Life has seemed a whirlwind. I have had some virus ever since I got back from Europe on November 5th. My husband says I am not allowed to world travel anymore if I am going to bring home viruses. This week I am on a second round of antibiotics and hope that this will cure all. I feel like I have been on an alternate planet. Somehow in the midst of not feeling well, we celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Thanksgiving was small with me my husband and my mother in law. We had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with some store bought modifications. Everything was tasty and it was just fine that certain things were not homemade. Might I say that the Trader Joe's stuffing mix with a few things added in was delish.
It is occurring to me now that I should have written down what I added so that I could replicate it next year. Many people think I do things like that. But the reality is I am as scatterbrained as the next person. I am recalling onion, celery, carrots, and sausage.
We spent over $100 at Lucky and got a free turkey this year. It was thirteen pounds and perfect for the three of us, left overs and we made stock out of the carcass. Actually my husband pretty much made the stock. I stand in the kitchen cringing that he isn't doing it the way I do it. But in reality he is creative and is enjoying cooking since he retired. His stock turned out fabulous.
The other thing that made me cringe was the idea of canned cranberry sauce. My frozen cranberries didn't fare too well and we had to throw them away. But guess what? In a pinch Ocean Spray Cranberry sauce is pretty darned good. Didn't doctor them up. Just opened the can and threw them in a bowl and called it done.
Now let's talk yams/sweet potatoes. We didn't have them this year. A comment was made that they weren't missed. Well, I missed them. Am I the only one? When I was little I liked the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top. When I got married I LOVED my mother in laws glazed sweet potatoes. As we all got older my mother in law switched to a mashed sweet potato with orange zest. While not as delightful as her glazed sweet potatoes, they are healthy and yummy at the same time. I think next year I will try these Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Orange Essence from the Food Network. But, no matter what recipe I end up with, I will definitely not omit the sweet potatoes!
The gravy was easy. My mother in law pre makes turkey gravy before the holiday. She purchases turkey wings and makes it from those. I'm not sure how she does it but it is always great and perfect.
To round out the meal we had mashed potatoes, salad and pumpkin pie. Do you want to know one of my secrets? It is Pillsbury Pie Crust. I'm sure it is not as flaky as grandmas, but it is super easy and pretty tasty. And I love the fact that I don't have flour everywhere when I make a pie!