Just saw this Thanksgiving Meme over at Joy of Desserts, and figured it would be a great post for today, as I take some time to gather my thoughts and go through photos from yesterday’s dinner.
I’m not tagging anyone in particular, but consider yourself tagged if it resonates with you and you feel like answering.
1. Which do you like better: hosting Thanksgiving at your home, or going elsewhere?
I prefer to host, I think. We don’t get many (read: any) invites for Thanksgiving usually, so we end up doing our own thing, and inviting family and friends without an extended family to join us. It’s a lot of work, but it’s only once a year, so I don’t mind it. And this way, I get to have my favorite dishes, too.
2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen turkey? Organic? Free-range?
Frozen turkey, at the cheapest price I can find. I’ve been in frugal mode this year, and found that a $5.50 turkey tastes just as good if not better than a $75 turkey. While organic or free-range would be nice, I just can’t afford it. If you guys knew how many stores I had to go to on Sunday to find a sale turkey in stock….thankfully Giant Eagle had a ton of them at .29/lb.
3. Do you make stuffing or dressing? What kind?
Stuffing, in the bird. There is absolutely no substitute in this house – if I changed it up, there would be mutiny. 2 loaves of bread, a couple of onions, a stick of butter, a couple of stalks of celery, enough chicken broth to moisten at all and salt, pepper and poultry seasoning to taste.
4. Sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie?
Neither – I always make my Brown Sugar Squash Pie, which tastes like a combination of both.
5. Are leftovers a blessing or a curse?
A blessing. I purposely make a much bigger bird than I need to (read: 18 lb. bird for 8 people) so I have leftover turkey. Stuffing is usually gone by the next day, with the remaining side dishes usually becoming parts of other dishes (like mashed potatoes becoming Shepherd’s Pie, etc.)
6. What side dishes are a must-have in your family?
The ones I’ve been ordered not to touch or change or experiment with are the candied yams and the stuffing. Everything else I have a little bit of leeway with.
7. What do you wish you had that might make Thanksgiving easier?
More fridge/freezer space and a second stove/oven. I always run out of both.
8. If/when you go to someone else’s house for the holiday, do you usually bring a dish? If so, what is it?
Never been invited to anyone’s house for the holiday, but I would bring whatever they requested, or if no requests, probably a dessert or an appetizer. If I’ve been requested to not bring anything, I still always bring along a bottle of wine for the person to have later on. I don’t like arriving as a guest empty handed.
9. What do you wish one of your guests would bring to your house?
10. What do you wish one of your guests would NOT bring to your house?
Drama. I like low-key gatherings, and don’t want to worry about personality clashes/family dynamics getting in the way. Luckily, this hasn’t been a problem for years.
11. Do you stick with a particular menu from year to year, or do you mix it up?
I make the same main meal (including sides, although I’ve been known to mix up the veggie portion). I like it because it gets easier and takes less time to do each year now that it’s old hat. I play around with appetizers and desserts.
12. Is Thanksgiving a religious or secular holiday in your home?
As we are not religious, it is a purely secular day in our home that celebrates family and friends and gluttony. It’s the one day a year we can eat what we want, spend the time with whoever we want, doing anything we want, and then being able to sleep in late the next day because there’s nothing planned. We *hate* Black Friday here and avoid going out on it at all costs.
13. Share one Thanksgiving tradition.
When I was growing up, it used to be going to the football game between rival high schools Vineland and Millville. No real Thanksgiving traditions now that I’m in Ohio.
14. Share one Thanksgiving memory.
I got a heritage turkey a couple of years ago that had this HUGE cavity – I mean so big that my sister could fit her whole arm in it. And genius me decided to stuff it. After brining it. 12 hours later and the stuffing STILL wasn’t at a safe temperature. And the brine had made everything (turkey, stuffing, and gravy made from the drippings salty. Never again. Went back to my cheap supermarket frozen bird the next year.
15. Name five things you’re thankful for.
Good health, good fortune, good friends, good turkey and good times.