Jan writes: I’ve been home from Russia for less than a week, and in less than a week it is Thanksgiving Day in the USA (Nov. 24). So for this Friday Five, answer these questions (and if they don’t apply to you, list five things you are grateful for):
1. Where will you be on Thanksgiving Day? With whom?
On Thanksgiving day I will be working. I have a new tradition of going home a few weeks early and doing Thanksgiving with my family because I work in retail so I am required to work. The day after Thanksgiving I have to work 4am -4pm so I’m going to come home on Thursday, watch the Dallas game I will have recorded, and go to bed. The cab comes early. But be not sad for me. I have done Thanksgiving already with the family, so Turkey Dinner …CHECK!
2. Are there any family traditions or memories associated with Thanksgiving?
Before I worked retail, we developed a tradition that we had our dinner on Friday. We did this originally after my brother got married. His wife’s family is way bigger than ours, so we just decided to do ours on Friday. It’s brilliant for a number of reasons:
- We have an extra day to do the prep cooking. Most folks have to work up through Wednesday and then putting on the dinner on Thursday was a bit rushed. This way we have extra time to put the day before stuff together.
- I can watch the Dallas game in peace.
- We can invite other people over. They’ve already done their dinner, so that means there can be more folks at our table.
- We can still shop on Black Friday but we go later in the day. Yeah, the doorbusters are long over, but the sales still rage on, but the crowds have gone home.
- Turkey. We buy the pre-brined ones from Trader Joe’s and cook it in a roasting bag. Not fancy, but definitely fabulous.
- Mashed potatoes
- Giblet Gravy. We are a family of giblet lovers, except Dad. Todd & I fight over the gizzard & heart and mom likes the liver. Chloe & I tear apart the neck. Mom makes us save enough to put it in the gravy. Yeah, it’s gross. Get over it.
- Cornbread dressing. This recipe of my grandmother’s has converted many a dressing-hater. It’s so amazing. I can cook it w/ my eyes shut and it never gets old. It’s always been the job of the youngest to crumble the cornbread, and they love it.
- Cranberry fluff. The night before you chop up fresh cranberries and mix them in w/ sugar & baby marshmallows. The next day you mix in pecans, chopped apples, sliced red grapes and fold in whipped cream. Heaven.
- Mexicorn. I have no idea why, my parents have always had to have canned Mexicorn at thanksgiving. It’s horrid stuff, and my brother and I won’t touch it. My sister-in-law likes it.
- Sweet potatoes. The addition of Lisa, the SIL, has brought the total of sweet potato eaters in our family to 2 – her and dad. The rest of us only eat them in the form of fries. Lisa is in charge of some sort of sweet potato dish to please that small faction.
- Green beans. Not the traditional thing w/ the crispy onions. I actually don’t know if I’ve ever had that. I think my mom felt guilty not having something green on the table.
- Pumpkin Pie. I always make the pies. This year I was really focused on making a good crust. I ate a peach pie a couple of months ago at Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern and the crust was so good it shamed me. I think I did better this year, but it’s a process.
- This year I made a Salted Caramel Pie. Sweet Fancy Moses, it was amazing. I took it up a notch by putting a layer of dark chocolate in the crust before adding the caramel and it was a cracking good idea.
4. Are you trying anything new this Thanksgiving?
See above – the Salted Caramel Pie. Did I mention? Amazing!
5. What is the weather forecast for this day (next Thursday)?
The forecast here is rainy and 61 but the anticipated is always worse than the actual here. Anyway, as I said, I’m working so I don’t care. The weather when I had thanksgiving back home was sunny and 90. A bit disconcerting, but it was all good.