Thursday, November 27, 2014

Every Day is a Day of Thanksgiving

Table all set
While a very great part of the US is celebrating our Thanksgiving holiday today, there are myriad things every day to be thankful for. I am grateful to live in this country with the freedoms allowed. I am grateful for heat or air conditioning, potable water, plumbing, sanitation. I am grateful I have a kitchen full of all the things to make cooking a pleasure and a joy. I am grateful for family; my husband and his family, my sisters, my children and grandchildren. I am grateful for all my friends. This list could continue indefinitely, but what I am getting at is that sometimes we forget we should always be grateful for every little thing, no matter how seemingly small. 

Designs with "Wine Writer" Pens
While most of the US celebrates today, my husband and I, with his sister, will celebrate tomorrow. Tomorrow is my "turkey day". It turns out that three of my children will also be celebrating their Thanksgiving Day either tomorrow or Saturday, for one reason or another. 

I have everything pre-made that can be pre-made. I made my pies today, and they smell and look scrumptious. I am hoping my "dry brined" turkey (in essence, salted turkey) will come out tasty. Even if not, we will most certainly be bursting at the seams after the dinner is done. My table is set. I found Wine Writer Pens when in Williams Sonoma recently, and used them to decorate my wineglasses, partly in an effort to copy the kind of scroll work on the table runner. The pen writing comes off easily with warm, soapy water, making it fun to use them, not only to write the name of the person the glass belongs to, but also allowing one to let their creativity full reign. I carried this scroll work design into the menus also.

Table runner with scroll work pattern
I have my stuffing partially made: bread and cornbread cubes with parsley, sage, mace and pepper are in a large, sealed container. The milk and eggs are in another container, ready to add, once the bacon and onions are fried and the apple is shredded, tomorrow. The sweet potatoes are mashed and seasoned; the streusel topping is made and the ground nuts are ready. I only need to place the sweet potatoes into the casserole, top with the streusel and nuts and bake. The cranberries have been made for about a week. The brioche buns are frozen, only needing to be reheated. I mentioned the pies: a Pumpkin Pie and a Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie that smelled heavenly while baking.

The only things I prefer to get done last moment are the mashed potatoes and gravy. While this does seem to make that last half hour a real crunch, it is all worth it in the end. 

Growing up, my Mom and Dad always set Thanksgiving dinner for about 3 or 4 PM. I have always carried this through my life also, so I am aiming for about 4 PM tomorrow to have our dinner on the table. I like this timing, because it allows a long evening to let the tummy settle, in case it was abused!  Often, this also allows some time to pass before attempting to eat pie ;-)

At right is my menu for tomorrow. I am so very grateful for my creativity in the kitchen and at my computer. I love coming up with ideas. I wish the very best of holidays to everyone.