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Thanksgiving: Family Traditions?

12 years ago

I have recently heard a BBC radio prog. on the US upcoming holiday in which two London-based American women ex-pats (one a journalist with the Times and the other a food writer) talked about their plans for the Big Day.

If there is anyone out there in the US, who can temporarily remover their hand from some dark turkey-related orifice I would be most interested in any of your family traditions/customs.

One of the women described how her English guests cringed when offered mashed sweet potato covered in melted marshmallow, nor were they at ease with holding hands while saying 'Grace' or declaring to the company what they were 'thankful' for . . . but then we are still so straight-laced and undemonstrative you must forgive us.

The women said Thanksgiving as 'easier' than Christmas . . . unless you were the cook. ;-)

Comments (33)

  • 12 years ago

    Vee, Thanksgiving is definitely easier than Christmas -- even if you are the cook, IMHO. Much less decorating, no gifts, better weather (usually) and fewer activities. I've been making Thanksgiving dinner for our family for years (it's not very big -- my largest dinner was for 17, this year it's only for 7, possibly 8). Most of my immediate family is still in the same town, so travel isn't a problem.

    Our family traditions mainly involve the selection of food and keeping things as simple as possible. I cook just turkey breasts, not the whole bird. We make my late MIL's recipe for stuffing with sausage. I've never made stuffing inside the turkey, though, it's always on the stove. If my BIL is here I make the gooey sweet potatoes/yams with marshmallows (and I can understand the cringe - it is a bit alarming if you're not familiar with it), otherwise we skip it.

    My mom and sister bring side dishes, which always include green bean casserole (my kids won't touch it but I love it). I've tried to switch the menu up from time to time, but everyone wants the same thing every year, turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, carrots, asparagus, rolls and dessert. I bake pies the day before, pumpkin and pecan. On the whole, it's quite manageable. The clean up on the other hand, can take a couple of days. I'm eternally thankful for my dishwasher!

    Following dinner someone usually manages to get a few of us out for a walk, and since you can't have Thanksgiving without football, the guys usually vanish to watch the games at some point. We are pretty much a Thanksgiving cliche :)

  • 12 years ago

    I am the cook this year, but everyone else brings food so it isn't as bad as it seems. I anticipate having about 30 for a 1:00 pm meal, but seven of them are 12 and under, the youngest being just 1. I am cheating by buying a precooked turkey, dressing, and gravy, which will just need to be warmed.

    Our sweet potatoes would alarm English guests, too. They don't have marshmallows but do have a topping of brown sugar, butter, and chopped pecans. We do say grace but don't hold hands and don't specify what we are thankful for, especially this year as the day falls on the birthday of my dear sister-in-law who died in August of a quick and savage case of sarcoma cancer.

    If you are interested, here is the menu (most of which is an annual affair):

    Turkey, dressing (stuffing to non-southerners), and gravy
    Ham
    Mashed potatoes
    Sweet potatoes
    Macaroni and cheese (from a niece whose little boys are picky eaters and love mac)
    Corn, fresh frozen from my sister's garden
    Green beans, home canned, ditto
    Broccoli and cheese casserole
    Squash casserole
    Cranberry Salad
    Frozen Apple Snow Salad
    Yeast rolls (bought)
    Devil's Food Cake with orange filling and chocolate frosting
    Italian Cream Cake
    Fall Apple Cake
    Cream Raisin Pie
    Sugar Cream Pie
    Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream
    Mincemeat Tarts (bought)
    Cookies baked and brought by a niece from a school cookie dough sale by one of her boys, for which I paid
    Mulled Cider
    Iced tea (southern, remember)
    Coffee
    Assorted soft drinks for the kids

    Do you think we will have enough food? On Friday, I intend to spend a lot of the day in my pj's reading one of my new books and eating leftovers.

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  • 12 years ago

    Carolyn, I feel full just reading the menu! Enjoy your meal!

  • 12 years ago

    Our traditions, as it were, seem to revolve around food. My parents are divorced and never the twain shall meet so my sister and I attempt some annoying balancing act involving splitting up holidays between them. As a result, Sis and I are irritated since we are realizing that we and our immediate families get a holiday together only rarely.

    Wherever and with whomever, there will always be a turkey stuffed with traditional dressing, scalloped oysters, mashed potatoes, gravy, a completely American sweet potato dish (this year just like Carolyn's and it's as good as pie)
    cranberry sauce, pumpkin and pecan pies. Other dishes get added and subtracted but these are standard. Saying grace at meals is a given; I did not grow up holding hands for it (yikes, I'm from north of the Mason-Dixon line, no touching!) but my southern husband did and I've found it a nice habit to adapt.

