An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, Louisa May Alcott...one of my favorite passages is this one...just gives such a cozy feeling to the season.
The few flakes that caused the farmer to predict bad weather soon increased to a regular snowstorm, with gusts of wind, for up among the hills winter came early and lingered long. But the children were busy, gay, and warm indoors, and never minded the rising gale nor the whirling white storm outside.Tilly got them a good dinner, and when it was over the two elder girls went to their spinning, for in the kitchen stood the big and little wheels, and baskets of wool rolls ready to be twisted into yarn for the winter's knitting, and each day brought its stint of work to the daughters, who hoped to be as thrifty as their mother.Eph Kept up a glorious fire, and superintended the small boys, who popped corn and whittled boats on the hearth; while Roxy and Rhody dressed corncob dolls in the settle corner, and Bose, the brindled mastiff, lay on the braided mat, luxuriously warming his old legs. Thus employed, they made a pretty picture, these rosy boys and girls, in their homespun suits, with the rustic toys or tasks which most children nowadays would find very poor or tiresome.Tilly and Prue sang, as they stepped to and fro, drawing out the smoothly twisted threads to the musical hum of the great spinning wheels. The little girls chattered like magpies over their dolls and the new bedspread they were planning to make, all white dimity stars on a blue calico ground, as a Christmas present to Ma. The boys roared at Eph's jokes, and had rough and tumble games over Bose, who didn't mind them in the least; and so the afternoon wore pleasantly away.At sunset the boys went out to feed the cattle, bring in heaps of wood, and lock up for the night, as the lonely farmhouse seldom had visitors after dark. The girls got the simple supper of brown bread and milk, baked apples, and a doughnut all 'round as a treat. Then they sat before the fire, the sisters knitting, the brothers with books or games, for Eph loved reading, and Sol and Seth never failed to play a few games of Morris with barley corns, on the little board they had themselves at one corner of the dresser.
Annie's Thanksgiving Pages...lots of fun here with her Thanksgiving Symbols page, her Decorations page, and many others
Thanksgiving Activities...books, crafts, games, all sorts of things!
Ok, tradition. Tradition is the thing. At least with us. For Thanksgiving.
Dewey is all about meat, potatoes and more. Lots more. Lots more.
We cook and eat big for Thanksgiving. Back north, it started off 20 some years ago when I first invited his Aunt Jo to dinner. Now mind you, putting anyone else in that little house was a feat in and of itself. We did have fun, though. That's the thing that counts. And honestly, the 26# turkey I slaved over all morning long for the 4 of us (yes...there was only 4 of us...I was pregnant though...can I count that as 5 people???) was straight out of Betty Crocker :o) It was worthy of at least a small photo op in some glitzy color menu-ista sort of magazine, if I do say so myself.
We cook big. We cook and cook. I did say lots, right?
The traditional 'Smith Thanksgiving' menu looks like this:
turkey -- was slow roasted all day at one time, but has been deep fried the past many years
large baked ham
homemade dinner rolls (actually our favorite bread recipe made up in mini loaf pans...perfectly sized like 2 regular dinner rolls.) This year we are definitely going to use Farmchick's crescent rolls, though!
mashed potatoes and gravy -- don't ask how many potatoes...we have a house of starch-eaters here, remember?
sweet potato casserole
dressing...I cheat and buy a box. I just have not found a 'real' recipe I like enough to make from scratch. I'll keep looking, though.
desserts are really the thing though...c'mon, admit it...you totally agree ;o) we used to have the perfect set-up...my mother bakes great pies that not only taste good but look pretty, too, and well...mine taste good. I used to bake her bread for her gathering with my aunt, cousin and grandmother and she traded me pies. Well, now I'm down here and I just don't think I can talk Dewey into a 10+ hour drive to swap pies for bread....so I'm on my own. They taste good...looks ain't everything, you know. Our pie menu looks like this -- apple, pecan, chocolate, and of course pumpkin. I've been making a pumpkin cobbler most years now, though. yum. And banana pudding. Chris would disown his momma if she left out the banana pudding!
And we usually have some traditional seasonal snacks lying about...as though anyone needs more food given that menu...Honey Pecan Crunch and Ranch/Dill Oyster Crackers.
The table count for this year's meal? Well, we'll have more than 4 :o) Probably not enough for the meal plan, but still...we'll have 12 total around the table. And lots of leftovers for the next several days. Even with packing up plenty for Chris and Hope to carry back to Alabama.
Oh -- the turkey this year won't be deep fried, though. Dewey will smoke it and the ham to boot. I love when the cooking gets done outside...by someone other than me ;o)
What traditions do you have around Thanksgiving menus and such?