What’s on the Menu for Thanksgiving this Year? Family Traditions, Food and Togetherness
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The familiar smells of delicious spices take us back to happier times, festive moods and family settings when people really took the time to appreciate Thanksgiving and what it truly means. But today unfortunately it is often rushed by in order to partake of the commercialism of Christmas. That’s unfortunate, but Thanksgiving in essence is a time when family and friends come together and gather around a bounteous table laden with food to give thanks for the many blessings God has bestowed upon them throughout the year, and what better way to draw others near than to invite them to a wonderful sumptuous feast.
At our Thanksgiving meal, we serve traditional and nontraditional foods. Our Thanksgiving dinner menu consists of turkey, dressing, rice, giblet gravy, collard greens, corn bread, sweet potato casserole, sweet potato pie, relish tray, deviled eggs; and we top it off with aspic as our salad. Although equal attention is given to all of the foods, our children as well as we adults really love the Sweet Potato Casserole which is a southern dish with its recipe shared with us by my sister-in-law. Of all of the Thanksgiving recipes, this dish is a favorite and loved by all, incredibly easy to make, and I guarantee it will be the first dish to be gobbled up. Can’t beat that southern cooking! Here is the recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Casserole (Southern Style)
5 large sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1-3/4 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
3 eggs beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
Boil and mash the potatoes, mix in sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and milk. Spread in 13 x 9 baking dish. Topping: melt butter, mix in remaining ingredients (brown sugar, flour and pecans). Sprinkle over potato mixture. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
As far as Thanksgiving traditions go, we as a family have a very special tradition in our home of which our children get to participate. It’s not for everyone, but you are welcome to try it. We cook our Thanksgiving meal the evening before, and by morning, the meal is just as fresh as ever, either simmering or cooling down, and we get to relax, watch good family movies by the fireplace, eat a wonderful meal giving thanks, and be in the fellowship with each other. In order to accomplish this, the adults (my husband and I) camp out all night long on the couch cooking the turkey the night before, and we take turns getting up every half hour to baste the turkey, and our children get to stay up as long as they can last in their pajamas and get to camp out in their sleeping bags on the family room floor or on the hide-a-bed playing, laughing and talking to each other in the dark, and taking in all of the wonderful sights and smells coming from the kitchen. The next day we get up and have our breakfast, and we are free to lounge around the rest of the day loving and just enjoying each others company. It’s a cozy setting we all look forward to every year, and we don’t have to spend the entire day in the kitchen cooking.