  • 12 years ago

    I like Thanksgiving much more than Christmas. Low key, centered around food, no frenzied gift buying. No real traditions in my family except the traditional food: turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry side dish, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and butter, pumpkin pie. We said grace but like bookmom never would have thought of holding hands or doing other touchy-feely stuff (not only am I a Northerner but from a Germanic-American family, so relative repression is a given!)
    A student of mine told me the other day about his family's tradition. He's from a family of 9 kids, all grown with families or college aged. Their gathering is, therefore, huge. A month beforehand the family matriarch has them draw a card for two things: something to bring to the feast and whether they are assigned to be a Pilgrim or an Indian. They have a lot of fun coming in creative costumes or non-costumes! I just thought this was cute.
    In my current neighborhood a big family clan gathers at the local park every Thanksgiving to play touch football with young and old alike. They draw a lot of spectators.

  • 12 years ago

    I host a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for as many as I can gather. I love to cook, and Thanksgiving is hands-down my favorite holiday. I like to invite "strays" to join us, but this year it's just my husband and 2 children home from college, plus my daughter's college friend. In the evening, neighbors will join us for the dessert course.

    We always grill the turkey outside (about a 4-hour endeavor)--it's dependably smokey and moist. This year's menu is mashed potatoes, herbed bread stuffing with mushrooms and chestnuts, gravy, roasted cauliflower, orange-cranberry sauce, julienned brussels sprouts with carrots and bacon, sweet potato puree with bourbon (no sugar or marshmallows), cabbage and pomegranate salad, and homemade sweet potato yeast rolls (I make them early in the morning of Thanksgiving Day).

    Dinner is followed by a traditional ramble along the canal with the dog. For dessert, usually later in the evening, a gingerbread cake with molasses whipped cream, and pumpkin panna cotta.

    We are not a religious family, but we do declare our thanks, and the list is long. We don't hold hands, we solemnly clink our (wine-filled) glasses.

    The day after Thanksgiving is a day for wallowing. We read, go walking, and eat leftovers. Some Americans like to shop (it's called "Black Friday") but I avoid shopping under any circumstances, and particularly on a day when it is declared the main sport.

  • 12 years ago

    When my husband was living, our tradition was to first take a long walk in the woods with our dog, then break out the champagne and build up the fire. We cooked Cornish Game Hens with stuffing and sometimes had an Orange Glaze over the hens. We usually accompanied this with Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potato Pie (just as tasty as Pumpkin Pie, IMHO).

    Later, when invited out to friends' houses in VA, the tradition was to read a verse from the Bible or from the history of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, then the host said a blessing, as we held hands. Their tradition was green bean cassarole, Cranberry Sauce, sparkling apple cider, turkey with stuffing, and sweet potato pie with marshmallows on top.

    I might add that one interesting thing about the American stuffing is that it can vary, according to the specific region of the country. e.g. some use sausage in their stuffing, others use oysters, still others chestnuts. There are many different recipes for stuffings.

  • 12 years ago

    kkay_md, a healthy snort of Woodford Reserve goes into my sweet potatoes. :)

  • 12 years ago

    I am up early today to do my traditional pie baking, but I saw this thread and thought I would respond before I get as busy as the proverbial ant. I make pumpkin, pecan, French apple, coconut custard and cherry-cranberry pies. I was drafted into making all these pies several years ago and now my family takes it for granted that I will do them every year although I never actually volunteer. I have to admit I enjoy making the pies once I get started.

    My family is large, including all the in-laws and out-laws, and we are ethnically diverse - Filipina, Canadian, Hispanic, Anglo... but we are all Californians now. As you can imagine with Californians, we can never agree on which is the best of anything. One contingent wants cornbread stuffing, another prefers sourdough bread stuffing, and someone (I do not remember who) introduced rye bread stuffing - now we usually have all three, made separate from the bird.

    Turkey is usually a given, but the way it is cooked varies from year to year. The men of the family lately are enamored with deep-frying the turkey, so they gather on the patio to give the chief fryer all kinds of advice while generally shooting the breeze (guy gossiping). The women view the deep fryer as a potential bomb and keep themselves and the children well clear. Explosions have happened, not in our immediate family but in auxiliary branches.

