Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving Musings

In my family my mom always makes onion and celery bread stuffing to go with the turkey. I guess it is not techincally stuffing, because we don't actually stuff the bird, but I am not entirely convinced it is "dressing" either-in my family we make balls of stuffing and place it in and around the pan in which the turkey is roasting in the last 1/2 hour or so of baking so it sucks up the juices. We also eat an unusual amount of canned foods at Thanksgiving-canned vegetables, pumpkin pie from a can, canned cranberry sauce. This is odd because my mom is big on baking and fresh vegetables and I personally don't make/eat any sort of canned good beyond beans and occasionally soup. I think it is just habit. She also normally makes chocolate pie (made with Cool Whip-another ingredient we never use at any other point of the year) because I don't like pumpkin pie. We also serve mashed potatoes and saurkraut (another canned good!). I never found that we ate saurkraut at Thanksgiving odd until I met my husband. Most of my local friends eat it too. I think it is because Baltimore once had a large German immigrant population. Anyway, I'd miss it if we didn't have it, and it goes oddly well with (I know, losing foodie points here) canned jellied cranberry sauce. Speaking of the cranberry sauce, this year I came up with a homemade version which is amazing, so maybe I get some of those points back.

The last couple of years I have gone to my husband's family's house. The first time I went I was surprised to see that they didn't serve mashed potatoes or saurkraut. Who doesn't serve mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving? I'll give them the saurkraut, but mashed potatoes! Matt made me gingery yams but it's just not the same. I do enjoy his family's cranberry sauce and they have a nice salad. They make a dressing with sausage (and without for the vegetarians) that is pretty good. They also stuff some of it under the skin of the turkey which is an interesting idea. They also fight over the turkey neck, something I have no interest in, so Matt has it to himself when we have roasted a turkey at home.

This year, Matt has to work the day after Thanksgiving so we are going to my parent's house. We are probably going to roast our own turkey that weekend too, we can't resist the lure of 40 cent turkeys.

What are your plans and traditions for Thanksgiving?