The image above is not from my dinner table but it contains all the necessary items for a decent Thanksgiving meal, in my humble opinion.
My son smokes the turkey on the grill. He just bought his favorite Jack Daniels Wood Smoking Chips which are made from old oak barrels that once held whiskey. The turkey was delicious last year, so I am leaving it up to him.
This will be our second year together for the holidays and the guest count total is three! Yes, it’s a small gathering. So the focus is on the food.
Our dinner planning has begun. Turkey, stuffing and gravy are a given. It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them. Also high on the list is mashed potatoes, Acorn squash and rolls. I don’t eat much bread these days, so I will most likely skip adding the rolls to my plate.
Personally I can’t eat any of it without cranberry sauce as an accompaniment. Last year I made my own cranberry sauce and I will do so again this year. I added the recipe to this blog so I would remember how to do it.
Another new thing I did last year was to make my own broth. I used the turkey innards / gizzards or whatever all that extra stuff is called that is packed inside a big frozen bird. The broth is used in place of water in gravy and stuffing. And boy does it make a difference in flavor! Any leftover would make an excellent soup stock too.
Many people already know to do all of this, but I didn’t grow up with a mother who was a good cook. Most of my life I had to make most of the Thanksgiving meal myself, for my husband and kids. We never had much family around. After all the cooking, serving and eating, I had the clean up.
Thanksgiving meals of old, back when I was growing up and tables had to be pushed together to seat all fo us, the menu was larger. Aunts and grandmothers slaved for days to bring their homemade specialties to the table. Boiled onions, turnips, carrots, homemade breads, and many pies and desserts we included. My grandmother made cookies called monkey faces. There were so many before-dinner appetizers I had to be careful not to fill up.
Our simple menu will also include apple pie which I will make.
I need to find some recipes for after Thanksgiving. Usually sandwiches and soup use up the leftovers nicely. This year we have a new refrigerator which means plenty of room for keeping the carcass until I can use it to make soup stock the next day.
Have a wonderful holiday!