but in much smaller quantities, of course.

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Pecan pie made by daughter Kelly.

If you and I were guests at another family’s feast, we probably would enjoy it, but we would still be thinking that our own families’ holiday meals are better because that’s what we grew up with. Often there are no written recipes; “a  pinch of this and a smidgen of that” is what we do to make it taste just right. I could never write down (or put into a blog) how to make some of our favorites because I couldn’t do justice to them.

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The cooks in our family have never been measurers (except when baking). Our holiday family recipes would have to be learned in the presence of a taskmaster—me, or Kris, or my mom. I am especially testy about this. I have to be sure that the nuances are understood. If I shared one of these “recipes” in the blog, I would not be there in your kitchen to grab a spoon out of the drawer to taste the progression of your flavor-building or to see if it looks and smells the way it should. I wouldn’t be there to say to you, “The stock needs more salt or more onion.” Or, “You have rolled out the noodles too thin.” Or, “You haven’t cooked the noodles long enough; I still taste the flour.” (Our family has always made noodles on the thicker side. We like them toothsome.) Most of you are experienced cooks, but it’s good to be reminded that your taste buds are your buddies. They’re just loitering around inside your mouth waiting for something to do. Give them a sample every now and then as you create your savory dishes. For example, I love our family’s dressing (and oyster dressing, too). It’s so beautifully seasoned. I wish you could taste it. I suspect if you did, though, you would say, “Yes, it’s good, but it’s not as good as my family’s dressing!” I understand. We all love what we have grown up with.

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Kris and I mastered Noodle-Making 101 after we were married. We watched our mom make them, just as she watched her mother-in-law make them, and on and on back through the generations of my dad’s family. Kris and I were so pleased to know that our daughters-in-law, without being nudged, wanted to learn the craft. So, Lindsey (married to our son Bradley) and Jaclyn (married to Kris and Fred’s son Cory) tied on aprons and rolled up sleeves to become baptized in a cloud of flour. Even Bradley, sometimes our daughter Kelly, and Bob (who was born without the cooking gene) help with rolling-pin duty. Making noodles is a labor-intensive affair, but with all this help, it goes fast. It could go faster if the laborers would stop eating the raw noodles as fast as they make them. They know that drinking wine and champagne while they work is much more fun than whistling, and they hold onto unfounded hope that the alcohol will kill stray salmonella that may have hitched a ride on the noodles. With floured lips, pale as snowflakes, these dusty mimes appear to be a diligent crew of noodle-makers.

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Lindsey
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Jaclyn

 

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Lindsey, Jaclyn and Bradley (with the flour lips) are in full noodle-production mode.

Most times, the family gathers for Thanksgiving at Kris’ house in Wichita. Bob and I (and Kelly) won’t be there this year. This means that Kris and Mom may have to indoctrinate Lindsey and Jaclyn into the family way of making dressing, if there is time. (Yes, I hear you. I’m sure that Lindsey and Jaclyn would love to introduce some of their families’ traditional recipes into our menus. We welcome this, of course!)

Sorry to interrupt the flow, but talking about chickens and turkeys has reminded me of a story, which many of you have heard me tell before.

A few years ago, my friend Connie Isaacson and I were invited to dinner for the Iowa Poetry Association. We weren’t members; we were merely “seat-fillers” for a few people who couldn’t attend. We had a great time, even though I feared unnecessarily that someone would ask me to recite my favorite poem. I believe that Eletelephony by Laura Elizabeth Richards might not be contemplative enough for this group. When I was a child, I discovered the poem in our set of Collier’s Junior Classics. I memorized it for show-and-tell because I thought it was so hilarious.

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During the dinner—I sat next to a nice older gentleman who told me he owned a large hatchery business in the northern part of the state. “Oh really?” said I. “How admirable that you have such an interest in poetry.” He leaned close to my ear and lowered his voice, “Truthfully, a few years ago a friend asked me if I would be interested in going to a meeting, so I agreed to tag along. I wondered why all these people were standing around talking about poems. I thought I had been invited to a meeting of the Iowa Poultry Association.” After I came up for air from laughing so hard, I asked him, “So why did you join?” He replied, “I guess I liked all these people, and you know, I really do enjoy the poems.”