    We have several vegetarians who contribute the "tofu turkey" and their special kinds of dishes. We always have too much food, in part because of special dietary requirements. Then there are the picky eaters, especially children. Carolyn_ky, the macaroni and cheese regularly shows up at our family get-togethers. One year a nephew whined that there was nothing for him to eat! He wound up peeling and eating oranges and nothing else.

  • 12 years ago

    Since we live very near all my in-laws, and Thanksgiving comes in the middle of a workweek, we have always spent it with my inlaws' family. We either visited my family the weekend before or after. This year, my side is gathering for dinner wednesday night at a restaurant near the care facility where my father lives-it will be a long night for me since I have a 90 minute drive each way-but he is not able to do much traveling anymore, so a close restaurant is really our only option. My sister is a medical researcher and is manning the lab on Tday itself. They take turns covering the holidays. My brother will go and have dinner at the facility with my father on Tday itself.

    The Thanksgiving menu at my in-laws daren't vary, although my sister-in-law's sister-in-law always tries to introduce a new dish-and invariably goes home with most of it uneaten. The family motto: don't mess with traditions

    we eat:

    Roasted Turkey with my F-i-L's stuffing recipe (bread, celery, onion, butter, herbs, chicken stock) stuffed in the bird with extra roasted in a casserole dish.
    gravy made from drippings
    mashed Yukon Gold potatoes with butter
    sweet potato casserole with candied pecans-NO MARSHMALLOWS. (I have been assigned to make this)
    Green Bean Casserole-the traditional French Fried Onion recipe-(I have been assigned to make this as well)
    fresh fruit salad (my husband's family tradition)
    corn-cut from the cob and frozen this past summer, cooked in milk on the stovetop
    pumpkin and pecan pie

    We eat between noon and 1, with the football games on in the background. After we eat and get cleaned up, some walk dogs and some fall into comas in front of the football games. The rest of the day, the younger ones scatter to girlfriends' and boyfriends' houses and the oldsters pick when hungry.

    One day of shopping, one day of prep, the day itself.
    Decorating consists of setting a pretty table.
    Much easier than Christmas, even with grown children and their preference for gift certificates and checks.

  • 12 years ago

    I should add that we do also have cranberry sauce on the table but very little gets eaten (it's pretty....) and we do say grace, holding hands, and always have-and we are all northerners of anglo-saxon germanic roots.

    no wine, though (sigh). B&B after for b-in-l and I. Last year, after an early November conversation in which several people mentioned that they had never had a martini, I brought the makings for several kinds. Very festive afternoon was had by all.
    Oddly enough, we all drink on Christmas Day starting...around noon. B52s yet.

  • 12 years ago

    Thank you everyone for all this sumptuous information.
    Carolyn, how do 30 of you manage to sit down together at the same time? We wouldn't have enough chairs.
    I'm interested in your mixture of savoury/sweet and in your green bean/squash/broccoli casseroles. I always associate casseroles with stew. How are they prepared? And DH asks how do you deep fry a turkey? Is it in several gallons of cooking oil?
    Interesting that not all of you are as touchy-feely as I thought Americans to be. Obviously I've been watching too many old episodes of 'Golden Girls' and their many group-hugs.
    Whoever you are with and whatever you eat may you all have a wonderful day.

  • 12 years ago

    Cece, that is the same corn that my sister does. Isn't it the best ever? She plants Incredible brand, and it is! My brother says even the coons go for it first if they can get through the electric fence.

    Vee, I can seat 8 at the dining table, 4 at the kitchen table (five if they squeeze), 4 at a card table, and the rest scatter to the living room and the den. If all the seats are taken, kids sit on the floor.

    My broccoli recipe is not a real casserole. It is cooked, chopped broccoli with a sauce of melted butter, a little milk, and shredded cheese stirred in, topped with buttered crushed cracker crumbs (Town House buttery snack crackers--don't know if you have them), and baked until bubbly.

    Squash casserole is yellow summer squash (available at the produce market all year from somewhere other than KY), sliced and cooked, and mixed with beaten egg, melted butter, cream of mushroom soup, and chopped onion topped with buttered bread crumbs and baked.

    I'm glad to share recipes with anyone who is interested. My cranberry salad is made with fresh cranberries and a whole orange, including the peel, cut up and run through a food grinder, a can of crushed pineapple, chopped pecans, and some sugar stirred into raspberry gelatin. One of my aunts always made it and we continue the tradition, although someone may bring plain fresh cranberry sauce, too.

