Thanksgiving 2019 - ideas / plans / menus / raves / rants

Reminds me of an article penned by the late Anthony Bourdain in which he recommended a “show turkey” and a “business turkey,” already carved at serving time, for larger Thanksgiving gatherings.

After being duly admired, the show turkey goes to leftovers and sandwiches. I love the practicality of this for two-turkey gatherings.


I get it, @Thimes, and I envy you. I miss cooking for Mom a LOT, as at least I know she was getting something nutritious and homemade than the Lean Cuisines she used to make for herself if not pan-cooking a hamburger or piece of chicken when she still lived on her own. Mom hasn’t gone out for a meal since moving into AL (except a brief lunch for an off-day Mother’s Day the first year she was there) so as much as I would love if she would agree to be driven to my sister’s house where Sis and I could do the cooking, Mom gets tired much too quickly. The 1.5 hours or so for the meal at the home will be more than enough for her (and we’ll probably tuck her into bed for a nap after the meal). I’m hoping it’s an “up day” for her, as she has been having many more “low days” recently.

And I get it with the knives - wasn’t sure what airline security would allow in packed bags. Buying a one-off knife works in a pinch such as this.


Mom’s home has about 20-25 current residents (and that number is probably a bit high) and many still go out on holidays or to their kids’ houses for their meal. I think there might have been 15 of us there last year, and the turkey was actually carved tableside, which seemed to please the residents no end. :slight_smile:

Their meals are all from scratch, and are surprisingly good. Now if I could just get Mom to eat a bit more of it, as her appetite has drastically diminished over the past year.


It must be a typical script - my MIL was eating Lean Cuisine and then was relying on protein shakes for meals . . . so being in AL has been really good for her (she agrees) and gives us more peace of mind too. Getting old gives you a lot more to be Thankful for . . . . sorry she doesn’t have the energy she used to have.

We will pick my MIL up for the meal and then back soon after. She is only good for ONE “thing” a day, anything more wipes her out. We’ve tried to do two things in a day, sometimes even just lunch and then an errand . . . nope. It’s lunch OR the errand not both.

So all you young folks reading this thread - remember to be Thankful that the people you are with are able to be there!!! :smiley:


We are living the same life, @Thimes. A doctor’s appt. is all she can manage - we once tried two in one day, and she was plum tired out for 2-3 days after. But I’m glad I can be there for her, as I’m sure you are.

And NOW back to your regularly scheduled program of what everyone’s making for Thanksgiving dinner! :smiley:


Linking your Travel Thanksgiving thread from last year.


One tip on this, not sure where you are located but my favorite shopping tip during the holidays is to order groceries online and then pick them up at the store. They shop for you! The cost here is nominal and is 100% worth it for me not to have to battle my way through the store.


I remember you ordered a WF turkey last year - we use the WF version of stovetop stuffing mix (my aunt draws the line at stovetop :rofl:), and it’s good, in case you want to add that to your order and free up luggage space for something else.


Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of mine! This year we are flipping the script and trying to double dip. Hopefully this works out. On the actual day, we are going to go to my husband’s cousin’s house. We went one year when I was pregnant because my mom was crazy sick and I was nervous to catch whatever she had. Thanksgiving was straight out of Martha Stewart! It was awesome!!! They are foodies and it was really tasty. I ate everything in sight. :heart_eyes:

I managed to convince my side to move the holiday to Friday to accommodate us! So, we will trek there the following day. Saturday. Salads and detox!!!

I always make pies. Pumpkin and apple. Sometimes a third if I have time (unlikely this year). I make an all butter crust. The trick for me is enough rest time in the fridge (overnight is ideal). I also am charged with crock pot stuffing which will be a little challenging now knowing the timing of all these events. Typically, I bring another side veggie. Brussel sprouts with bacon or something in that genre.

My mom makes these incredible rolls. They are yeasty, buttery, light. Tons of work but god, I adore them.


The plus side is that I can go into the supermarket AFTER Thanksgiving for what I need for my weekend meal (although I probably will have purchased the turkey breast the weekend before). I’m north of Boston, and I will venture out to the local stupidmarkets on Black Friday, as several are located in what I would call “non-Christmasy-type-of-shopping” strip malls.


We have settled on Pepperidge Farms cornbread stuffing mix. A friend recommended it some 30 years ago, along with her additions of walnuts and blond raisins. The kids objected to the fruit and nuts, so we just add onion and celery. Good broth helps.


Simple Tgiving for us seven. This year half the family planned to visit friends so we’re having an early Tgiving get together/second bday party for our niece on a Sunday. Turkey (dark meat braised and breast roasted), gravy, dressing, potatoes, fresh garden beets, maybe a green veg, rolls. Bday cake for dessert. Simple for apps (cashews and maybe a dip). New this year: I’m asking my step-mom to bring the dressing (and fearing giant chunks of celery ::shudder::slight_smile: and cranberry sauce. I’ll ask my bro to bring a potato side dish. I’ve planned out my timeline and to-do list and this is looking so easy…I think Tgiving should be moved to Sunday permanently.


As some one who spent some 35 years in retail I thank you. The Friday after Thanksgiving is the slowest day for grocery stores. I’ve picked up some great deals, a turkey for Christmas for about two bucks and a steal on four pounds of shucked oysters.


Yes; not a rant, as I (we) do remember your requests for suggestions. I really find it so inspiring, that you take that extra step to ensure your loved ones have a great meal. Going afar and preparing a beautiful T-G Day meal…You are a gem and I hope your family lets you know you are!


Guys…same here with mom, but she is still home and we have help in the house 24/7… I do visit often (when I am not in NYC) as she is about an 8 mile drive…but I cherish every time I get a little frustrated… why??.. because I still can!


Just one simple dish this year that I do not make every year…Potato Latkes…I make them at least a week before and freeze them…given that the oven is on any way, they warm up beautifully. It seems that everyone at our table likes them with cranberry sauce and apple sauce.
I make a white potato, a sweet potato and a zucchini /corn version.
We will have all of the other usual suspects to nibble on.
Our meal is normally at least a 6 hour feast starting at 11AM, ending about 5 or 6pm, we start with mimosas and Bloody Mary’s, bird into the oven, with four of us doing all of the cooking. Fun family day, always!


No menu set yet beyond the “must haves”,but some advice if the cooks don’t always get along in the kitchen. Due to some perfectionism issues on my part, along with having a volatile Greek spouse who is an excellent cook in his own right, our kitchen sometimes gets heated, and I’m not talking turkey here. :upside_down_face: It was very distressing to daughter’s BF, so to ease his discomfort I imposed a gag order on myself. I don’t comment, offer advice or say anything about anyone else’s cooking project. I will offer advice only when asked. This has been a wonderful thing; we have a cocktail or two and usually Prosecco as well, with snacks. The BF is now the SIL, so we didn’t scare him away after all. A mother’s little helper is quite beneficial as well! :rofl::rofl::rofl:


We have been starting with as I mentioned above Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s for years… Given the length of our get together, each of the four of us gets time in the kitchen alone! Generally I do ask the dil to come in and keep me company, because I like to ask for her “sous chef” help and she is really great…
Nice part is that we all share the kitchen and help out…and as the most senior member of the staff, if I don’t like something, the mouth is dis-engaged …I just have another mimosa and everything is fine!


It’s a great habit to follow, as after all, the holidays are to be enjoyed @PHREDDY!


Linking the other Thanksgiving thread here as there will be overlap I’m guessing.