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Foodiva

Thanksgiving is just over the river and through the woods, so you’d better start thinking about your menu. I’m sharing seven recipes with you, just in case you want to surprise your family with something new to go along with the old. I know that’s a lot of recipes, but remember, we are talking about a feast!

Spaghetti squash can often be rather ho-hum. When I first started making it, I never thought I seasoned it enough. Now I have finally perfected it, and I crave it! Gruyère is such a fabulous cheese. It’s expensive, but you don’t need very much. You could certainly use freshly grated Parmesan instead, and it still would be delicious. A word of warning: Those fresh sage leaves fried in butter are positively addicting. You might want to fry a few extras so  you can enjoy their incredible tastiness. This dish is somewhat time-consuming, but it’s worth it, and everyone will be asking for the recipe.

Spaghetti Squash with Fried Sage Leaves and Gruyère

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Spaghetti Squash with Fried Sage Leaves and Gruyère

  • Servings: 4 or 5
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

  • 1  approximately 3-pound spaghetti squash
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons butter
  • 30 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 or 2 ounces freshly grated Gruyère cheese (may use Parmesan)

(There are many ways to cook a spaghetti squash. I prefer this method because trying to cut through the hard exterior of the squash is difficult; even dangerous. You can find the other methods on the internet.) Wash the squash. Fill a large stock pot about two-thirds full of water. Put the whole squash in it to make sure that, when the water is boiling, it won’t be too full. Then remove the squash while the water comes to a boil. Then add the squash very carefully so the boiling water doesn’t splash up on you. The squash will float. Cover and reduce heat so that the water boils but not vigorously. Cook for about 40 minutes; less if the squash is smaller. After it has cooked for 20 minutes, use wooden spoons or lifters to roll the squash over to cook on the other side for the last 20 minutes. Dump the squash and water into the sink carefully (lots of hot steam), and let squash cool. Then cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discard them. (Using an ice cream scoop makes this easier.) Use a fork to scrape out the strands along the bottom and sides of the squash halves. If the squash still seems very firm, put a piece over each half and microwave, one half at a time, for another 10 minutes or so, until the squash is softer and it’s easy to scrape the strands. Don’t scrape too deeply into the flesh or bits of hard shell can flake into the strands. Place the strands in a bowl.(At this point, it can be covered and refrigerated until ready to use later in the day or even the next day.) Discard the shells unless you want them to be the “serving bowls.”

To prepare the squash dish, melt the butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the sage leaves and fry them, stirring constantly until they become crisp, 30 or 40 seconds. The butter should be browned but not burned. Don’t let the skillet get too hot. Reduce the heat and quickly remove the leaves to a plate to cool. Add the garlic to the browned butter and sauté briefly. Add the squash back into skillet with the garlic and browned butter. Turn the heat back up to medium high. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté for a couple of minutes or just until some of the squash starts to brown, then turn off the heat. Crumble the sage leaves into smaller pieces and sprinkle over the squash. Add the pine nuts. Add 1 ounce or so of the Gruyère and stir in. Scoop into a shallow serving bowl. Garnish with more shredded cheese and a few fresh or fried sage leaves, if desired. Hint: You can refrigerate it a day ahead and then heat it in the microwave right before serving. If you decide to make it a day ahead, don’t add the pine nuts until you re-heat the squash.

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Recipe published at http://www.messycookblog.com

Here is another side dish that can be made ahead and served at room temperature. I created this recipe to provide an unexpected bright green surprise on the Thanksgiving table. Why? Because so many of the seasonal foods are in the same color ranges of orange, brown, yellow and cream.

Marinated Asparagus with Chopped Eggs and Aioli

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Marinated Asparagus with Chopped Eggs and Aioli

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt (I prefer Lawry’s)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Grey Poupon Country-Style Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

For the marinade, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, garlic salt, honey and red pepper flakes. Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus so they are all the same length and place in a microwave-safe dish with a 1/2 cup of water. Cook for three minutes or until they are tender-crisp. Drain in a colander and then immediately “shock” them by plunging them into a bowl of ice-cold water. (Put several ice cubes in to make it extra cold). This causes the asparagus to retain their bright green color. Spread them out on paper towels, rotating them occasionally until dry. Pour the marinade into a large 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the asparagus and close bag. Gently move the asparagus around in the marinade and then refrigerate for several hours. Occasionally move the asparagus around during the marinating process. Melt the butter in a small skillet and sauté the onions. Let them cool. For the aioli, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, garlic salt and pepper. Stir in the cooled onions. When ready to serve, arrange the asparagus on a platter. Spread a generous amount of aioli over the mid-section of the asparagus. Sprinkle chopped eggs over the aioli. (I don’t use all of the aioli and eggs. I put the rest of it in two little bowls in case someone wants more since the asparagus on the bottom may not have much.) Serve (with tongs) at room temperature.

