What is everyone doing this week?
Planning your Thanksgiving Celebration? Is it for traveling or hosting or just eating a snack alone in front of your TV watching your favorite TV shows. See? That doesn't sound bad to me - but then to say that sounds like I'm not looking forward to my rather sizable family being in my house and around my table. I am looking forward to it and I tend to make it quite an event - I've had the huge stack of recipes out for a couple of days - looks like I'm an event planner - going over all this stuff. I like to use the china and the crystal and the sterling silver - and create ambiance and we get casually dressed nice, except that I don't have anything to wear - oh well - had hoped to get to H'ville and find something, but I don't think that is going to happen. I look forward to a day when I can do a bit of remodeling and have a larger dining space.
So - wonder what folks are having.
I made the cornbread yesterday for the "dressing". It's in the freezer now. I am going to make yeast rolls today and freeze them for "brown and serve" rolls. Who knows that trick? Well, I know we usually just rely on Sister Schubert, but I'm wanting to make my own this year. Anyway - can be made ahead...do a slow, low cook in the oven - cool - and freeze. When ready to eat, thaw them out and bake. Fresh yeast rolls.
Also - am going to bake sweet potatoes today and get them mashed and in the freezer for the casserole - and also making a pie that is part pecan/part sweet potato. Looks yummy. Charlie has to have a pecan pie and Sarah has to have a pumpkin pie - but I am also going to return this year to a recipe called Pumpkin Crisp. Used it one year and it was delicious! Served with Ice Cream. So good.
Have to have those spiced peaches - a recipe I have made with canned cling peaches and with added spices and sugar and a pinch of vinegar they become those great Spiced Peaches. I love them. Also I have to have the cranberry congealed salad. One of my favorites and I also love the cranberry sauce. Laura Beth prefers the jellied and I prefer the whole - so we have both.
With all of that we'll have rice which is a tradition that comes from Charlie's family. We used to go down there for Thanksgiving - and they always had rice. Always - alongside the dressing - not stuffing. So...gravy goes on the rice and it goes on the dressing as well. All so good. I do have the wholegrain rice. Love the crunch.
When Ann was small she insisted on the Green Bean Casserole - you know, the one with the cream of mushroom soup and the Fried Onion Rings in a can. I embellished it quite a bit and made it especially good - but we've steered away from that recipe in the last few years. I think Ann's pallette has moved on to other veggies or veggies cooked a bit differently.
I am going to have either canned or fresh green beans as well as cooked carrots. We have to have some color and something a bit lighter.
I think that's it - Have I left out anything? I've been known to leave out important items.
Another task for today is to cook the chicken to get that good broth which will go into the dressing and into the gravy. Love the good homemade broth, seasoned with celery and onion and sage.
No..I haven't forgotten the Turkey - except in the last couple of years I have begun buying a Turkey Breast instead of the huge Turkey - actually, last year I bought 2 and this year I'm going to buy 3 to cook. Also, last year for the first time I did "Brine" the Turkey Breast. I am all about that now. Really helps with the juicyness of the meat and its not getting dried out. I found my Brining Bags at Williams Sonoma and used the recipe for Brine on the back of the Bag Box.
Charlie has some "meetings" at Point Clear this weekend. Always this time of year, right before Thanksgiving. Whose idea was that??? to plan business meetings out of town a couple of days prior to T'giving??? Well, we make it work for us because Charlie then drives over to Pensacola to bring his Mother up here to be with us during Thanksgiving. She is sharp and alive and well at age 86. She'll get to see her 4 great grandchildren and that will be fun. Ellie used to call her Great Near - since she calls me Near - she just did that on her own - Great Near. I don't know if she'll still do that, but it was cute when she did it. My girls call her Grandmother - so probably that is how they'll name her. They are around her so seldom to develop a regular "affectionate" name. I think one will happen this trip -
I have to go and get on with my daily tasks - but wanted to post.
Did all watch the news and the weather? Thanksgiving morning should be our first morning "freeze" - looks like we'll have a fire in the fireplace - ahhhh - those scents - wood smoke - spices and seasonings wafting up from the oven and stovetop in the kitchen - the warmth and almost too much warmth from all the cooking. Lets not forget that first cup of coffee in the morning. Can't beat that scent and probably there'll be bacon - Charlie does that in the microwave. He knows just the right amount of time to get it very crisp and not so greasy.
Well - that's my Thanksgiving preparation for this year - it's been a week - rather emotional as I've been on the phone with Sarah and Kate regarding a couple of crises that come with being seniors at Auburn University. One is that Sarah is finishing her senior project and all the pressure that goes with that performance - she's in fine arts - and the instructors have to instruct - translation - criticize - ugh. It all culminates tomorrow and then both girls will be coming home on Saturday. Scott, LB and Ada get here on Sunday. Charlie and Lib arrive on Tuesday.
Mary Ann, per my request, is delaying her visit for a "post Thanksgiving" visit. She is coming on Sunday following Thanksgiving. I requested that because Andrew is having some surgery on Tuesday December 1. That happens to be the day that Charlie and I have to drive to Auburn for Sarah's senior show. Mary Ann is going to be here for "maternal purposes", in my place - plus some sweet folks from church will also be "looking after" the Barbers.
Mary Ann doesn't require it, but I promised her that I would make a special meal for her on that Sunday Night - since she'll be missing our yummy meal on Thanksgiving Day. So - drum roll - guess what I'm having? Well, while Charlie is in Pensacola returning his mom to her home - he is going to stop by Joe Patti's Seafood Market and get us some fresh shrimp - I have a luscious looking Shrimp Casserole which is from Mother's collection - I'm going to make that with some delicious sides and a dessert - and will have some of those rolls with it, that will be in my freezer. I know Mary Ann will read this - so I just "gave that away". I'm really excited about the shrimp casserole. I don't cook with seafood very much - but would like to. I just want it fresh from the gulf - and not frozen. And to get it fresh up here in North Alabama - well, it's so expensive.
That's all - I suppose this would be a food post - wouldn't it?
Have a great day.