Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A rather calm Thanksgiving. . . . . .

Here it is, the day before Thanksgiving and I actually feel relieved at having nothing
pressing regarding roasting, baking, setting, serving, cleaning, scrubbing, washing up.
You know, the myriad chores associated with producing a groaning table of food 
for others. Does that sound mean? Hope not. I am very thankful for very many things. 
Over the past 50+ years, in kitchens of my various abodes, I've produced those huge
meals requiring two days of preparation, followed by 24 endless hours in a hot kitchen.
My hair got frizzed from opening the oven while basting a big old bird I never 
tasted, all while trying to get the lumps out of the gravy with one hand and mashing 
rutabaga and butternut squash with the other.
I won't expound on the clean-up and dish washing late into the night, other than
to say thankfully my lovely man always insisted in helping with that part.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't mind the cooking, I love cooking, but these days I love it 
on a smaller scale.
Now, if not invited elsewhere - and I'd be only too happy to bring along a dish of 
something delicious - a restaurant is the place I want to be. Being a non-turkey eater 
I don't require a traditional Thanksgiving meal other than some great veggies, perhaps 
a nice portion of tasty meatless stuffing, cranberry sauce. . . . . . and the ultimate 
splurge for me, a slice of pecan pie with real whipped cream please!

 This morning. . . . . . . . calm, and quite delicious.
What did I decide to do early as I sipped my first coffee? As there's no big bird 
chilling in my 'frig requiring my attention, I baked a big batch of our now favorite 
muffins, The Mennonite Girls Can Cook carrot raisin beauties. 
See my recent post HERE for more on this fabulous recipe, and the link is there 
if you would like to make them. I measured all the dry ingredients last night 
making less work this morning.
The recipe makes 18 and they freeze very well. I store two to a bag
and freeze them until we pull them out for a morning breakfast or teatime snack.

Once again I used Trader Joe's lovely bag of mixed tricolor carrots - more interesting
than just orange. Tossed the remaining carrots, not required for the muffins, 
into a baking dish with a quartered red onion, a sweet red pepper, and olive oil, 
and now have a lovely roasted veggie dish to enjoy also.

Happy Thanksgiving preparation if you're the chef at your home. 
Hope you get some assistance and can then sit down and enjoy a lovely meal 
with family and friends on the big day.


  1. It all looks just wonderful. And I've always been a little wary of basting some big old bird. But I'm puzzled: I keep reading all these blogs written by fabulous people preparing to entertain for Thankgiving; if everyone's entertaining, where are all the visitors coming from? :-) Have a lovely time!

    1. Golly Mike, I never thought about that! Yes, who the heck are the visitors?
      Over the years at different holiday meals I recall inviting my in-laws whom I miss now they're gone (back in the '60's I recall my father-in-law's amazement at the decorative tabletop tree I created out of olives!), son's girlfriends, daughter's boyfriends, divorced mothers of same, a batchelor National Geographic photographer from Laos, neighbors etc.
      Thanksgiving is too close to Christmas - I like how Canada does it much earlier - we need a kitchen break.
      Thanks for the great comment!
      Mary -

  2. Your Thanksgiving Day sounds just my cuppa tea, Mary. The muffins look delish, will look for the recipe and give them a try. P.S. leek & potato soup is on my tomorrow's to do list also. I feel a cosy ktchen day coming on.......

  3. Dear Mary, Yes, I've been there and many times. For us, this year, it will be a simple Thanksgiving dinner with the basics. I know that I will be serving a shortened version of my usual Thanksgiving meal but it doesn't have to be served at an exact hour. We can let the day and the dinner come along as we please. We will have visitors later in the evening and maybe share a glass of mulled wine.
    I am delighted that you have decided to do just as you like. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. ox Gina

  4. Ah yes, the endless prep holds no appeal for me anymore. If we can get out tomorrow, after this nor'easter, we'll be visiting friends for Thanksgiving. And they're Vegan!


  5. I like an easy holiday too - and love the hustle and bustle of a busy one also. My daughters and their families pitch in with the cooking - each bringing several dishes with them and everyone helps with the clean up - we decided long ago that cleaning up and doing dishes is not a gender specific job anymore - like when we were kids and the women cooked for two days and then after a feast the men simply retired to the living room without a thought of the hours of clean up involved. I'm glad the men and boys in my life learned early to help with the clean up chores - and with the cooking. They did, after all, get to share in the eating, only fair they should help out in the other areas.

    Happy Thanksgiving - we will be having a smaller meal than some years but it will be delightful as well.

  6. At our house, she who cooks doesn't have to clean up. That's worked well for me. It's at this time of year that I am very thankful that we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. I'm well into thinking about Christmas - not decorating yet, but sewing and planning and shopping. Enjoy your quieter celebration, Mary.

  7. My sister and I share the cooking now. I make the turkey and dressing here and bring it to her house. She makes all the veggies and does the mashing.
    She has all the fun dishes etc from Ma so it's easier for her to set a festive table.
    My family knows how much I hate doing dishes. If I didn't have a dishwasher I would stop eating! So, they let me slide on that part.
    Enjoy your calm celebration,

  8. Hi Mary, I'm with you for sure! We're going to a buffet where we can enjoy turkey and ham and all the trimmings, without the cooking or clean-up. I have made many a Thanksgiving meal; actually this is our first time dining out and I look forward to it. Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. The muffins and roasted veggies look so good. Other than cornbread and shopping done I haven't started. With just the 6 of us and a very small turkey it won't be much work. Jim will cook the dressing and turkey, I will make 2 pies today, I may just do the roasted veggies with colorful carrots and then just warm them tomorrow. Hummm? wondering if that would work. I made cranberry chutney on Monday. So not much more to do, but gravy and potatoes. Have a blessed Thanksgiving, I wouldn't mind eating out at a restaurant myself. But then there is TRADITION for the younger ones. Sending hugs!!!

  10. Dear Mary - I think when you have made so many celebration meals over the years there comes a time when it is just rather nice to sit back and let others do it . Have a happy Thanksgiving.

  11. I felt calmer just reading this post. :) Our Thanksgiving is behind us now so tomorrow will just be a regular day for us. Now, about those muffins....mmmmmm!

  12. Not cooking here this year either. I'll bake a dessert in the morning to take along to our friend's home where we will share a meal with them.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Bob, Mary. I'm grateful for your sweet friendship.

  13. I love your comment....I still love cooking but on a smaller scale. No guests (family) here today, just the two of us and a very simple meal it will be. No commotion. Kind of nice! Happy Thanksgiving to you and I hope you have a lovely time on the beach.
    Farm Gal in VA

  14. I love that mug! I've tried to find it online . . . did you make it perhaps? And I must make these muffins:)


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