Thanksgiving thoughts and menu

Thanksgiving has been on my mind a lot the past couple of days, and not just because it’s next week. 😉 We weren’t sure what we were going to do this year for Thanksgiving. There is a family we have been friends with since we moved out here, and we spend lots of holidays together. They have no family that lives in Idaho, and we don’t have any family that lives close by. So we started out spending Christmas Eve with each other, and it has now progressed to New Year’s Eve, and Thanksgiving. It doesn’t happen every year with all holidays, but it’s fun when it comes together. But with us deciding so late about our plans, we figured they already had plans this year, but they didn’t!!! So all four of them are coming over to our house for Thanksgiving dinner. Plus, we invited another couple over that doesn’t have any family either. Their children and grandchildren live in other states, so I asked them to come spend it with us, we’ll have plenty of children here. lol That will make 10 of us, and that is the biggest Thanksgiving meal I’ve made since we moved out here to Idaho. In Illinois I made big dinners, but that was with Paul’s big, Italian family. I do miss those days. 🙂

Knowing that I’m having people over has gotten me quite excited and I was pouring over my recipes today. We’ve all split what we are making, everyone bringing a dish or two to share, so it’s not all on me. But I am doing something this year that I usually never do on a holiday with friends coming over. I’m making two new dishes I’ve never made and cooking my turkey a different way! 😮 One recipe I’m not too worried about, green bean casserole. Yes, I know, shocking I’ve never made it, but remember I’m not a veggie person. But I’m also making sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. Yes, I know I can look for recipes online, but when I’m making something that my husband has requested, I try to make it like his mom does. Because though I know he will eat anything, when it’s not something I have a specific recipe for, I figure why not bless him and try to make it like it was when he was growing up. So I call his mom up and ask for the recipe, which I still chuckle about when I do that. Why? Because is mom is Italian, and rarely has an actual recipe. It’s add a bit of this and some of that until it tastes like you want. Um, really?!? Thankfully hubby usually knows exactly how things tasted when he was a child. So I’ll be mashing up some sweet potatoes, adding some butter, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg and hope that I can get it to taste like she does. It should be interesting. 😀

But the biggest thing I’m excited about is Paul bought me a roaster oven! That’s it on the bottom shelf on the left side.

Hubby usually goes all out when he gets me something. I thought this one was too big, but hubby insisted, and now I’m glad he did. I am excited to find out I can do more than just bake meats in there. They said I could make cakes, breads, and other things. I’m going to try making baked potatoes for dinner tomorrow night. I think I’m going to have to spend some time surfing the internet and see what other fun things I can do with it. But the thing I’m most excited about is the fact that I’ll have my oven free on Thanksgiving day. I don’t have to do ALL my baking the day before, which helps a lot. See, our refrigerator is not a full size fridge. It’s not a ‘small’ one either, but it’s not full size. So when I put a turkey in that’s over 13lbs (we are getting a 20lb turkey), I have to take out a shelf to fit in. That leaves the top shelf that I put milk and such on, half the shelf that the turkey is sitting on, and a drawer. 🙁 Believe me, it’s not easy to fit baked pies and apple crisp in there. It’s always been a struggle, and I’m so thankful it won’t be this year. Thank you so much Paul, I love you. 🙂

Thanksgiving menu.
Baked oatmeal with peaches and cream (I always like to have a nice breakfast, then we don’t eat again until turkey time 😉 ).
Dressing (or stuffing, whichever you prefer to call it 😉 )
Mashed potatoes (friend bringing it)
Sweet potatoes
Green bean casserole (either I’ll make it or a friend)
Homemade mac & cheese (friend bringing it)
Cherry Salad
Rolls (friend bringing it)

I’ll have ham & black olive pinwheels for pre-meal munchies.

Pumpkin pie
Apple crisp
Pumpkin roll (friend bringing it)

I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. 😉 Again, I’m excited that I get to do the baked oatmeal this year for breakfast. Usually I make fried potatoes & eggs, but now that I have the use of the oven, this will be so much easier. I put it together the night before (praying it will fit in my fridge), then throw it in the oven in the morning. Sarah will be making the cherry salad Thanksgiving morning so it can chill throughout the day. I’ll throw together the dressing (cutting all the ingredients the night before) Thanksgiving morning and put it in the fridge until the turkey is almost done. Sarah and I will make the apple crisps later that day. And of course I’ll throw together the sweet potatoes and green bean casserole (my two new recipes) shortly before the turkey is ready. Sounds like a fun, busy day.

I do have two questions for all of you out there. First, if you use a roaster oven for your turkey, can you tell me how long you let it bake. I’m still trying to decide when I want to put the turkey in. We are eating between 3:00 and 3:30, and I figure I need the bird out by 2:00, but everywhere I read says a 20lb bird only takes 4-5 hours, and that seems so short to me. Plus, how long before you eat do you take your bird out? I was thinking taking it out around 2:00, letting it sit for about 30 minutes before carving, then having Paul carve it with us eating around 3:30ish. Will my turkey be too cold by then? Can I put the carved turkey in a pan, fill my roaster oven with a bit of water and keep my turkey warm in there, on a low setting? I’m thinking the water will create steam and keep the turkey moist. Do you think that will work? Ok, all you roaster oven users out there, please tell me your tired and true ways of cooking a bird in one. I’m so excited and can’t wait use it. 🙂

So have you started on your Thanksgiving plans yet? What are you doing that day?

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1 thought on “Thanksgiving thoughts and menu”

  1. Your menu sounds wonderful. I’ve never used a roaster, but you’ve piqued my interest, that sounds like a wonderful way to cook a turkey or do a whole chicken through the week, etc. I’m going to have to read about them. I have a black enamel pan that I always have to cram ole Tom turkey into. The lid never fits so I do a foil tent over it. I bought a 23 pounder this year! There will only be 7 of us, but I like having the leftovers to use and freeze and I only do turkey once a year. Enjoy your planning!

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