Recipe published at http://www.messycookblog.com

If you’re ready for a different take on pumpkin, then you should consider this delicious seasonal Pumpkin Crème Brûlée. It’s a creamy, delicately spiced custard that will melt in your mouth.

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

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Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Granulated or turbinado sugar

Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl. Gradually add the sugar. Lightly whisk in the cream. Transfer mixture to a medium-sized heavy pan. Over medium-low heat, constantly stir custard until almost boiling. Remove from heat. Whisk in pumpkin, spices, salt and vanilla. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Pour into 6 half-cup ramekins. Place them in a large baking pan. Carefully pour boiling water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Gently set the pan with the ramekins in the center of the oven, which has been preheated to 300 degrees. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. (They may quiver slightly but will set up when chilled.) Remove ramekins to rack to cool. Then cover each one with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. When ready to serve, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar over each one. Caramelize the sugar with a kitchen blow torch, or place ramekins under the oven broiler and watch closely until the sugar has caramelized.

Recipe published at http://www.messycookblog.com

My friend Barb deBuhr, whose fabulous Boursin potato casserole recipe was featured in this blog several weeks ago, has a great dessert recipe for those times when you’re in a rush. Here is No-Bake Chocolate Truffle Pie. The recipe below is Barb’s, except I have modified it for the little individual graham cracker crusts. Simply divide the ingredients equally among the individual crusts. You’ll need two packages since only six come in each one, and this recipe makes at least eight tarts.

No-Bake Chocolate Truffle and Caramel Tarts

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No-Bake Chocolate Truffle and Caramel Tarts

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 8 Keebler mini graham cracker pie crusts (come in a package of 6)
  • 5 ounces (17 pieces) individual caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/4 cup canned evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed)
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Whipped cream for topping

Sprinkle pecans in the bottoms of each tart crust. For caramel layer, in a heavy saucepan over low heat, warm caramels and evaporated milk (or can do it in bowl in microwave), stirring often until caramels melt and mixture is smooth. Pour some over pecans in each crust. For truffle layer, heat chocolate chips, cream and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat or in a bowl in microwave, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Pour over caramel layer. Refrigerate 4 hours or more. To serve, pipe or spoon on whipped cream. (Note, if you decide to make it as Barb’s original pie recipe, use a 6-ounce ready-to-fill chocolate-flavored crust.) I made simple fall leaf decorations by piping melted chocolate (with a #1 or #2 pastry tip) into simple leaf designs on waxed paper placed on a small cookie sheet. I put them in the refrigerator to set. Then I gently lifted the leaves off the paper and stored them in a small plastic container in the refrigerator until I was ready to tuck them into the whipped cream. Handle them as little as possible because they melt easily.

Recipe published at http://www.messycookblog.com

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Even though Carolyn lives in sunny Florida now, she wears her favorite snowman apron (year-round) whenever she cooks.

My friend and former neighbor, Carolyn Eliason, is a wonderful cook and an amazing photographer. (She has her own photography blog “52 Weeks with Carolyn,” which is published every Friday at http://www.carolyneli.wordpress.com. Be sure to check it out.) She has given me so many great recipes over the years, but one I go back to frequently when I’m entertaining is her Crustless Quiche. Not only is it delicious, but it provides so much flexibility for cooks to put their own spin on it. I love that. Why are we talking about brunch, you may ask? Well, as you know, when the tribe descends for several days you’re expected to feed them at other meals besides the Thanksgiving feast. So, Carolyn’s recipe will come to the rescue. I have noted changes in the way I make the recipe. And you also can choose how you make it. How civilized!

