Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanksgiving on a Grand Scale


We're flying out to Washington state for Thanksgiving this year. We'll be there for just over two weeks and haven't been since 2007! How long has it been since you last saw your mother?! Well, I have a big family: my grandfather was one of six children (all boys!), so there are lots of cousins and aunts (the uncles are all gone now, sadly.) My mother is one of ten children, I am one of six, my brother and sister-in-law have seven, we have four, another brother has three... As you can imagine, Thanksgiving will be a FULL HOUSE! We're expecting to cook for 25 people, minimum.

The logistics involved in a "regular" Thanksgiving are enough. In our house "normally" we schedule the menu about 3 weeks in advance so we have time to figure out who will bring what, how much to make, etc. We also schedule a timeline out so that the food all comes out hot at the same time (relatively speaking) and we're aware of what needs to be made in advance (pretzel salad, for instance.)

I have been asked two questions: 1) what do we "normally" have for Thanksgiving? and 2) Can we provide the rolls (apparently Mom went home and talked about my bread.) SO, I'm guessing the list so far for 25 people looks about like...

100 yeast rolls
3 pans of pretzel salad (an absolutely yummy dessert dish - that it seems like only my in-laws make anywhere)
2 turkeys (my guess)
2 stuffed acorn squash
6 lbs. of stuffing
6 pies
6 - 8 lbs. of potatoes for mashing
1 lb. of brussle sprouts (I'm probably the only one who will eat it!)
8 - 10 cans of cranberry sauce
3 lbs. of homemade cranberry sauce
3 gallons of apple cider
5 gallons of milk

I know there is more - in our house here in Maryland, we usually also have roasted root vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsnips, garlic, apples, etc. drizzled with olive oil, topped with rosemary and baked for about 20 minutes at 450) and the family back home has their favorites - just like I know there will likely be more than 25 people attending. Always plan for one thing, and expect more to show for something like this!

In spite of the chaos that I know will ensue and the noise and confusion - there is also the excitement, the fellowship and the love of being with family and friends, both old and new. My one request was the pretzel salad and stuffed acorn squash (to make a main dish for us vegetarian-types.) What does your Thanksgiving look like? Do you have a favorite "must have" recipe?


  1. Brussels sprouts, though they weren't something we ate in my family when I was growing up. Now I have them every Thanksgiving and Christmas. All I really remember from holidays growing up was mom's sweet rolls baked in the shape of a Christmas tree.

  2. Love brussels sprouts but the only one in the house that does though. For us, we must have cornbread and fresh cranberry relish. Now tell me more about this pretzel salad?

  3. Pretzel salad is simple to make, but does require fixing the day before. You start by melting butter in a baking dish. Then you put broken up, SALTED pretzel sticks in the butter as a bottom layer. You put that back in the oven for a bit. That layer is topped with a layer of thickened dream whip and cream cheese. You let the 2nd layer cool a bit on top of the pretzels before adding a final layer of strawberry jello, mixed with strawberries and crushed pineapple, and made with the juice from the fruit. The whole thing has to sit in the fridge overnight to be eaten the next day. It is SO GOOD though! I'll put the whole recipe up soon - with the measurements and all. Don't think I'll have time to make one for pictures until Thanksgiving itself though - I'll have to see how time pans out!

  4. Since bringing Kristen on board, Jaremy gets a "courtesy" can of cranberry sauce... the rest is homemade!

  5. We always buy several cans (enough to last for later) and then have the home made too :) Looking forward to it either way!


I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


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