The long Thanksgiving week has come to an end…I have to say, fall is my favorite time of year – especially Thanksgiving!! The decorations, the music, the food, the holiday spirit – I love it. So I thought I’d take a moment to talk about Thanksgiving traditions and what Thanksgiving means to me. Leading up to the Holiday there is a lot of decorating that takes place…and I have to admit I put my tree up before Thanksgiving this year. It was a first but I was eager to have it up in our new home.
Thanksgiving morning Ralph and I hang in our Pj’s until we have to get dressed for the day, literally until about 12pm! We snuggle up in the big chair, Ralph with his oversized snowman mug full of Starbucks coffee (via the Kurig) and I with Hot Cocoa. We watch the Macy’s day parade and discuss our favorite floats and acts, although this year there didn’t seem to be as many performers…Martina McBride was fabulous.
There is always the food, of course. But it’s not just the act of eating Thanksgiving dinner. The hours of preparation and the delicious smells that fill the house that entire week are just as important, as are the leftovers that last for days. We always go to Ralph’s mother’s house for Thanksgiving but this year I cooked an entire Turkey for our home too. (30 Pound Butterball to be exact). In my family, the cooking of Christmas cookies and other various treats has always begun the day before Thanksgiving…We have been mixing and rolling the entire week!
The week leading up to the big day I leave little notes around the house for Ralph to find…I talked about this last year, you can read more about it HERE!! I think he LOVES it and he actually left me a couple this year too. We watched Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Laughed as we talked about our childhood.
Then there’s family…For me, Thanksgiving has almost always involved time spent with extended family. Playing boards games, sitting around talking about life, doing puzzles, sometimes not saying anything at all, just being with one another. The wonderful thing about family is, I not only have my own family I also have Ralph’s family too. That means getting to enjoy even more moments. This year Ralph’s mom got a new puppy, a little German Shepherd named Sierra. Lots of nephews running around, Ralph’s niece, she’s hysterical. Family is important to us.
The history of Thanksgiving is important as well. Ralph is pretty “Historical” and likes to know his roots. He has spent many hours hunting down generations before him. Thanksgiving has me talking about how much we have to be thankful for. This is something we do often although it is ever present on Thanksgiving Day. I actually didn’t go Black Friday Shopping this year, I really just didn’t want to. It seems almost crazy to be so thankful one day, giving thanks for things that aren’t really “things” at all, for example, friends and family. Then in the wee hours following we are ravaging the stores for material “things” that we feel we need so badly. Odd.
I’ve been so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life it was so refreshing to bring the wheels to a grinding halt and relax! There was so much lounging around this week…I feel so energized for Monday morning. Back at it but only for four weeks…Then it’s time to rally around for Christmas celebrations.
**First Left Over Recipe.... TURKEY SOUP!
- 1 leftover turkey carcass (from a 10- to 12-pound turkey)
- 2 quarts water
- 1 medium onion, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 1/3 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
- Place the turkey carcass in a stockpot; add the water, onion, salt and bay leaves. Slowly bring to a boil over low heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours.
- Remove carcass; cool. Strain broth and skim off fat. Discard onion and bay leaves. Return broth to the pan. Add the carrots, rice, celery and chopped onion; cover and simmer until rice and vegetables are tender.
- Remove turkey from bones; discard bones and cut turkey into bite-size pieces. Add turkey and cream soup to broth; heat through. Yield: 8-10 servings (about 2 quarts).
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope you were able to sit back and really appreciate all you have to be Thankful for. G’night.