Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner: His, Mine and Ours

When Brad and I got married, we were told by our pre-marriage counselor that you don't just marry a person...you marry their entire family. For better or for worse, I have found those words to be very true.
I have also learned that you marry their holiday traditions as well. Hence the "for worse."
Brad and I have very different ideas about what "makes" Thanksgiving. For example: The first Thanksgiving of our marriage, we were with my family. My mother asked Brad if there was anything he especially wanted with Thanksgiving dinner. My husband replied, "olives." I know, it's random. And very easy. So we were happy to oblige.
In my family, we eat later in the afternoon, so there are always appetizers out early in the day for snacking. My mother put out a bowl of mixed olives with appetizers. By the time dinner rolled they, along with all of the munchies, were gone. When we sat down at the table, Brad looked around and asked where the olives were. Apparently in his family, olives are a part of the meal...lesson learned.
Another difference between us revolves around vegetables. Brad likes his Thanksgiving veggies creamed into some sort of casserole with a crunchy topping and virtually unrecognizable as vegetables. Now I realize that much of the country is with my husband on this one, but for me personally, green bean casserole makes me want to hurl. And that nasty sweet potato stuff with marshmallows...bleh!
So this year, it is Brad's mother's turn to spend Thanksgiving with us and our original plan was to travel to Nashville. And then I imagined what it would be like traveling with three small children during the busiest traveling weekend of the year. By car or air, the vision was terrifying!
So I suggested that his mom and stepdad come to us instead. I told Brad that way we still get to spend Thanksgiving with them, but we don't have to travel. Plus the added benefit of getting to make Thanksgiving dinner myself. To this point in my argument, my husband responded, "What do you care about making Thanksgiving dinner? You never eat anything but turkey anyways."
Um, yeah dude...that's the point! This year I am making a meal that I will actually eat because I like it, not because I am being polite. This is what I am making this year: (all recipes from Martha Stewart)
Simple Stuffing (which I will not be stuffing in the turkey!)
Basic Cranberry Sauce (sooo much better than that gross stuff from a can!)

So what are those dishes that "make" Thanksgiving at your house?


The Reller Family said...

Sausage & Apple Stuffing - also not "stuffed" inside the turkey, but baked in it's own dish. YUM!

Angie S said...

Wow, your menu is very different from mine!

MY favorite thing about our Thanksgiving meal is the cornbread dressing...yum!

Summer said...

That sounds yummy! Thanksgiving with my family always involves LOTS of food! As in...WAY too much food..haha

We have turkey, ham (sometimes even a goose or duck), giblet gravy, my dad's famous cornbread dressing, MY famous butternut squash soup, my mom's famous cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (yeah, I'm not a fan either, but it's tradition), brown sugar sweet potatoes, spinach salad, soft yeasty rolls, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, chocolate pie, apple pie, banana pudding, ambrosia (yuck) and whatever other desserts we feel like making!

Ridiculous, isn't it?!!! And, that's just for like 14 people!!!

I'll be wearing leggings for SURE!

Morgan said...

Lauren, you are definitely unique! I'm glad that you'll get the Thanksgiving meal you like this year :)

Personally I prefer the classic Thanksgiving dishes, but that's just me. We're having turkey with gravy, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans (and probably a green bean casserole too), corn casserole, squash casserole, sweet potato souffle, cranberry something (not sure since I don't eat it), yeast rolls, Hershey bar cake, pumpkin cheese cake and a few other desserts.

I hope you have a good time with the in-laws.

Bren said...

My sister hosts Thanksgiving every year so I never get (have) to cook the meal. The only bad thing is - I HATE her stuffing. My moms is so much better. I never tell her this and usually we go home and eat again - but it's all about the family right?

Cherry Family said...

Too funny! I loved that sweet potato casserole with the crunchy, brown sugar topping - YUM! We have ham instead of turkey and this year will be making a fruit turkey for the kids. : )

Added with a huge salad, corn on the cob, broccoli casserole with cheese, mac n' cheese, deviled eggs, rolls and homemade apple pie! Along with some appetizers and other dessert of course.

And I am still not sure if I have enough food. - LOL!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Krystyn said...

It is definitely interesting/fun to see the different ways it is celebrated. Christmas is even more interesting.

Sierra Rix said...

oh the humanity. I am with you on the sweet potat. dish :-( I like aparagus with a balsamic reduction and shaved parm. cheese for our green veg and a really nice green salad. Desserts vary year to year, but always include at least one pecan pie and one pumpkin.
We have a strange crew here each year, made up of folks with no family local, immigrants who are enjoying their first thanksgiving, etc. Always fun and always memorable!

Momisodes said...

Oh that looks like a great menu! Thanks for posting the links. I was just putting our menu together this week. I've been looking on the Food Network site and Allrecipes. I'll have to look at these you've posted!

Emily said...

Delish! I wish I was going to be at your house! :) I have a great recipe for pumpkin cheesecake. And I love my stuffing recipe. Also done outside the bird. You know, I might just have to make a Thanksgiving dinner when I get back for fun! :)

Heidi @ Blue Eyed Blessings said...

That cracks me up about the olives!! ;)

I love Cranberry Spinach Salad. Yummy!! http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Jamies-Cranberry-Spinach-Salad/Detail.aspx

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family, Lauren! And enjoy lots and lots of turkey (and no marshmallowed sweet potatoes...I agree on that one - yuck!)

shortmama said...

Sounds deliciously delightful!

blueviolet said...

yes, yes, yes....real cranberries! I'm SO with you on that. I'm glad you got your way and can cook the meal YOU want to eat.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Oh, man, wish I was coming to your house this year! ;) That turkey and gravy look divine. I'm with you on the marshmallowy sweet potatoes, yuck! Happy Thanksgiving.

Bethany said...

Mmmm, I love the moist turkey that was in the oven all day, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce (sorry, from a can!), and green bean casserole the best- oh, and the apple pie!! :) Yummy, yummy!

imbeingheldhostage said...

I am cringing because "that nasty sweet potato stuff with marshmallows" is one of our staples ;-)

This year, after the Tday prep from Hades, my husband walks into the kitchen as the last roll is being pulled from the oven to say "Were we having green beans?" I refrained from asking him where he expected me to pull them out of since everything was on the table...
I don't like the green beans, so I'm not making them. You'd think after 13 years he'd get that.

heidi said...

We have to have olives at dinner, too. That green bean casserole is disgusting and will never sit on my table. We MUST have mashed potatoes. I can't believe you didn't have any. That's just crazy!

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