  • 12 years ago

    veer, the turkey frying is done in a 30 quart stainless steel pot that sits on top of a burner that is attached to a propane fuel tank. This is strictly an outdoor model. The womenfolks make the men put the fryer in the middle of the backyard as far as possible from the wooden fences and other combustibles. There are indoor models but they are not as big...and apparently not as thrilling. Deep frying is very satisfying to manly cooks, I am told.

    Yes it takes an ocean of cooking oil to deep fry a 20 lb. turkey. The oil must be at least 12 inches deep. The turkey is placed in a metal rack that is lowered into the bigger pot into the super hot oil. If the turkey has been frozen and there are any stray ice crystals, the reaction is spectacular with oil popping every direction. I think the guys actually want the popping because they whoop and holler, dodge and weave, laugh and cheer. It is all inherently dangerous, but the worst explosions are caused purely by idiocy. Raising the cooked turkey out of the oil and transferring it to a roaster or platter is another danger. Last year our turkey landed in the dirt and dry grass and had to be given a water shower before it could be salvaged.

    A good fried turkey has golden brown, glistening skin but the interior is not at all oily. Most people inject their turkeys with a favorite tasty marinade. I like fried turkey but once a year is enough for me, especially if done at my house. Our fryer has a spigot on the side for draining the oil, but it is still a beast to clean. Guess who gets to clean the thing? Not the men.

  • 12 years ago

    Lydia-
    I think cleaning the fryer would come under the same rule as cleaning fish....you used/caught it, you clean it.

    People about 3 miles away from us caught their garage on fire one Thanksgiving, deep-frying a turkey-lack of thawing/drying time was blamed. It apparently exploded with 4th of July-worthy force, and even though the fryer was out in the driveway (stupid place to put it) the flames reached the garage, which in it's turn went kaboom because the lawn mower and gas can were in there. We were allready at my inlaws, but it is still talked about.

    The Famous Green Bean Casserole:
    18-20 oz fresh, canned or frozen green beans. (that is 18-20 oz of actual beans-that takes 2 14 oz cans because of all the liquid) Some people insist on french cut beans, but we do not like that skinny lengthwise cut-we do angled cross-cuts.
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    3/4 cup milk
    black pepper
    1 1/3 cups French Fried Onions

    If using canned beans, drain, if using frozen beans, thaw and drain, if using fresh beans, chop and parboil for a couple minutes. I use frozen.
    In a large bowl mix the milk and soup, then add the pepper.
    stir in the beans and 2/3 cup of the onions.
    put in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
    Stir
    Put the rest of the onions on the top in a ring around the border (traditional) or scattered all over the top (everyone gets some!)
    bake another 5-10 minutes until the onions have crisped.

    (this is the original recipe-it is much tinkered with by cooks everywhere....but not me on Tday. I wouldn't dare. My nephew would be devastated. He made this in Russia while studying there-even french-frying his own onions because he couldn't find them!)

  • 12 years ago

    Reading about the deep-fried turkey capers, sounds like a meal and a cabaret as well!
    I have always had pumpkin that has fibrous, strong tasting flesh and is usually cut into chunks which are either boiled then mashed or baked with meat meals. Recently I tried an organic one of a different type. The flesh was delicate and sweet, so I imagine it would be that kind which is put into American desserts. The other kind wouldn't be at all suitable.

  • 12 years ago

    annpan,
    The pumpkin that is usually used in pies is a variety called "Sweet Pie Pumpkin" but you can really use any squash-butternut squash tastes a lot like the sweet pie pumpkin.

  • 12 years ago

    Carolyn, I'd like to have your recipe for the squash cassarole, please. ( I want to compare it to mine, made with cheese and yellow squash and croutons).

    I just had a memory of spending Thanksgiving in New England many years ago. There, the dessert of choice was Indian Pudding, which I found delicious. It's not served in the Southern part of the USA.

  • 12 years ago

    I think Thanksgiving is a very nice and relaxed holiday, non-confessional and truly American. I spent 6 months in Madison, Wisconsin with my family in the fall of 1981 and discovered I had a very large family living both in Milwaukee and upstate on Lake Superior. We were invited for three dinners, one with my husband's colleagues on Wednesday night, the day itself we drove to Milwaukee for a large reunion dinner with the ethnically mixed family of second and third generation Swedes, Germans, Chinese and Italians. Stayed the night in Milwaukee and came back to Madison for leftover dinner with friends, half of them Jewish. The food was much the same at all the dinners, except that my Milwaukee relatives served mashed rutabagas instead of sweet potatoes. I liked it all except the moulded salad made with Jello. My mother's cousin's wife gave me some paper turkeys as a keepsake and I have put them up today although we will not celebrate Thanksgiving, of course, it's a very American holiday.

