Friday, November 19, 2010

Your Turn

It is that time of the year again. For the next six weeks I will be in food heaven. Whether it is the fried food extravaganza of Hanukkah or the luscious roasts of Christmas or next week's turducken and turkeys, I love the next six weeks. I can taste it all. Best time of the year. What I want from all of you today though is about next week and Thanksgiving. What are your traditions, your favorite foods or recipes? Most memorable one? Share them all. I know all my Canadian readers already had your Thanksgiving but it does not mean you cannot share. I want to get in the mood. I already started playing Christmas songs in my office.


awesome balla. said...

christmas eve we always do the italian fish dinner. ive never 'had' an anchovy on anything else, but i wait allll year for anchovy spaghetti sauce and fried shrimp and flounder.

The Nightmare Child said...

I have no traditions. I don't celebrate Thanksgiving for personal reasons and I think Christmas is the biggest bullshit holiday ever conceived (the runner-up being Sweetest Day).

I generally avoid people & society as a whole from three days before Thanksgiving until Dec. 27th. Anyone who sends me a Christmas card usually gets it back in the mail...only it's burnt cinders.

I'm a Halloween & New Year's Eve guy.

looserdude said...

I don't like turkey so I'm going to cook a rib roast. Mashed taters, peas, salad, dinner rolls. Can't wait.

Unknown said...

One year I am going to break down and fry a turkey. Although when you watch those news reports they show around this time of year, the prospect is slightly terrifying.

While I like cooking for Thanksgiving, I'm totally relieved that my in-laws are hosting it this year and I get a break from the cooking and more importantly, the cleaning!

califblondy said...

This time of year it's all about tamales and boxes of See's candy for me.

I'm missing being in New York at holiday time. I love seeing the big tree, ice skaters, the Rockettes, store windows, and strolling Fifth Avenue.

sunnyside1213 said...

I love Yula Kaka. It a Scandinavian sweet bread. Yum.

BigMama said...

I make two cakes each year right before Christmas. Colonial Carrot Cake and German Chocolate both from scratch. It isn't Christmas without them. Also, I make sugar cookies and let my kid and her friends have a cookie decorating contest complete with - prettiest, ugliest, creative and "what the heck IS that" winners. I usually win the last one. ;)

Jingle Belle said...

For many years I lived on army bases and Christmas was spent travelling to stay with family. When I moved back to my hometown, the kids just expected that we'd be staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house (even though they are 5 miles away!). So every year we spend Christmas Eve at my parents' house, spend the night, have breakfast and open presents in the morning. My kids are 24, 18, and 13 and we still do this. It's a great family bonding experience.

MaryMQC said...

My husband and I have three kids, ages 2-8. When we first got married, and for the next four years, we would open presents in the morning, then proceed to travel to no less than FOUR Christmases with family. We never got in earlier than 1 am that evening. So, a few years ago, we started our own tradition. We go nowhere on Christmas day. Thanksgiving we wear ourselves out, and we still go to get togethers that aren't on the 25th. But on Christmas day, we spend the entire day at home with our kids, and make an unconventional Christmas dinner like homemade chicken nuggets or baked spaghetti. Our kids get the entire day to spend with their new stuff, and my husband and I get to relax and soak up their happiness. Was literally one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. Oh, and my favorite holiday food is a late night turkey, cranberry sauce, and microwaved bacon sandwich. SO GOOD. I have one every Black Friday, before I leave to pick up my coffee and stand in line at Toys R Us.

Treesap-Covered Lady, the Humanist said...

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday; it’s normally a large occasion in terms of numbers: 22 participants are family members, plus around 5-10 strays who don’t have Thanksgiving plans for whatever reason. I know most people are about the turkey, which is lovely, but I’m a spiral ham purist--it’s my absolute favorite, along with stuffing, because it’s the only time of year I eat either one. I’m actually taking Wednesday off work because I’m making all the rolls (which equals out to a lot when you consideration I‘ve got to make enough to feed 29) plus a lemon-curd mousse cake which is unfreakingbelievable.

It’s going to be a little sad this year because my sister won’t be there for the first time.

If anyone is curious about the cake:

evergrey said...

I just love the traditional Thanksgiving Day feast - we do turkey, honey baked ham, stuffing, acorn squash, cranberries, au gratin potatoes, veggies, rolls and then have to have a pumpkin pie! Lots of wine too! I guess it's because this is the only time of year I get to eat that kind of meal.

