Thursday, November 23, 2023

A quiet Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers!

Since I work on Thursdays, we had our feast yesterday (Wednesday). We started by writing down a menu so we'd know what to make in advance vs. what to make the day of the feast. (We later dropped mashed potatoes and just had Older Daughter's fabulous scalloped potatoes.)

Preparations started on Tuesday, notably the dinner rolls, the stuffings, and desert (strawberry trifle).

Bread stuffing ingredients:

I'm not crazy about bread stuffing, but Don and Older Daughter like it. However Older Daughter doesn't like onions, so what I do is divide the pan into the "onion" side and the "no onion" side. Works beautifully.

My weakness is wild rice stuffing. Since no one else cares for it, I can add all the onions I want. Bliss.

I concentrated on pulling together all the component ingredients for strawberry trifle (defrosting the strawberries, making the cream filling, crushing the graham crackers) while Older Daughter made dinner rolls (here the dough is rising).

I also pulled a bunch of potatoes out of storage.

Yesterday, the day of our feast, started with prepping the bird that's been living in our freezer for three years, and our refrigerator for the past week.

I don't do much by way of fancy prep work on the turkey. After rinsing and patting dry, I merely rub the skin with shortening and put it in the oven (basting it periodically while cooking, of course.

Because we did so much prep work the day before, our Thanksgiving Day was actually rather leisurely. Here's the trifle assembly station...

...and the finished product.

Older Daughter made green beans in oyster sauce and scalloped potatoes, then started setting the table. She likes to fold the napkins in elegant shapes on Thanksgiving. While she was working on this, she suddenly stopped and realized she was making four place settings, not three. Even after all these years, it's hard not to miss Younger Daughter at such times.

While the turkey was baking, Don sharpened knives. It's become something of a family tradition to sharpen the knives for Thanksgiving. The reason for this stems from a time we had our beloved pastor (David "Spike" Shine) join us for Thanksgiving. He offered to carve the turkey, since he was quite good at it. To our everlasting embarrassment, every knife he tried was dull. Don hastily sharpened a knife, and Spike was finally able to carve the bird. Since then, every year without fail, Don gives a bunch of knives a good sharpening on Thanksgiving. (Rest in peace, Spike. We still miss you.)

The bird came out looking very nice.

While Don carved (with sharp knives!), I made gravy.

At last we all sat down to eat, a feast worth waiting for.

Besides the gratitude for our family, our health, and our food, we're also grateful we were able to stay home. Consider this video of holiday traffic, and you'll understand why.

A blessed, abundant, and safe Thanksgiving, dear readers!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to y’all! The meal looks delicious. I have used older daughter’s oyster sauce recipe, for vegetables, many times. Grateful for writing.

  2. Your bird turned out beautiful! Picture perfect! Everything looks wonderful! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. The knife tradition seems like a very useful (and sensible) one.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Patrice.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from me and mine!
    God Bless!

  5. Here is a really delicious recipe for authentic English trifle. The custard can be made without white wine, but it makes an astonishing difference.


    1/2 C sugar
    3 T cornstarch
    1/4 t salt
    1/2 C white wine
    3 C milk
    3 egg yolks, beaten
    1 T vanilla
    3 T butter
    Mix 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch and salt in 3-quart saucepan; gradually stir in milk and wine. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in pan. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla until butter melts. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

    1 bag frozen red raspberries
    2 pk ladyfingers (3oz) (I use sliced pound cake—you could use frozen Sara Lee, probably one and a half cakes)
    1/2 C red raspberry preserves
    Sliced almonds
    2 T sugar
    1 C whipping cream

    Split ladyfingers lengthwise in half; spread each half with raspberry preserves. (I slice my poundcake into thin slices and then spread with preserves.)
    Layer in 2-quart serving bowl 1/4 of the ladyfingers (jelly side up), 1/4 cup of slivered almonds, half of the raspberries and half of the custard; repeat. (Save a few raspberries for decoration if you want to get fancy.) Arrange remaining ladyfingers around edge of bowl in upright position with jam sides toward center. (It may be necessary to gently ease ladyfingers down into custard about 1 inch so that they remain upright.) Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Beat cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in chilled small mixer bowl until stiff; spread over top of dessert. Garnish with remaining almonds and reserved raspberries.

    1. Thanks, Krab!

      - Patrice

    2. That recipe looks good, Krab!
      I've never liked raspberries much, but love strawberries and can grow them, so that might work well. As well as blackberries!
      And I agree about the pound cake. Don't know about Sara Lee, but home made pound cake freezes well and slices up easily to occasionally slice up to go with coffee or cocoa, and is quick for a snack with guests. Plus, it is great in trifle. Thanks for sharing.

  6. The wild rice stuffing interests me. Is there a recipe for that? I try to avoid whilte rice, potatoes, etc. for blood sugar reasons, but wild rice has me salivating thinking of mushrooms and onions, and other things. Sometimes I want to cheat just a little bit.

    1. I love wild rice and would love the stuffing recipe too. I believe that wild rice is a lot better for people who have to watch blood sugar, too.

  7. Glad you had a great feast for Thanksgiving.
    Love the table, looks beautiful. Got shocked, that is the exact tablecloth I have on my table.
    kathy in MS

  8. You should check out ebay for those magazines. The old ones can bring bucks.
    I went there a while back looking for some jeans I used to wear that fit well and were discontinued. My goodness ! Sticker shock over used jeans ! Magazines too!
    I know you value your privacy, but your magazines, being yours, are worth more money. If ever you do part with them, autograph them, maybe the article, and reap the extra benefits. You could probably sell them off right here.