Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanksgiving menu

I know, I know that I have been such a slacker lately. So many other things that won't wait have required my attention.

I have been thinking this morning about Thanksgiving and what I will do and some easy ideas that would make someone's dinner table look sensational but require a minimum of effort. I will include them in separate posts so that they can go into the recipe list.

I think that we will have our standard T-giving menu:

Appetizers-Spinach dip from Knorr vegetable soup mix, with french bread chunks, Vegetable or olive/pickle tray. Assorted Juices and soda as everyone assembles together. Ooooooo, and also have to have those Lil smokies. Wouldn't be quite the same without Lil Smokies.

Turkey, possibly a small ham also

Apple, sausage and sage dressing-I cook it separate from the bird so therefore it's called dressing. Something has always freaked me out about putting it in the turkey, plus I like the dressing crusty and crunchy on the top.

Maple pecan yams

Mashed potatoes/gravy-lately I used bottled gravy, don't hate me for this.

Potato salad-HUH? When I ask the family two weeks before t-giving what they want for turkey day, the Hubs alwasy responds with "POTATO SALAD". His mom always served Potato Salad for Thanksgiving. So while it sounds like, to me anyway, that it belongs more on a summer picnic menu, we have potato salad. Except for a couple of years when I was too lazy to make it and one year when I forgot to get it out from the fridge put it on the table.

Homemade cranberry relish/sauce-this is fantastic, just follow the recipe on the package of whole cranberries and you can make it a couple of days ahead. It's easy peezy.

Either that Green Pistachio salad, the fluffy kind with cool whip and pineapple in it or that Pretzel Strawberry salad. Both seem more like dessert than a salad, but, oh well.

Some kind of green vegetable. Which in my family means green beans unless you count the spinach from the appetizer.

Rolls. Sometimes I make homemade and freeze them a couple of weeks ahead. Sometimes I use Pillsbury tube crescent rolls, sometimes I buy them from the bakery at the grocery store.

Pumpkin pie, mincemeat pie and apple pie with whipped cream. Last year, I think for Christmas dinner, I had put a disk of homemade pie crust in the freezer when I had made the pies for Thanksgiving because it was leftover. So I pulled out that pie crust and let it defrost in the fridge, then made a pumpkin pie using it. It worked out great. So make your pie crusts now and freeze them for the day that you make pies or the day of Thanksgiving. Or I make turnovers using the leftover crust. Cherry filling, jam, apple pie filling, mincemeat, all yummy wrapped in pie crust, sprinkled with sugar, with a few tiny slits on top and baked to golder perfection and yumminess.

And I love to have little dishes of nuts and M&Ms throughout the house. With dogs and little kids, they have to be hidden or put up high now.

So now, there you have it. Now I will tell you what I have been doing this past week and this week to prepare for this. The grocery deals are smokin in Nov. You need to get on it. With last week's and this week's Mega 10 sale at Fry's I have been stocking up on baking items, cream soups, chunky soups, canned chili, broths, pumpkin, stuffing mixes, gravy, choc. chips, flour and sugar that I will use throughout the coming year. Take a few minutes to go to and get your coupons together and organize your list. Seriously, every time that I have gone to Fry's the past couple of days, I have saved over $70. For example, 7-Up and A&W root beer are .40 this week with a coupon and with buying ten Mega 10 products. We will either use it for Thanksgiving, or the kids are always asked to bring soda to a party or two around the holidays, or we will give them away as the neighborhood or friend's gifts.

I have also been using the really good buys, like .50 cookie mixes and .75 Stove top stuffings and .75 gravies to contribute to the school's Feed a Family for Thanksgiving drive. It feels good to help plus at these prices I can contribute double or triple or quadruple what I could have for the original prices. Gathering cheap canned goods for the little kids to help you deliver at a food bank is an excellent way to open up a conversation of how blessed we are to live in this country, how there are so many people who need help in the world, other countries standards of living and to discuss gratitude and thankfulness for what we have.

Bashas' and another store have Gold Medal flour for .99 this week. Bashas' price is just for the weekend, so read your ads! Fry's had toothbrushes for .89 last week and with the Colgate coupon doubled they were free. I need to see if the same is true this week. Would make for a very economicle stocking stuffer for Christmas. Also check the coupons for make up for your big girls for stocking stuffers. Or sometimes things like grooming supplies are dirt cheap if they are on sale with a coupon.

Now is also the time to polish the silver, wiped out the good goblets if they haven't been used in awhile and wipe off the china. Also if you're planning activities for visiting children or table favors or special table decorations, get them done now. Also buy any pans, candles or extras that you need now.

So what is your standard t-giving menu? What are YOU planning?

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