Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I truly believe it is all the wonderful smells and tastes that still linger in my brain and on my tongue from my childhood. Thanksgiving was always a huge deal in my grandmother's home. She started the preparation weeks in advance and could be found with floured hair whirling in her 1950's kitchen from pot to stove to table starting at 4 am Thanksgiving morning.
I took this tradition to heart until I was diagnosed with ra. At first, I fought my screaming joints and continued to prep weeks in advance, rise at 4am, and whirl from pot to stove to counter until I finally broke down one year in tears. It was all too much. I finally had to resolve that Thanksgiving was going to be more about giving thanks than about the food preparation for the masses.
When we were children, my mom would always sing us a song that goes like this…
I heard Mr. Turkey say….gobble, gobble, gobble.
Soon will be Thanksgiving Day…gobble, gobble, gobble.
But I think that I should run and hide until the day is done…
gobble, gobble, gobble.
Now, if I could just run and hide too, I think I might have the safest solution for this holiday season but alas I am the proactive type and decided to conquer this holiday instead.
And so here is what I heard Mr. Turkey say…
- If you are the cook this year, be kind to yourself.
- If you are having a large crowd, ask that each person bring a side dish.
- Cook only the turkey if you aren't willing to pre-order your entire dinner.
- Buy your side dishes and desserts outside if you can't ask others to bring side dishes.
- Consider paper products and if you aren't willing to do the paper route, assign kitchen patrol duty to others.
- Be sure to rest up before Thanksgiving.
- Have pain medication on hand.
- Do your shopping early on and if you insist on cooking the entire dinner consider frozen pies, frozen veggies and appetizers that are easy.
- Prep as much as you can ahead of time (see links below for some tips on dishes you can make days in advance)
- And no one said that Turkey is the only option for this holiday (Mr. Turkey is jumping up and down in agreement here). Heck we have been known to order in Greek food!
- Consider going out for Thanksgiving dinner. Just be sure to check ahead and make reservations if needed.
- Remember, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, sharing memories, and creating memories.
We have some very fond memories from our newly created Thanksgiving traditions. And yes, we have learned to be flexible and to focus on what really counts during this holiday season….each other.
I would love to know how you make this holiday season simply your own!
Mr. Turkey says here are some great resources for further tips:
Easiest Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu on about.com
How to Make a Simple Thanksgiving Dinner: Easy Turkey and Dessert Crock Pot Recipes for a Relaxed Holiday Meal on Season Cooking @ Suite 101