Oh, and back when none of my siblings or I were married and we spend Thanksgiving at our parent's house, us kids ALWAYS went to the big movie of the weekend after Thanksgiving meal on Thursday. I miss that tradition too. Now with kids, we can't do a movie (no one to babysit and no relative wants to babysit and miss out either). We'll just have to wait a couple of years until we can start that one up again. ;)

rhinovodka said...

Truthfully, I hate most Thanksgiving food, except stuffing (everyone else can have pumpkin pie & turkey). For Christmas, my mother makes a decent pumpkin bread, strange I like pumpkin bread but hate the pie. I also like Vegetable pizza (it's a baked crust, served cold with cream cheese/dry ranch mixture w/ fresh vegs), other than that, there are not many Holiday foods I care about. I much rather have lasagna and salad for dinner.

evergrey said...

@treesap-coverd lady - I just read your post and your turkey day sounds a lot like mine! :) I need to try the lemon curd mousse cake - that sounds awesome! We usually have a couple of desserts since we usually have 15 - 19 people for dinner. thanks for sharing the recipe!

Ice Angel said...

Since my parents have passed and my one brother also passed away and my other brother divorced, I have been appointed the official holiday gathering preparer and I love it!

Turkey and ham and sweet potato casserole and all the fixins. Everyone is crazy about my esparagus and hollandaise sauce. Simple. Steam aspargus in the microwave for 12 minutes in a covered dish with a little water. 6 separated eggs, the juice of a lemon and a full stick of butter melted and whisked VERY slowly over a low flame. Gee...can't imagine why they love it! I also make a ham gravy. I use the drippings from the ham, lots of Wondra and water mix and some extra brown sugar, salt and pepper. Delicious sweet brown gravy....YUMMMMM!!!!

Kids can open one present Christmas Eve and the rest with their Santa presents Christmas morning. They all get their own colored Santa paper...makes it easier!

Funny story...last year post Christmas, the kids were playing in the basement and found my leftover Santa paper. They all came running up the stairs as if they were flames and pitchforks ready to hang me...."you're a liar!!!! YOU'RE Santa!!!" Well, I leveled with my 9 year old who helped me convince the 6 year old and 4 year old that Santa leaves the paper behind in case I needed more later. LOL!!!

NotAMeanGirl said...

We have a blended family so our traditions are still being made. It's tough fitting into others already made traditions and fitting some of your own in there as well.

My favorite tradition from years past though was celebrating my Grandma's birthday on Christmas Eve. Her birthday was actually Christmas Day but we wanted her to have her own day, so we moved it for her. Heh.

Ice Angel said...

Well...Happy Holidays anyway Nightmare Child.

Ice Angel said...

@Kate-frying a turkey isn't that difficult if you're careful...but in my opinion...not worth the effort. The oven works just fine and you also get the great stuffing that tastes so much better from the bird!

The Nightmare Child said...

@Ice Angel - Please...don't say that to me. Please. I beg of you. Don't...wish me a Happy Holidays. I don't celebrate and I don't like to be reminded of this time of year. This is a very hard time for me.

Jen said...

Turkey, Turkey, and more Turkey! We usually do turkey for Thanksgiving, and ham for Christmas. Unless we go out for Thanksgiving. Sometimes we do both for Christmas, with all the trimmings. Over the years, our holiday traditions have become much looser. No more huge family reunions or traveling to god knows where for one meal. Plus we really dont like much of our extended family.

Maja With a J said...

I love Christmas and the weeks leading up to it. It's cozy and sparkly and there is so much FOOD! I am a Swede living in Canada so for the past few years I have had to create new traditions for myself, or rather, they have kind of created themselves. I do some baking - Swedish ginger snaps and sweet saffron buns, as well as mint candy and truffles. There is also candy that I buy. I have to have hot chocolate with a candy cane for a stir stick at some point, and I go to the food store at IKEA to pick up herring, christmas soda (looks like coke, tastes and some other goodies and have a Swedish Christmas Eve feast by myself (husband does not enjoy herring). Two or three kinds of herring, plus gravlax with sweet mustard sauce, and of course, home made meatballs. I watch "Elf" and some illegally downloaded Swedish Christmas TV stuff. Christmas morning we do a some small presents and have champagne for breakfast and then whatever family stuff happens after. I love the holidays and I'm not ashamed to say it! :)

Anonymous said...