Crustless Quiche

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Crustless Quiche

  • Servings: 8 to 12
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

  • 4 large eggs, beaten (I used 5)
  • 16 ounces small-curd cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used half-and-half)
  • 1/2 cup flour (I used 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I used 3/4 to 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (I didn’t use)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red or green pepper (I used 3/4 to 1 cup)
  • 2 cups frozen chopped broccoli, par cooked (I substituted 5 ounces of chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed)
  • 1 cup cubed ham
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (allow to cool a bit)
  • 8 ounces grated Swiss cheese (I used 4 ounces)
  • 8 ounces grated Colby Jack cheese (I used 4 ounces)
  • (I also used 8 ounces of grated mild cheddar cheese)
  • (I also used 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Spread into a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes; remove foil and cook another 15 minutes or until starting to brown. Let it stand for about 10 minutes before cutting into servings. Freezes well (unbaked). Thaw slightly before baking. Vary the recipe with your own choices of veggies and meats or shrimp or crab. Also could add a jalapeño pepper or a can of green chili peppers or sun-dried tomatoes. Use your imagination. (Tracy’s note: I often mix together all of the ingredients, except the grated cheeses, the day before and then refrigerate it in the bowl. The next day, I remove the bowl from the refrigerator about a half hour before baking and stir in the cheeses. Then I pour it into the baking pan and bake.)

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Recipe published at http://www.messycookblog.com

It’s always nice to have a tasty quick bread for the family to enjoy with their coffee (or milk) in the mornings. Here is a deliciously moist and dense Autumn Apple Bread that my sister Kris makes when the new fall apple crop arrives in the stores.

Autumn Apple Bread

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Autumn Apple Bread

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso  or instant coffee powder (optional, but I love it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or more if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups apples (any variety), peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and sour cream. Add flour, soda, salt, espresso powder (f using), cinnamon and vanilla. Stir in apples. Spread in buttered (or sprayed) 9×5-inch loaf pan. Combine last 4 ingredients and drop little chunks of it over the top. Bake at 35o degrees for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 or 10 minutes. Remove from pan and leave on cooling rack until barely warm. (I always wrap the bread in plastic when it’s barely warm. It helps to keep it moist.) Slice and serve.

Recipe published at http://www.messycookblog.com

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And the finale to this marathon of recipes is a very easy appetizer because, for crying out loud, shouldn’t there be one thing that doesn’t take three hours to make when you already have a million other things to do to get ready for these people who will soon invade your house like a burrowing herd of meerkats? Of course you love them all, bless their little hearts. Those cranberry sauce stains on the ceiling from last year’s gathering are fainter now. And that bloodstain did come out of the tablecloth. When it’s over, you will have stuffed another year of memories into that graying grey matter of yours. And then you’ll say, “I had fun, right? Let’s do it again!”

Hot Pepper Peach Brie with Bacon and Dried Cherries

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Hot Pepper Peach Brie with Bacon and Dried Cherries

  • Servings: 8 or more
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 1 wheel of Brie (any size)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup Robert Rothschild Hot Pepper Peach Preserves*
  • 5 slices bacon, fried crisp (but not burnt!)
  • Dried cherries
  • Cocktail crackers (I love Trader Joe’s Pita  Bite Crackers with Sea Salt; not the multigrain ones)

Place the Brie in an oven-safe serving dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, melt butter and briefly sauté onion. Stir in garlic salt and peach preserves and heat until melted. Remove Brie from oven and spoon peach mixture over top and sides. Sprinkle with bacon and dried cherries. If a larger Brie is used, you may have to increase the other ingredients a bit.) Place a spreader knife by the Brie and serve with crackers or pita chips.

rothschild-hot-pepper-peach-preserves*Note: I am having trouble finding the Rothschild Hot Pepper Peach Preserves at my grocery store. It is available at Amazon.com, in case you can’t find it at your store. To substitute, I use regular peach or apricot preserves and add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to it; however, the Rothschild preserves are the best.

 Recipe published at http://www.messycookblog.com

 Last Bites

A lot of Thanksgiving days have been ruined by not carving the turkey in the kitchen.—Frank “Kin” Hubbard

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Bob—ready to carve turkey.

For some reason, it has been a tradition through the years that men are the chosen ones to carve the turkey, and this ritual must take place at the dining room table in front of everyone. Who decided this? There are probably many guys who are comfortable with this task, but there are plenty more who want no part of it. I’m guessing that the ones who like to do it are the guys who know how to cook. My husband does not.

