Most of our family lives in Pennsylvania which means that someone has to travel. But having a family with children, we believe that it is important to enjoy at least one holiday at home. For us, it is Thanksgiving. There is nothing better than to start the holiday season by entertaining our family and treating them to a home cooked traditional turkey meal.
The day begins around 6 AM when we awake and prepare a fresh pot of coffee. After drinking our first cup, we begin the preparation. First on our agenda is to prepare the turkey. This is quite simple. We take the turkey out of the refrigerator, remove the packing inside of it, and wash it thoroughly in lukewarm water. Then, we pat it down and dry it with paper towels. While the oven is preheating, we melt some butter and place the turkey inside a large roasting pan with the breast side up. We baste it with butter and add a few pats under the wings and thighs. It is salted and peppered, then loosely covered with aluminum foil. By 7 AM it is in the oven.
Next, we peel a bag of white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rutabagas which are boiled separately on the stove.
Onions and celery are diced and mixed into a stuffing mix along with butter and eggs. The stuffing is formed into individual serving sized round balls and placed in its own baking dish. This too is covered with foil.
We will then fry some bacon until it is very crisp. We remove the grease and let it cool on paper towels. Later, it is mixed in with Brussels sprouts and cooked on the stove.
Now, we perform our first round of clean up. All the pots, pans, dishes, and knives are washed, dried, and put away.
When all the potatoes and rutabagas are done, they are mashed and placed into 3 heat resistant serving bowls. These set aside in the refrigerator until an hour before serving.
A fresh garden salad it tossed and placed in a bowl. Just before serving we add the dressing (usually oil and vinegar).
By now, it is 10 AM or so, and most of the meal is ready. We once again clean up the dishes and then tend to ourselves. Each of us takes a shower and get dressed for our company. While we are waiting, we will set the dining room table.
At 11 AM our family will arrive from their 2 hour journey. My Mother and Father in Law, my wife's sister and brother will be there. Altogether, we will host 7 more adults, bringing the dinner total to 10 hungry people. Along with them will be desert, a home baked pumpkin pie and an apple pie.
The turkey will be cooked by 1:30 PM, so we will have time to relax and visit. Since the house will be consumed with the aroma of a fresh baking turkey, everyone will be in a festive mood.We will drink a round of Bloody Mary's, and then some wine and beer.
When the turkey is done cooking, the ladies will heat the potatoes, stuffing, and vegetables; and I will carve the turkey.
Champagne will be served as we sit at the table. We start the meal by saying a prayer and by remembering all those who have passed away. A toast will be given and we will begin to eat our salad. By 2:30, all the dishes will be heated and placed on the table. The main feast will begin.
Since everyone will be staying overnight, we will be in no hurry. We will take our time and some will eat seconds. We will be at the table for at least two hours. When we are finished, the men will go downstairs and watch football (or take a nap). The women will clean up.
Sometime after 6 PM, we will meet at the table again to eat our desert. We'll have some coffee and tea, and perhaps a little Sambuca.
After that, we'll just sit around until we fall asleep for the night! We'll all be too full to eat anymore.
So, from our house to yours,
we hope that your Thanksgiving Day
is as enjoyable as ours
We Wish You All
A Very Happy Thanksgiving!