I am from a huge, crazy family. everyone cooks.

Tables of food. It all get eaten.

Did i mention the dessert table?


MISCH said...

Someone said Rib favorite...that will be Christmas or Hanukkah..we're a mixed family we celebrate them all...but for Thanksgiving Turkey with chestnut dressing...And there is a Honey baked Ham in the freezer....yum...

califblondy said...

Now I want German Chocolate Cake...I love cooking the frosting and eating it still hot right out of the pan. I've had to double the recipe because I've ended up a little short a few times.

ardleighstreet said...

OK. A stand out Thanksgiving memory is one when I was about 19.

My mom fell and broke her arm so she told me I was her assistant chef. I had NEVER cooked something as complex as a turkey. She walked me thru the steps. The first big one I remember was pull the bag containing organs out of inside this included the NECK. The neck was stuck. I could not get it out easily. I looked inside to see what was making it stick. I found the neck was still attached to it's HEAD.

That will cut your yen for turkey really quick.

PotPourri said...

I'm going to Narrate John Madden narrating what a Turducken is.

"You take a duck and stick it up a chicken's ass. You take that and stick it up a Turkey's ass. Then you take that and stick it up a goat's ass, then you take that and stick it up a sheep's ass, then you take that and stick it up a cow's ass, and now you have TURDUCKEN!

Ice Angel said...

I always remember Dom DeLuise's line he said on the tonight show about his family holiday gatherings: "We eat and eat and eat...until somebody dies!"

Meg said...

Since getting married, our Thanksgivings have kind of varied with where we go, what we serve. My husband likes to go where it will be most convenient to make it to our big rivalry game the Saturday after. For him, that is the biggest "holiday" of the year. Since the schools moved it to Thanksgiving weekend, the actual holiday has always kind of gotten less attention than the big plans for the tailgate.

I love fried turkey, but the last few years we've just done a regular turkey. Mom always orders the Turducken from NOLA for Christmas. I think my favorite Thanksgiving item is the stuffing, which my mom hasn't made in years. I need to find a good recipe!

I think when we get a house big enough, I'd like to host both families & start some real traditions of our own. It was fun reading y'alls. :)

Nickola-Lola said...

My family getting together, getting drunk and having a huge political fight. All the kids stuck in a back bedroom out of the fray. Yay Christmas.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

@Nightmare Child

Care to get on the CDaN psychiatrists chair and tell us why you are not a fan? Seems like there's some trauma there.

Yes, I am nosy.

B626 said...

I can't enjoy food anymore cause it all sticks to my bones way too much compared to yesteryear. Stolen snacking moments is the best I get. Heavy dressings on salads instead of 'Lite' variety are a highlight!

HannahPalindrome said...

Thanksgiving is a really big deal in my family.
The only time everyone gets together.
Christmas is for the kids.
We only buy presents for the kids.

I always look forward to the stuffing-Yummy!

Anonymous said...

Every year, we have my husband's entire family over to our house and I make a Blue Strawberry Turkey. That's seriously the name. A gourmet chef named James Haller had a restaurant in Portsmouth, NH called the Blue Strawberry. He then put out a cookbook called "Cooking Brilliantly Without Recipes." This turkey is simply the most succulent I have ever tasted in my life. It actually cooks in its own juices overnight. When it comes out of the oven in the morning, it's not much to look at but the meat is so tender it falls right off the bone. Enty - I think you can still get his cookbook at Amazon. It's amazing what the man puts together. And everything is out of this world. In addition to the turkey, I make my gramma's apple pie. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it. :) We usually have about 16 people but this year, my brother is coming up with his family from Arizona and there will be other relatives as well so it will be about 25 adults and 5 wonderful kids. Everyone always has a really great time - I am a lucky girl. And it wouldn't be Christmas without the green almond Christmas tree spritz cookies - the kind you have to make with a cookie press. Heaven...

K said...

Tgiving is a wonderful time of year when all the family members refuse to get together at certain times based on the fact we mostly freaking can't stand one another. The family member who is "rotated" through to host this lovely party? They pretty much just start drinking at 7:00 a.m.! :D

I'm gonna post a green bean casserole that is pretty much loved by ALL members of a family that can't face one another no matter what holiday it is :)

Also, don't ever tell'em you got this from me!!!

