I love Thanksgiving. It has always been a cherished and celebrated holiday in my family. My traditions have changed throughout the years; loved ones have passed, families have grown, houses have been sold and people move… But some things have remained the same; I still get dressed up even though we are just meeting up with family and friends. We don’t take for granted how blessed we are to be together and share in our feast. And I’m from Michigan, so there’s always a Lion’s game.
Many of you know how it goes. Children grow up and get married. They incorporate both sides of the family and coinciding-ly make new traditions. Sometimes parents are divorced, so there are even more houses to visit. If your blessed with grandparents still alive, many holiday routines include a visit to their house. Often those married couples begin to have children of their own… All of the sudden you feel like you’re spending the holiday in the car, and getting your baby and self in and out of it- so you need to reevaluate your traditions. (Maybe that last part is just my experience?)
Of course, I’m truly thankful I have places to go with people who love me and my family. And I’ve learned to accept change throughout the years too. We usually don’t have dinner at the cabin pictured above. (I really wish we did.) This photo was taken the first year, I believe, of owning the cabin and the first Thanksgiving spent without my grandmother. We had always gone at some point during the day to have Thanksgiving dinner at her house, even after I was married with baby in tow; a tradition I had followed since childhood and one that admittedly I miss. At this time, I was pregnant with my daughter and we spent the holiday in the woods with my parents and my sister’s family. It was a beautiful way to transition into new holiday experiences. It also gives you an idea as to the traditional American food we eat. Food that was prepared without a conventional oven that the cabin was missing at the time, I might add.
Confession: I have never made a roasted turkey. Although I have graduated from sitting at the kid’s table, I have yet to actually host a Thanksgiving dinner. Therefore, I have never made the prized turkey. That said, I do feel like I make an important contribution to the annual feast, namely desserts and any side dish with which I may want to experiment.
Here is a sneak peak into what I’ll be bringing to Thanksgiving dinner this year (for the available recipes I have included the link):
For the last, I don’t know, how many years I have been bringing my Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Bread. It is a sweet bread that we eat with dinner along side the rolls. And if any is leftover, it makes for a great treat with coffee the next morning.
I love pecan pie in all forms. Here is a Maple Pecan Pie that has become a part of our Thanksgiving tradition, that I will be bringing again this year. (Side note: I can’t wait to update this photo!)
In addition to this pie I am going to make the “Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream” from the Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof cookbook. Because if I can’t try something new, I’m not having fun. Also, let me take this opportunity to apologize to my dad in advance, because he is a pumpkin pie purist. Sorry pops, but keep an open mind! You might love it!
Lastly in the dessert category I am bringing my Pumpkin Cheesecake. And when I say “my” please note that it is not actually my recipe. But it is the same gorgeous creamy cheesecake with graham cracker crust that I love and have been making for years, that I wouldn’t change a thing about and have adopted as my own.
I’ve also never made a green bean casserole. I’m not proud of that statement. But this is the year I make it happen. I’m just going to ease myself in by trying French’s Green Bean Casserole straight from their site. However, if any of you with experience know that I am making a mistake please feel free to leave me a link with your favorite recipe in my comments, I am open to suggestions… until this evening when I shop for my ingredients.
Lastly, I am making appetizers. But not appetizers for like before the meal, because everyone comes hungry (unless you’ve been to several dinners already 😉) for the Thanksgiving feast. These are really more like snacks for later because we are having a late afternoon feast this year (to accommodate several families) and when evening rolls around I doubt people are really going to be hungry when we wake up from our naps (just kidding… someone has to watch the children), but we may want to snack. So I am going to make The Pioneer Woman’s Festive Goat Cheese with dried cranberry and pistachios from her “Friends-giving” episode, and my Smoky Cheese Ball; which I usually ingest while watching the parade… maybe I’ll make two.
There you have it! Have a great holiday friends and God bless!