Its amazing how much time you think about Thanksgiving… weeks in advance of stores boasting their deals, magazines and blogs posting recipes, lists of ingredients, sign up sheets for turkeys. And in one meal, its gone. Just like all my favorite holidays.
Every year Thanksgiving starts for me with the Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot. For the past four years I’ve driven down to Clearwater alone to race in the 10k… it always ends up being the only 10k on my race schedule! Maybe not this year though, because I’m planning on running more. Every year I’ve been improving on my time, getting a “Top Finisher” mug, which is the top 50 overall females. This year my time was 44:37 and I placed 23rd! Next year I’ll want to be top 20. I don’t realize how tired I am after the race, because as soon as I get home I’m in the kitchen for the remainder of the day. It wasn’t until last night when I sat down on our couch that I felt a wave of exhaustion, sore muscles, and achey feet. A sign of a good day.
This year we had my mom’s family over for the meal. Now that everyone is older (one of my cousins is my brother’s age, 20, and the other is 17) all the kids sit at the table and we can have more mature conversations. This ended up turning into my dad talking about politics for most of the meal. Even though my cousins have gotten older, their taste in food is frustrating. They are the boys you don’t want to cook for because they only like a few plain things. On my cousin Ryan’s plate was a few slices of turkey, tons of bread, and microwave corn. My cousin Zach added some mashed potatoes, but that was it. Neither of them like pie! How can you not like a classic like Apple pie?? So for dessert they just ate vanilla ice cream. Did anyone else have picky eaters like this?
I wanted to put some twists on the classics, but my Mom is very set on tradition for Thanksgiving, so I wasn’t really creative with the menu. I italicized the dishes that I made. I’ve been deprived of cooking for so long it was so good to have so much to make!
Whole Wheat Crescent Rolls Whole Foods
Brined Turkey Whole Foods
Herbed Bread Stuffing
Wine and Pear Cranberry Sauce
Tangerine Zested Cranberry Jelly
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Bourbon and Maple Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans Aunt Toni
Apple Pie Nick
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Pecan Pie Mom
Chocolate Pecan Pie Mom
Looks like a lot of food right? Even after we gave half the leftovers to relatives, we will still have enough to last through next week. I like to freeze portions of turkey. Last year I think I ended up thawing pieces out until mid-February! The cranberry sauce makes great spreads for sandwiches, or I like to glaze cooked turkey or chicken with it and add it to salads. I eat leftover sweet potatoes for breakfast, since my recipe used maple syrup it’s just like pancakes, but no carbs!
So tell me, what did everyone else cook for Thanksgiving? Did you stick with tradition or make something unique?