Thanksgiving in New Hampshire started with a flicker – the dimming of the lights as we were making cranberry sauce Wednesday night. Over the next few days, we made do just like our pilgrim ancestors (or someone’s pilgrim ancestors, considering all my relatives came to the US in the last 100 or so years). I got back to my roots, shoveling the driveway, using the snow as our natural refrigerator, and playing board games by candlelight.
Having the power lines down for the biggest meal of the year wasn’t without its challenges, but things turned out great. We cooked the turkey at Grandma BooBoo’s house in the next town over. We made stuffing in the crockpot in the living room, since the generator didn’t power the kitchen. We cooked the rest of the food on the gas stove, and ate by candlelight. We invited another family over to share with us so they wouldn’t be alone in the dark, and huddled even closer around the table.
Even after the power came back, this dark start to the holiday season reminded me of the lesson that every Who should learn – it really doesn’t matter how warm your food is or if you can watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. At the end of the day, all that matters is being able to enjoy time with people you love.
Oh, and pie. Pie matters too.
My friends and I have been mentally preparing for Thursday’s Thanksgiving feast, including running through our family recipes and traditions. In doing so, we found that the Thanksgiving meal we were picturing was all different. Sure, we expected this when we lived in London and no one had heard of this wacky holiday, or in college where people came from all over, but surely three women raised in one small town would have the same menu in mind… right?
So now I want to know – what’s on your required list for Thanksgiving? Does it ever change? Are you allowed to help with the cooking? Are we the only family that doesn’t religiously eat squash, and can anyone confirm that turkey really is better when deep fried?
Here’s our family menu for 2013:
- Turkey (always)
- Stuffing (always, made with bread, apples, onions, eggs, etc. – no cornbread (!!), no meat (??))
- Mashed potatoes (usually? I feel like we’ve gone without)
- Gravy (always since Grandma Boo Boo has joined us!)
- Cranberry sauce, homemade AND canned (always)
- NOT broccoli casserole (retired for 2013, though it may resurface at Christmas)
- Caesar salad (almost always)
- At least two kinds of vegetables (always)
- Butternut squash with kale and pumpkin seeds – recipe here
- Roasted Brussels sprouts
- At least two kinds of pie (always – I believe that other kinds of dessert are acceptable traditions but should never replace the all-American pie)
What’s on your Thanksgiving menu? Post what YOU think this meal entails – and your favorite recipes, if you’re willing to share! – below!
This is my life and I couldn’t be happier. I just got myself invited to crash my “little” neighbor’s birthday party (she’s 18 and makes me feel ancient) and Dad says “I really do have a box in the basement that I’d love for you to look at.”