Friday, November 28, 2014

A Simple Thanksgiving

My older daughter and I had a very simple Thanksgiving this year. We didn't go anywhere so I prepared a simple dinner for us. Due to the commercialism in the United States now for what is called "Black Friday" my younger daughter had to work late on Thanksgiving afternoon in a department store. My older daughter, who has some handicaps, loves the Macy's Parade so we first enjoyed that in the morning hours instead of rushing away early in the day.

While the parade was on I made our dessert, chocolate-pecan pie.

Behind it on the top of the photo there is a bit of a turkey decoration made by my older daughter. Adding chocolate to a pecan pie made it a new recipe for me. We liked it but I think the next time I make this I might use butterscotch or caramel instead of chocolate.

When the oven was then ready I put in a small turkey breast to roast. After it had cooked for an hour I took it out and basted it with a mixture of apple juice, butter, thyme, and paprika. This was repeated for a second time. We each had a serving and now some of it is cut up in the freezer waiting to be made into a turkey casserole in a week or two. At about the 9:00 position there is a little button. This is pops out when the turkey has reached a suitable temperature inside.

The day before I made cranberry salad. Certainly cranberries and turkey are traditional foods for Thanksgiving. It has been a long time since I've made cranberry salad from scratch.

This was made with a slight addition of lemon juice and apricot preserves and then toasted walnuts were added at the last moment. This recipe is a keeper and quite much like how my Mom used to make cranberry salad from scratch.

We also had a sweet potato and pineapple casserole -- sweet potatoes being traditional for Thanksgiving too, but I've never made it with pineapple before. I liked this new recipe very much, but forgot to take a photo.

In the days before Thanksgiving the New York Times had published a map of traditional food for each state and certainly made huge, huge mistakes for nearly every state. For Minnesota the Times listed a green grape salad, saying a "Minnesota heiress" said it was traditional. Well social media lit up. No one in Minnesota had every heard of this grape salad nor could anyone figure out who is/was a "Minnesota heiress" who would say so or even if there is a "Minnesota heiress" who would offer such an opinion.

The whole thing from many states caused the Times to publish a new list and Minnesota ended up with a wild rice dish which has formerly been given to Wisconsin. This made Minnesotans happy because wild rice does grow in the state in a traditional manner. On the same revised map Iowa and Nebraska were given the the Snickers Salad - don't know how those states felt about that! Now I had heard of Snickers Salad before and hadn't eaten in years so I mixed a batch of that too.

We also added Green Giant sweet peas to our meal. After all the Jolly Green Giant lives along Highway 169 near LeSueur, MN!

And what is now traditional in my family for holidays is Black Currant Sparkling Water.

I call this wine without the buzz! Love it!

There is no one right way to do a Thanksgiving dinner. Every family does it somewhat differently and what is traditional in one family may not be traditional in another.

Hope you enjoyed this brief look at a Thanksgiving dinner.

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