    A year after coming back to Sweden I became nostalgic for our American experience of the previous autumn so we invited 12 friends and their 9 children for a Thanksgiving dinner in the American tradition, without saying much about why. I had to order a large turkey well in advance and managed to get one that weighed 14 lbs, almost twice the size of the turkeys normally sold in Sweden. I had to make everything from scratch because none of the usual condiments are sold here. But I kept it basic, roasted turkey with bread stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, plain boiled vegetables, green salad, and Libby's pumpkin pie with whipped cream (I had brought cans of Libby's cooked pumpkin and used the recipe on the can). Everybody loved it except one woman who wondered if the pie really should taste like soaked ginger biscuits. Rather an apt description but the others liked it and my family loves pumpkin pie. My now grown daughter makes it from scratch.

    My Swedish-American relatives said a grace in Swedish, reading from an ancient scrap of paper handed down from the first immigrants. It was impossible to recognize and the writing was phonetic. I finally understood what it was supposed to be, a common Swedish grace, and tried to say it properly. But they preferred their own familiar version.

  • 12 years ago

    As a child growing up in the upper Midwest I was fascinated by the Laura Ingall Wilder Little House books and at one point had a cookbook that had recipes for a lot of the dishes mentioned in the books. We made Hasty Pudding a number of times--essentially cornmeal mush served with maple syrup. It is a version of the east coast's Indian Pudding.

  • 12 years ago

    Here's a family favorite. The recipe calls for yellow squash but I've made it successfully with all kinds--both summer and winter squash.

    Aunt Fanny's Baked Squash

    3 lbs yellow squash, cut up in pieces
    1/2 c. chopped onion
    1/2 c. cracker meal or breadcrumbs
    2 eggs
    1/2 c. butter
    1 Tbs sugar
    salt and pepper

    Boil cut up squash and chopped onion until tender (approx. 10 minutes). Drain thoroughly, then mash. Add remaining ingredients except the crumbs and 1/2 of the butter. Pour mixture into baking dish. Melt remaining butter and spread it and crumbs on top. Bake 375 for 30-40 minutes or until brown on top.

  • 12 years ago

    Thank you mariannese, for sharing that reminisce. I am sure it was very exciting to your family here in the U.S. to host your family and I will bet they still talk about it every Thanksgiving. The pumpkin pie seems to always be a puzzlement. I had a friend actually spit it out once - her manners were otherwise very good. She did not expect it to be sweet! She was from France and said the idea of a sweet pumpkin dessert was totally foreign to her. But she tried it again later after getting her bearings and decided it was okay.

    Carolyn, what is frozen apple snow salad? That sounds very interesting.

  • 12 years ago

    SQUASH CASSEROLE

    2 cups cooked summer squash (Yellow)
    1 egg, beaten
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1/2 cup cracker crumbs
    1/2 medium onion, chopped
    1/2 cup butter, melted and divided
    1/2 cup bread crumbs

    Drain the squash and combine with all other ingredients except bread crumbs and using only half the butter. Turn into a greased baking dish. Mix the bread crumbs with the rest of the butter and sprinkle on top of the mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.


    APPLE SNOW SALAD

    1 8-1/4 oz. can crushed pineaple
    1/2 cup sugar
    3 Tbsp. lemon juice
    Dash of salt
    2 eggs, beaten
    2 cups finely chopped apple
    1/2 cup chopped celery
    1 cup whipping cream, whipped

    Drain pineapple, reserving syrup. Add enough water to syrup to make 1/2 cup. Combine with sugar, lemon juice, salt, and eggs in a saucepan; mix well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Chill thoroughly. Fold in pineapple, apple, celery, and whipped cream. Spoon into an 8-inch square pan; freeze until firm. Cut into 9 squares to serve.

    This is wonderful, but it approaches dessert rather than salad.

  • 12 years ago

    We serve a bare-bones traditional Thanksgiving meal here. My husband is the chief cook while I am sous-chef, table-setter and dishwasher, our mutual preferences.

    Here is our menu.

