And together we learn

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thanksgiving plans

Does anyone else absolutely adore Thanksgiving?? It is definitely one of my favorite holidays. The eating part of it is a bonus, of course, but it's more the whole package deal. The togetherness. The warmth and love in the kitchen with my sisters and daughters. The thanks. Gratitude is such an important and underlooked part of life, and I'm very thankful we have a holiday to help us think about it more!

We have a family friend who's convinced that gratitude is the root of most everything good. That an attitude of thankfulness attracts more blessings into our lives, and the more mindful we are, the more we're able to feel joy. I must say that I agree.

My girls love old musicals, and one of their favorites is White Christmas. You know, the old one with Bing Crosby. Well, there's a song in it about falling asleep counting your blessings. Hazel will always remind me to do this, and tells me it will make me happy. How right she is!!

Every other Thanksgiving, my extended family on my mom's side gets together. My grandma has 9 children, most of those with large families of their own, so you can just imagine the numbers here. Over 50, easy. Usually pushing 60. We have a block of timeshares in the mountains that we go to for the whole weekend--Wed through Sunday. It's an absolute blast that we all look forward to all year. Lots of games, lots of snacks, lots of movies. What's not to love?

Since there are so many of us, planning a meal this size is a little daunting. I get to do green beans, cranberries, and 3 pies. Perfect amount! It's enough cooking to make me feel all Thanksgiving-y, but not enough to get me stressed out. On my green beans, there will be not one smidgen of mushroom soup around. Instead, I'm sauteeing them with garlic and olive oil, then topping them with caramelized onions. Mmmmm. You can caramelize onions in the crockpot--just toss them in with some butter or olive oil and put it on low for 24 hours or so. I haven't tried it before, but it sounds delicious!

As for the cranberry sauce, nothing is allowed to come out of a can. I always cook a bag of cranberries with some sugar, orange juice and orange zest--sometimes a little ginger, and they are so so delicious and so easy. I think I'll do another kind as well--maybe a relish with jalapenos? I've got a recipe for that and it looks intruiging.

In the pie department, I was voted to do the apple pies. So I'll do one standard apple, one apple cranberry streusel, and one berry. Can you tell that I absolutely love to cook?

What are all your plans for this wonderful holiday?

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6 comment(s):

ooh, apple cranberry streusel sounds great. Can you post pictures of that? And a recipe?

By Blogger theotherbear, at 3:25 AM  

I put apples in my cranberry sauce (though my family insists on at least one can as well) I hope you have a happy one, Becca. Thanks for the movie suggestion. I can't wait to see that now. We work on being grateful all the time around here.

By Anonymous Jennifer, at 5:32 AM  

oh, it all sounds so wonderful, and like so much fun! Have a great time!! My husband is one of 7 kids, and we all have 4 kids (except 2 families) so we have a big get together planned this thanksgiving, with a family portrait!
I'll share stories later!


By Blogger Jennifer, at 9:26 AM  

Sounds great. We are going to two sets of relatives. Tiring, but better than cleaning here!


By Blogger owlhaven, at 10:42 AM  

I hear you on the cranberry sauce. I only make homemade myself too. Theres nothing like it. I come from a family of nine myself, I know all about those big gatherings. Between my sisters and myself there are 72 of us. But we can never all get together at the same time. Everyones scattered too far away. One sister has 12 kids another 11 another 9...its just too much for everybody. So this year there will only be about 20 people, We rent a house at the beach every year. it will still be fun but not quite the same.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with everyone!

By Blogger Mrs. Darling, at 8:05 AM  

Count me in on the Thanksgiving love fest! The one and only drawback to our Thanksgiving this year was that we had nobody else to feed. (We love to feed people - even total strangers. It doesn't matter.) The family is so far away, and we tried to adopt servicemen but they assigned them back in August or September (hmpf). Still, it's one of my favorite holidays, definitely.


By Blogger Dy, at 11:17 PM  

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