I’m pretty sure if I looked back in my archives, I would find a post like this every year at about this time. But I absolutely love the holidays, and I don’t ever get tired of talking about them. I hope you’ll chime in in the comments because I love hearing about what other families do for their holiday celebrations.
I am absolutely adamant that we thoroughly celebrate Thanksgiving before even a stanza of Christmas music enters our home. I know the malls are decorated, and some of my design clients even forced me to deck the halls of their blogs with Christmas festivities before the pilgrims and Indians were put away, but in MY house, we put Thanksgiving to bed before we wake up old St. Nick.
I think one of the reasons I love Thanksgiving so much is that I have never had to cook for it. I make it a policy to always be invited to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving. This year we will celebrate with my inlaws at my BIL and SIL’s home in a nearby town. There is never any lack of food or drink at these gatherings. BIL and SIL know how to throw a party. The food is always good, with a great combination of conventional and unconventional dishes. And there is always a houseful of people. Good times.
Once the turkey is all put away and the pie has been consumed, we are allowed to start our Christmas celebration. On the years we stay in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving, we always get our Christmas tree on Black Friday. I know this is sacrilege to those of you who like to spend Black Friday hunting for deals and steals on the latest gadgets and gizmos, but I prefer to do my shopping when I don’t run the risk of being caught in a stampede. So while the rest of you are racing each other to be among the first 100 patrons to enter the store for some fantastic prize, we’re taking a nice leisurely drive out to a remote tree farm and spending the day finding the perfect Christmas tree.
Growing up, due to allergies, we always had fake artificial trees. Now, I have nothing against fake artificial trees. Except they’re, you know, fake. Okay, call me crazy, but I like to smell Christmas. And I’m willing to put up with a few pine needles in my rug to get the full experience. After I got married, on our very first Christmas, my husband informed me that his family always went out to get their tree the day after Thanksgiving, and that they always cut down a real live tree. I thought that sounded just grand, and that’s what we’ve done ever since.
This year will be no different, except I have a list of about six Christmas blog designs to install in between sips of eggnog and unpacking Christmas ornaments.
And that reminds me. Does anyone have a fantabulous eggnog recipe? Because the carton — it works and all, but it might be nice to make up a batch of the good stuff this year.
So back to Thanksgiving Day. We aren’t due at BIL and SIL’s until the afternoon, so I am planning a nice family breakfast for the morning. I’m going to try a new recipe this year. My friend who sent me this recipe is the breakfast casserole maven, and even though I’ve never tried it, I know it’s going to be worthy of our family Thanksgiving breakfast. I wish I had a picture, but seeing as how I haven’t made it yet, that’s just not possible. However, I do have the recipe.
- 1-1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded cheddar
- 1-1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
- 2 TBLS butter
- 1-3/4 cups cubed fully cooked ham (or loose sausage)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free flour can be used)
- 8 eggs
- 1-3/4 cups whole milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the cheeses; sprinkle into a greased 13×9-inch backing pan. In a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms, onions, and red pepper in butter and stir in the ham. Spoon this mixture over the cheese. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over the ham mixture. Cover it and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350. 30 minutes before baking, bring the casserole onto the counter to come to room temperature. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes. A knife inserted in the center will come out clean when it’s done. Let it stand 5 minutes before serving.
Now then. After we stuff our faces with breakfast and clean up the remains, it will be time to hop into the car to drive to Thanksgiving dinner. Gluttony, anyone? Because nothing says, Thank you God for all of your bountiful provisions like committing one of the seven deadly sins.
I’ve been assigned an appetizer and rolls this year, and I have just the thing. The President® brand has recently released the first and only brie in a log shape. The Brie Log is perfect for slicing to fit perfectly on a cracker. I’m going to attempt to make a clever little appetizer. All you do is place a slice of the brie and a thin wedge of apple on cracker. Then top that with a walnut half and sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Sounds divine, doesn’t it? I can’t wait to try it.
As for the rolls, I have a story about making homemade rolls for the inlaws one Thanksgiving long ago, but that will have to wait for another time. Suffice it to say, I’ll be bringing whatever roll is on sale at the grocery store.
So what are your Thanksgiving plans? I’d love to hear what you are planning. Where are you going? What will you be eating? What are you making? And let’s take a few minutes out of the hustle and bustle of the weekend to remember what our forefathers went through to bring us to this great land where we are free to worship according to our convictions. I hope and pray we never lose that freedom.