Monday, November 19, 2012

3 Days….

Yes, 3 days until Thanksgiving. Are you preparing the meal? We’re having dinner here with our kids and grandsons, and I am really looking forward to it! It’s always a good time – noisy and crazy and filled with food. Perfect!

We all have so much to be thankful for, don’t we? No matter what our situation or problems or trials are, couldn’t they always be worse? I just look around and see so many who are not as blessed as I am and wish them well.

Our dinner will include a large turkey breast and a honey-baked spiral-sliced ham, along with many sides, salads and desserts. Our daughter will be bringing her yummy green beans and maybe a dessert. One of my favorite recipes is what I call “Heavenly Rice”. I haven’t made it in a long time, but it’s an unusual and delicious treat. Recipe is below.

Organization is key to doing a large dinner such as Thanksgiving. I thought I was really organized until I got home from 3 grocery stores earlier today and realized I’d forgotten the celery, of all things!

A few tips:

1) Make your menu and gather recipes early. And make it easy on yourself – stick to the old favorites, those tried-and-true recipes that everyone loves. This isn’t a time to rewrite the menu with all new foods, but maybe try one new item. Or try a twist on one of your usual recipes.

2) Make a shopping list from those collected recipes, then do a quick inventory of what you have on hand.

3) Do as much prep work as you can the day (or two) before. We may roast the turkey breast the day before – that works fine and frees up the oven for all the sides. Just drizzle a bit of broth over it, cover and reheat. Peel and cut vegetables. Brown the sausage for stuffing. Bake the cornbread for the stuffing, cool, then crumble or cube it – let dry overnight. Cube the bread for the stuffing and let it dry. Make the cranberry sauce and gelatin salads. Chill anything that needs to be chilled. Bake desserts if they’ll still be fresh-tasting the next day. Don’t forget the ice!

4) Don’t forget the celery! Smile

5) Schedule baking times and prep times so you can have everything done at the same time with a minimum of fuss.

6) Eat and enjoy!

Here’s a recipe from quite a few years ago – given to me by my Mother. It’s in her handwriting, and I treasure that well-worn sheet of paper!

HEAVENLY RICE
1 small box cherry gelatin
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup peaches, fruit cocktail or sliced bananas
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
 
Dissolve gelatin in 2 cups hot water (or the juice from the pineapple and enough water to make 2 cups). Chill until set. Whip gelatin and fold in remaining ingredients. Chill thoroughly.
 
This sounds a bit strange, but trust me – it’s so good!
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I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. And let’s all count our blessings.
 
As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks for reading!

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