It’s that time of year (as I was reminded last night with all the holiday shopping commercials!) to be thinking about eating and giving, eating and giving.
In the last couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about the holiday meals – so many choices!
First, Dave and I are preparing for our little Thanksgiving Dinner at home. Dave has already bought the turkey – he always does so early. He may be afraid if he doesn’t get the turkey I may switch it up on him and have pot roast or something. Don’t worry honey – holidays meals aren’t like the living room. Some things in life need to remain the same. Like turkey on Thanksgiving.
With the fall harvest so abundant I have spent the last few weeks making sweet breads – first zucchini bread, then pumpkin raisin, pumpkin nut bread. Then I found the frozen bananas and this week made cream cheese banana bread. Those will all work for holiday meals AND as additions to some holiday gift baskets.
There is one thing that internet and video technology is seriously lacking and that is the ability to smell what you can see on the screen. There is nothing like the smells of holiday cooking.
Holiday recipes have been popping up on facebook lately like flowers in springtime. I have found a couple I am going to try this holiday season – like this one for a Mashed Potato Casserole. Doesn’t that look and sound delicious? I will let you know how it turns out.
I love cranberry relish and will be sure to make some of that, but another traditional dish that’s a must have is Yummy Carrots!
We’ve been making these carrots in my family for ages and I think you’ll be surprised when you see the recipe. I’ll share that with you on Saturday. Just know they are so worth it – a delicious side dish that is sure to become a family favorite.
I still have to decide on what will be the main vegetables. We still have a lot of acorn squash lying around. . .and of course I love green bean casserole. . .but this year I’m thinking about baked brussel sprouts. They are one of my all time favorite veggies and so easy to cook.
The big dilemma for me is this November is what to cook for dessert. I have a lot of favorites – dessert is usually my favorite part of any meal. I still have some pumpkin to use in something, so pumpkin pie seems like a good choice. My specialty is cheesecake, so maybe a pumpkin cheesecake? Then again, chocolate desserts are always good so maybe a baked chocolate pudding cake? Such a dilemma. I may have to make more than one.
So, what’s missing? Stuffing – no brainer – keep it traditional. Gravy, of course! Hot toddies? Probably.
And of course, with time off from work, and time to spare while things are cooking for the Thanksgiving meal I can begin planning the Christmas dinner. We recently got a freezer full of Organic Grass Fed Beef from Maine, and our pig is at the butcher’s this week, and my granddaughter got a deer, so it looks like there will be plenty of meat choices. I usually cook a couple of different meats – a roast and salmon, or venison back strap and a pork loin, or ham and venison pie. While there are only 2 or 3 or 4 of us for Thanksgiving there will be 20 – 30 for Christmas dinner.
While I’m thinking more about that big meal, I will be cooking the usual gift giving foods: peanut brittle, portinos, cookies. . .
I think I enjoy the planning and preparation for the holidays as much as the days themselves. Especially Christmas. I love the colors, the lights, the carols, the food, the feel of the holidays. Speaking of which, at the risk of offending some of you because you think it’s too early, I am going to get in the mood with one of my favorite renditions of one of my favorite holiday songs. If you’re offended, just don’t listen. If you love holiday music as much as I do, just keep hitting PLAY.