Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving time! Seems like there is such a jump on Xmas since Turkey Day is so late this year, and even I am excited early for Xmas, but trying to savor the flavor of our wonderful American holiday, Thanksgiving!
What Thanksgiving traditions do you have?
I grew up having Thanksgiving at my grandparent’s in Fayetteville. My Granny would make tons of the food and others would heap on their special dishes as well. (I think my mom would bring the one odd-ball green salad with avant-80s poppy seed dressing! not a thousand island wedge!) Today we don’t have nearly the cornucopia of what my grandmother had in terms of variety and good ol’ southern cooking… she would have 2 types of green beans, butterbeans (aka lima), field peas, corn off the cob, turnip greens, just turnips, two types of dressing, turkey and ham, biscuits (canned, so 1950s housewife, love it!), and in that same vein, casseroles galore, my aunt’s amazing mac-n-cheese and homemade cornbread that I would get stuffed on popping in my mouth as quickly as she fried them in her cast iron skillet! Oh and did I mention fatback? It’s like fatback is a dream, did that really happen? I used to love fatback and confession- actually still do–I enjoy a smattering of chicharróns sprinkled on these fancy farm to table meals that sometimes harken tastes from my childhood by a fancier name…! I can’t even get into the desserts that my Granny and others made– because they were all there!
Our Thanksgiving tradition started when we lived in San Francisco with our newborn son and my parents and in-laws would travel out to see us. I love this holiday for all the reasons you do too–all we do is fuss over food all day, laze about après, nibbling on another plate a few hours later. (Now, please humor me with a little photo trip down memory lane… !)
This year, this is the Avery family line up includes two sets of cousins and one set of grandparents (we are terribly lucky in that my sister and her fam live in Chapel Hill and Allen’s in Raleigh), this is how it will all go down:
The aged 7 and under marching band usually commences at 6:05 or 5:55 a.m., once the parents rouse (seven-ish), we will pop the bird in the oven as quickly as we can. It takes some time. Luckily my husband has always helped his mama in the kitchen and is our bird expert! (I help too, flippin’, floppin’ and butterin’ the bird, opening the stove, good for something!) The bird goes in at a low temp, again, hubby gots this, there is some math involved, me: an iphone calculator to determine the time in per LB. At 10 a.m. we set off for our neighborhood “Turkey Trot” where all the neighbors meet at the Forest Hills Park and set off for a leisure stroll through the ‘hood. We end up at one hospitalitous (?!) neighbor’s home for hot cider and donuts and catching up with our wonderful neighbors. We will roll back to our house where food prep will commence.
To Eat: Country Pâté from Rose’s Meat Market & Sweets Shop, rosemary-toasted pecans (tonight I will be foraging our rosemary!), a local turkey from Green Button Farm, stuffed with gluten-free stuffing, Aunt Marguerite’s famous green beans, Aunt Mary’s sweet potatoes with mandatory marshmallows, mom’s gluten-FUL dressing (phew, it’s not me!), green salad, kid-friendly fruit ambrosia, yeast rolls from La Farm Bakery. Also, since Hanukkah’s first day is also Turkey Day, donuts from Rise are a must! Concluded with a caramel cake by my mom and Pecan and Apple pies from Scratch Baking.
To Drink: Stu’s Bloody Mary Mix from Parker and Otis, to go with the fresh tomato juice that was sent to me months ago, canned, from relatives in Sampson County (yum!), I will likely add pickled okra to said bloody that I picked up at Durham classic, King’s Red & White! I will also be picking up some bottles of Red from P&O as well!
Not hosting? Well zip on over to these great destinations for gifts for your host:
Quintessentials in Raleigh 919-785-0787
Parker and Otis in Durham 919-683-3200
South in Chapel Hill 919-240-5475
Southern Season in Chapel Hill 919-929-7133
Call ahead for gift ideas and have them go ahead and wrap!