Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy (Thanksgiving) cooking

So tomorrow is Thanksgiving....I did the last of my shopping today (as well as regular weekly shopping) and when I was picking up my fresh turkey order at the local Publix I was amazed at the people with frozen turkeys in their carts. I'm prayerfully hoping that they are not having their holiday meal until this weekend....cause as I explained to Bella, "ain't NO way that Butterball will be thawed out by tomorrow!!"

Thanksgiving can be stressful for a lot of people. Admittedly, the more people you tend to invite, the stress level increases accordingly. I've always held Thanksgiving to pretty much a family only holiday, but have attended "bashes" where there were 30 to 40 people in attendance...not my idea of a good time. For us, Thanksgiving is a time to watch the Macy's parade, peruse the Black Friday ads (the internet has rendered the hunt for a paper on Thanksgiving morning no longer necessary, thank God!) and (if Karis is here) putting up the tree. This year will be the first year I will not be making a whole turkey, as there's just going to be the four of us. I refuse to torture my kids with turkey leftovers for two weeks time, so opted for a half breast and three drumsticks. There will, of course, be my husband's favorite cornbread stuffing, but this year we will be without Karis' sweet potato casserole and rosemary corn bread (she and Christine will be with Christine's family in Pennsylvania).

Don't stress this holiday. As I was watching the Food Channel yesterday, I heard some very good advice "Great is only 10% better than Good....and good is...good enough" Allow yourself to see the humor, the fun, the camaraderie in cooking together for this holiday. If the turkey is dry, use more gravy.....if the pumpkin pie is dry, use more whip cream. The most important thing is not what is ON your table, but who is AROUND your table. Be happy, be less stressed. Even a turkey TV dinner eaten with the one you love can be the most bountiful meal ever.

Here's a recipe for one of my family's favorite holiday salads...although we won't be having it this year for is almost always on the table for the holidays. Enjoy

"Miss Judy's Broccoli Salad"

2 heads of broccoli
1-2 pkgs of grape tomatoes
1 block of mild cheddar cheese
1 medium red onion
1 lb. bacon.

Cut the heads of broccoli into very small "florets", discarding most of the stalk. Halve the grape tomatoes, cut the cheddar cheese into small cubes, and dice the red onion. Cook the bacon until crisp, allow to cool and then crumble. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl


(I'm going to apologize in advance for the recipe for this dressing, because I never measure...I always make it "to taste")

take a large tablespoon from your drawer and measure three heaping spoons of mayonnaise into a small bowl. Add to that about 1/4 c. of sugar. Then add about 1/8 c. (slightly less than half of your quarter cup measure) of apple cider vinegar. Whisk well and then taste. This dressing should have a slightly "sweet" edge to it...if it's too "vinegar-y" add more sugar...if too "sugar-y" add more vinegar. Should be smooth in consistency at this point. Pour it over the salad and mix well. Make sure everything is well covered (honestly if it doesn't cover the salad well, you'll have to make it bit more...this happens to me sometimes, ok a lot actually---luckily it's quick and easy to make! lol)

Today's food quote: "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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