It would be charming to have Bob, dressed in a suit and tie, stand at the head of the Thanksgiving table, ready to carve the bird (how Norman Rockwellian). But sadly, Bob has no useful knowledge of turkey anatomy and the sharpest tool he has mastery of is the fingernail clippers. Watching him saw away on a turkey leg would be like watching a grisly slasher movie, not to mention that Great Aunt Rildabelle’s antique linen tablecloth would be ruined.

I did a little research online to determine if emergency rooms observe an uptick in injured people crying “fowl!” on Turkey Day. As a matter of fact, they do. Here are some commonly seen mishaps: knocking the turkey off the table and onto the foot (causing contusions and toe fractures); slightly inebriated “carvers” impaling themselves (causing finger, thumb and hand lacerations); fingers and hands being skewered with sharp pieces of turkey bone; and being burned from dropping the turkey while removing it from the oven or deep-fryer. These poor victims wait their turn to be x-rayed and bandaged and then they are sent back home in time to gnaw on few leftovers.

 

 

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Robert Englund, 1984, (c) New Line/courtesy Everett Collection
Bob—after carving the turkey.

It would be so helpful if these fledgling carvers could watch some instructional videos on how to carve a turkey before their big moment in the spotlight. As it is, many of the chosen ones merely whittle away at the bird, while chunks of greasy meat and skin fly onto the tablecloth and floor. The guests feign nonchalance as the side dishes congeal in their bowls.

There are those of you who think there is nothing sexier than the foreplay of parading around a 25-pound bird on a slippery platter from kitchen to dining room. If your chosen one can do it well, then I bow to his skill, dexterity, and ultra coolness. For our family feast, however, the women will continue to efficiently reduce the bird down to neat piles of dark meat on half of the platter and white meat on the other—out in the kitchen and out of the spotlight.

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The following story is an example of why Bob should never be asked to perform tasks in the kitchen or dining room, except to be on the cleanup crew:

Years ago, my husband was given charge of our two young kids and our dachshund Schultz while I was out of town for the weekend. I wrote several pages of instructions on the care and feeding of children and wiener dogs. Bob, who is quite knowledgeable about things like bank mergers and acquisitions, knew nothing about cooking. He was planning to take the kids out for every meal, except breakfast (which involved only cereal). I decided to buy a “take and bake” pizza for their first night’s meal, thinking “how hard can it be?” I wrote down more instructions, explaining in detail how to bake the pizza—such as, where the oven is, how to turn it on and set the timer, and pointed out that the plastic wrap must be removed prior to baking, etc. That night, I called home to see how it was going. Kelly answered the phone and began sobbing, “When Dad took the pizza out of the oven, he dropped it on the floor and he made us eat it anyway!” Bob wrested the phone from her little mitt and calmly said, “In your instructions, you failed to note that I was supposed to use potholders when I removed the pizza from the oven.”

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Embrace your family this Thanksgiving. A hug assures them that you love them, quirks and all. And when it’s time for everyone to go around the table and say what they are thankful for, remind yourself not to say, “Caller ID.”

I appreciate all of you who come here and spend time reading my musings and recipes. Thank you! My next post will be on December 2. Happy Thanksgiving!—Tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “And So It All Begins … Again

  1. Well done! I LOVED every word, story, and recipe. But I am so busy getting ready for Thanksgiving for the FAM coming to Kansas, (so sorry you and Bob and Kell won’t make it this year) – that looking at your beautiful blog pictures and grand presentations kind of stressed me out. My dinner will never come close, but if I can even get the dressing right, I will be so happy. And if it were not for you and your dear mother-in-law Reta, teaching me the “dressing secrets,” I still don’t think I could do it. Mom is always a huge help, if you aren’t here to advise, and together, with Jaclyn and Lindsay’s help, we will manage to pull it off. Oyster dressing for Dad and Regular dressing for Fred. The rest of us fall in line with one or both. If all else fails, there’s always pumpkin pie! Cory has always loved the gravy – on everything! Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing your stories.

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    1. All of your food is always fabulous. And you’ll have a great work crew there this year! Thank you for the nice words about the blog. Good of you to read it when you are so busy getting ready for TG. We’ll talk soon!!

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  2. Great blog post Tracy, I so enjoy getting it drooling over the wonderful recipes and I can always count on a good laugh first thing in the morning! Thank you for including me in this one and sharing my blog site. Isn’t blogging fun! Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!!

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