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Thanksgiving Meal Preparation

For foodies and cooks I think we are approaching our favorite time of the year.  At one time, I just baked like crazy and then we would eat all the yummy things and be sick after Christmas.  After my husband was diagnosed as diabetic, we have changed our eating patterns but we still celebrate the holidays.  I make things he can eat and things I can eat and share with friends.  I am looking forward to preparing my Thanksgiving meal.

How do I plan my meal?  It usually starts with the wonderful magazines I subscribe to as well as going through my collection of recipe books until I find the perfect combination for the big day.  This year I was totally surprised when I received my Good Housekeeping magazine and there was Ina Garten on the cover.  She shared her thoughts about Thanksgiving and how to prepare for the meal.

After browsing through the magazines, I went through my cookbooks last weekend and came up with my final menu.  I always ask my husband what he absolutely has to have for Thanksgiving and this year he wanted Pumpkin Pie and some type of yams or sweet potatoes.  Actually, I ask him this every year and he always has the same answer.

This is my menu for Thanksgiving and I will incorporate some of my recipes between now and the big day.

Roasted Hen ( I use the fresh hen that you purchase around Thanksgiving and Christmas that has the pop up thermometer to tell you when it is done)  I have had wonderful results from this Hen and it has no preservatives of any kind.  It tastes like the old fashioned Chicken I had as a child

Corn Bread Dressing (Martha White Recipe)  This makes a small amount of corn bread dressing and works well for the day.  It is very easy to make and I will prepare my Martha White corn bread mix ahead of time and then use it in my dressing.

Potato Salad ( that is for me as I just think you can’t have  a special Southern Meal without homemade potato salad)

Deviled Eggs (Again, it is a special meal and you should always have deviled eggs)

I will prepare the potato salad and deviled eggs on Wednesday as both dishes are better after being refrigerated overnight.

Cranberry Relish  (you can make this in a snap and I will make it even earlier in the week)

Greens  ( I will make collard greens and I buy the frozen greens and will cook them in the crockpot on Thanksgiving day)

Celery Root Puree (This is one of Ina’s recipes and you use it in place of creamed potatoes.  I am going to try this as Thanksgiving is such a carb fest and this would be better for my husband)

Gravy (I actually started making my own gravy last year from the drippings)  I let my bird rest for 15 minutes and that gives you time to make gravy.

Sweet Potato Casserole ( I will use my Mother’s recipe this year and share it with you)  This is something else you can make ahead of time

I like to have vegetables too so I am thinking I will have marinated tomatoes in balsamic and olive oil.  I also want to have roasted cauliflower.  (The tomatoes can be made ahead of time and you would pop the cauliflower in the over to roast after removing the bird)  You can heat your rolls at the same time.

Homemade Sourdough rolls  (Made ahead of time, frozen and baked on Thanksgiving day)

Of course, I will have pumpkin pie as requested by my husband and I am still debating on whether I will have a special key lime pie or chocolate pecan pie.  Both of these can be made before Thanksgiving day.

This year we have a special neighbor sharing our Thanksgiving meal with us and are looking forward to it.  If you are sharing the day with your family and they are sitting around your table, that is something to be especially thankful for.

Let The Cooking BEGIN!

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