Monday, November 15, 2010

Let's talk turkey...or Thanksgiving at least!

I have to admit something...I am NOT a frugal Thanksgiving cook. I, in fact, go a bit crazy for Thanksgiving, even when I am just cooking for my family of 6 (2 adults, 4 kids ages 2-7). But, over the last 2 years, while I have been cooking for our family and friends on a budget, I have tried to cut down a bit. Just so you know where I am coming from, let me tell you that in the past, I have taken my mom's Thanksgiving menu and made it all plus a few additions I have added along the years (keep in mind ALL items are made from scratch including the cranberry sauce). So, (prepare for overload and shock) here is my mom's menu Plus my additions (I will denote those with *):
  • Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sage "American" Stuffing/dressing
  • "Greek" Dressing
  • Cranberry Dressing
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Orange-Cranberry Relish/Sauce
  • Gravy
  • XiaXia's Rolls
  • Yams/Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
  • Ambrosia
  • Jello Salad
  • Olive/Pickle/cheese appetizer tray
  • Cheese Ball with crackers
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • Christmas Pudding
  • Cranberry Cookies
  • Pies-1-2 Pumpkin, the whatever else I feel up to making (Apple, Cherry, cream pies, mince meat)
  • Pecan Pie*
  • Ham/pickle/cream cheese roll ups*
  • Green Bean Casserole*
Ok-I realize that for a family of 6 this is a bit crazy, but I feel like it is not much of a holiday if I am missing anything. However, I am realistic, so I have cut it down a bit, and there are a few things I no longer do from scratch.  So here is the menu as I have streamlined it over the years and which items I no longer make from scratch.  Also, some of the items I make throughout the weeks before and after instead of all on one day (like the desserts).  (Highlit items I still make. Bolded means I have cut it from the menu, and I will put comments next the the items):

  • Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sage "American" Stuffing/dressing (I actually no longer make this from scratch though-we found that our little family likes Stove Top just as well and it is far easier!!)
  • "Greek" Dressing (I actually LOVE this, but it is the hardest/most time consuming thing on the menu and I found I am usually the only one to eat it, so I cut it out-it also has expensive ingredients that are not as easy to find here in Omaha as they were to find growing up in Utah).
  • Cranberry Dressing (I just cut down to 1 dressing)
  • Cranberry sauce ( I just like the one with Orange better so I only make one)
  • Orange-Cranberry Relish/Sauce
  • Gravy
  • XiaXia's Rolls (Admitedly I do not always do these from my XiaXia's recipe/from scratch. Sometimes I opt for pillsbury ones or premade to save time, but I always regret it!)
  • Yams/Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
  • Ambrosia (Yes I realize this is both Bolded and highlit-It remains on my menu, but sometimes I don't get to it or have room in the fridge, so it is an iffy one)
  • Jello Salad (As with the Ambrosia, this one is one I often end up skipping, and when I do make it, I rarely make the full Jello salad recipe-often it ends up being just jello made by the kids, and that is perfect for our family!)
  • Olive/Pickle/cheese appetizer tray (This one really depends on sale prices. I like to have it for people to snack on all day while we cook, but if these items do not go on a great sale leading up to the holiday, they are cut out!)
  • Cheese Ball with crackers
  • Christmas Pudding (I save this for Christmas if I make it at all-my family is not big fans)
  • Cranberry Cookies  (I always make these but usually not right on Thanksgiving-it is part of the Thanksgiving week treats though)
  • Pies-1-2 Pumpkin, then whatever else I feel up to making (Apple, Cherry, cream pies, mince meat)
  • Pecan Pie*
  • Ham/pickle/cream cheese roll ups*
  • Green Bean Casserole*
What do you cook for Thanksgiving? What are the MUST haves at your house?  Have youhad to streamline and cut back like I have?  What are your favorite Thanksgiving tips and tricks? Please leave answers to any of these questions in the comments section or on the Facebook wall, or email me at beckeesdeals@gmail.com

 

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1 comments:

Andrea said...

I, of course, grew up with Beckee, so my Thanksgiving menu is essentially the same as hers (and my Moms). . . I have only hosted Thanksgiving once, since I'm surrounded by family, someone else always hosts. The one time I hosted, we had:

Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Sage "American" Stuffing/dressing
"Greek" Dressing
Cranberry Dressing
Cranberry sauce
Gravy
XiaXia's Rolls
Yams/Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows
Squash Delight (My husband's family makes this-I actually don't like it at all, but we make it every year for Jeremy)
Ambrosia
Jello Salad
Olive/Pickle/cheese appetizer tray
Cheese Ball with crackers
Cranberry Cookies
Pies-1-2 Pumpkin, apple, chocolate satin and banana cream (from Marie Callendars)

I don't think Thanksgiving is the same without all those things-I splurge on Thanksgiving-in fact, the year I hosted Thanksgiving, I started buying the ingredients (the non-perishable ones) MONTHS in advance and saved grocery money for the rest. :) Happy Thanksgiving all!!