Green Bean & Corn Casserole

1 can french style green beans
1 can shoepeg corn
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup shredded chedder cheese
1 container sour cream
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 package slivered onions
1/2 stick salted butter

Preheat oven to 350
Grease a 9x11 glass casserole dish
Melt butter
*In one bowl, mix ritz cracker crumbs and melted butter, set aside
*Spread green beans and corn in bottom of greased casserole dish. Salt and pepper.
*Mix sour cream, cream of celery soup, shredded cheese, and water chestnuts. Spread on top of beans and corn.
*Cover with crushed Ritz crackers mixed with the melted butter.
*Sprinkle with slivered almonds.
*Cook at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly along edges.
*Stand back while everyone snarfs this up like hungry hyeanas! :)

Probably been shared a million times,but this time is mine, LOL!

Happy Holidays Everybody!

Merlin D. Bear said...

This is a variation of a recipe I originally found in Gourmet magazine in I believe, 1990.
The first couple of times I made this cheesecake I followed the recipe exactly, until I had to make a cheesecake for a work function and couldn't locate it, so I decided to fall back on my culinary roots and improvise. That led to the development of what I call my "basic batter" recipe that can be tweaked to create all sorts of different cheesecakes.
I've included a link to the original here - Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Sourcream topping.

Should you want to make a variant, I'm going to also give you the recipe for what I call my "basic batter" - it works as a stand alone, but it also lends itself to the addition of everything from fruit to chocolate.

The basic recipe:
4 packs of cream cheese, allowed to come to room temperature.
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
(note: to make a New York style cheesecake, add 8 oz sour cream)

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth. (I use a hand mixer, but if you're lucky enough to have my dream mixer, the KitchenAid, you'll find it goes much easier)
Add any other ingredients you want, such as frozen fruit, chocolate chips, etc, and pour into the springform pan that you've prepped with a crust.
Bake at 350 for at least an hour to an hour and a half, or until the center is set.
Turn off the oven, crack the door and let it cool for an hour before removing, then let cool further on the counter before putting in the refrigerator.
Let it set overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

The basic batter can also be used (Bless you, Paula Deen) to make miniature cheesecakes.
The only difference is that you put the batter into cupcake papers in a muffin tin.
What do you do for a crust?
You use 1 Nilla Wafer, whole.
Place the wafer in the cup, and fill approximately 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 for approximately 15-20 minutes, and allow to cool.
Optional - top with fruit pie filling after they've cooled and settled. Approximately 1 tablespoon does the job.
I take absolutely no responsibility for diabetic comas or weight gain due to this recipe.

sunnyside1213 said...

@ Merlin, thanks for the vanilla wafer tip. Yum.

chihuahuense said...

I'm late to the comments, but I love everything about the Holidays. On thanksgiving I go to my Uncle's in Wisconsin and we eat everything (this year I have to work the night before and night of, boo! So I'll be sleeping some, too). We have the traditional foods, but for the past few years, I felt bad for my Aunt having to make so much food (2 turkeys and a ham). It's not Christmas without my grandma's cookies she taught me to make a few years ago, some Tom and Jerry's, buying the Christmas tree and putting it up next weekend with Chinese food watching Christmas movies, caramel corn, Midnight Mass and Christmas Day all to ourselves. On Christmas Eve I make overnight caramel rolls and when we wake up we eat ourselves into a diabetic coma and drink 8 pots of coffee. Delicious!

chihuahuense said...

woops, I meant I have felt bad for my Aunt having to make so much food so I have been bringing ribs which go over well.

Merlin D. Bear said...


The cookie trick works well with gingersnaps and other similar cookies also - but don't try it with a filled cookie, like Oreos ... the creme filling melts into inedible glue.
I found that out the hard way.

scrappy said...

@nightmare child

if you didn't want attention and be "reminded" by this hard time. then don't post anything. no need to try get sympathy if you don't want it,and definitely no need to try tobring everyone else down.

__-__=__ said...

My goodness! You all have shocked and amazed me!!

It's time for nog, soy nog. There is a new flavor this year, chocolate mint. I haven't tried that yet. I'm now into the Pumpkin Spice Soy Nog, with a splash of coconut rum. OK, maybe more than a splash. As a matter of fact, after reading everything above, I think I'll have some right now. It goes well with bacon!


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