    Turkey
    Mashed potatoes
    Gravy (I make the gravy)
    Stuffing (my family prefer it cooked on the the stove top, not actually stuffed in the bird)
    Vegetable (varies yearly)
    Cranberry sauce
    Pumpkin pie (homemade crust) and whipped cream

    I make the crust but this year did not eat it. Earlier this year I gave up eating grains of all sorts. I put my serving of pumpkin in a ramekin and baked it. Delicious!

    I have seriously been considering making authentic mincemeat for Christmas this year. Recipes I've read say I can use either beef or venison, and I am going to see if I can find a venison source.

    Rosefolly

  • 12 years ago

    I will follow up by saying that while we may or may not discuss some of the things we are thankful for, the calendar rolling around to Thanksgiving always triggers some reflection in me. It is easy to become stuck in thinking about the difficulties and sorrows of our lives. I like having a day that reminds me to think about what I have that is good, and be grateful for it.

    As for the size of the party, we had only four this year and have never had more than about a dozen, which we managed with the kitchen table and the dining room table strung together.

    R

  • 12 years ago

    Of course, none of us mentioned one of the best parts of Thanksgiving-the leftovers. Turkey sandwiches, warmed-up casseroles and of course dessert for breakfast. I had sweet potatoes for breakfast, and green bean casserole for lunch. We pretty much killed the turkey yesterday, and the few slices left stayed with the chief cooks!

  • 12 years ago

    Cece, the leftovers are one of the things I'm thankful for! I did very little today--did go for a walk since we had a pleasant sunshiny day with temps in the low 60s. My daughter and grandson came by and ate a leftovers supper with us, and I put a couple of things in the freezer.

    The best thing is that I started the new Simon Serrailler novel, The Betrayal of Trust. It's all been good today.

  • 12 years ago

    One of our traditions is turkey soup the day after Thanksgiving, which my husband is cooking in the kitchen this very moment. He makes stock from the turkey bones and strains it. Then he adds carrots, parsnips, potatoes, mushrooms and sometimes green beans, along with the meat from the turkey added in at the end. So good! It is one of my favorite meals of the year, and one of the reasons we do not cook a brined turkey.

    Rosefolly

  • 12 years ago

    On Wednesday night I was at work, sitting in my office doing some paperwork (I work all night) when I heard a most unusual noise...the door opening. I don't get too many visitors. Actually I don't get any visitors, especially at 10 PM on a holiday eve. It was one of my co-workers. He was trying to thaw the turkey we had been given by our benevolent employer, and wanted advice on cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for his two children (teenagers). He had purchased some vegetables and didn't even know what they were! (Probably butternut squash) After asking him a few questions, I realized that he doesn't know anything about cooking. I really didn't know what to tell him. Rather unusual to try to cook a Thanksgiving dinner when you have no idea how to cook anything. I wonder how it turned out?

  • 12 years ago

    Rosefolly, I do my reflecting on New Year's Eve. I write my last entry in the diary I keep all year and on the blank page note the things that stand out in my mind. No peeking through the diary to see what actually went on, just the memories that have made the most impact at the years end. It is surprising when I do look at the years entries to see that something that bothered me at the beginning of the year has been forgotten!
    As for turkey cooking and leftovers, one time when my husbands employers gave him a massive one at Xmas, it took a long time to cook even the legs for the Dinner and we two had to have it for days afterwards in all kinds of combinations!

  • 12 years ago

    Mariannese -

    I enjoyed reading your description of your American holiday "adventure". ... Thought it was sweet that you kept the paper turkeys! ... and that you hung them up on Thanksgiving Day when you were back in Sweden.

    It's always intriguing to hear what people from other countries think of our culture when they've actually been here (U.S.A.) ... especially when they've gone through an experience like the one you told us.

  • 12 years ago

    Thanks to all here for the recipes! My BF and I had a different T'giving experience this year. We were invited to dine on a turkey French-style. The hostess is from Paris. She prepared a wonderful bird with cumin and other middle eastern spices and it was tender and moist. She served no gravy, no stuffing, nor any bread. No cranberry sauce, but grilled eggplant and asparagus tips. For dessert, the best and spiciest pumpkin pie we had ever eaten. So it was a bon appetit evening ....

  • 12 years ago

    Lauramarie, I really like my American relatives so I like to be reminded of them at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was lucky that they are all of them such nice people, something you cannot automatically count on with any relatives. Ten of them, in various constellations and generations, have been over to visit me and other Swedish relatives, from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut and California. We keep in touch.