Thanksgiving Meals. They are BIG productions. There’s a lot of meal planning involved. Recipe gatherin’. Shoppin’ list makin’. Grocery store visitin’. Strategizin’. By the time you sit down, someone, or many someones, just completed a cooking marathon. They poured all the ingredients and all the love into each and every dish. (Maybe even a couple of bad words when that last egg rolled to the floor – #truestory).
You say Grace and then… Well, the “then” really depends on what kind of person you are.
1- Gobblers (pun intended)
2- Bite Planners (ie. First Bite. Perfect Bite. Last Bite.)
Gobblers. (I’m sorry if you are one of these people. I don’t understand you.) These people. They just get right to it. Eat the food. No rhyme or reason really, until that plate is clean and the top button of their britches is stressed out.
Me? I’m a Bite Planner. The top button could still be stressed out by the end (if I wasn’t smart enough to wear stretchy pants), but the journey to that point is FANTASTIC! At the start, I’m already thinking ahead to what that Last Bite will be. It doesn’t mean I’m rushing things. Oh no… I’m enjoying every single bite. If it’s the dinner course, I may save my favorite main or side for the last bite. Dessert… you’ll never hear me say, “No, thank you. That’s too rich. Oh wow – toooo much chocolate.” Never. Never will I utter those words. There is no such thing! Bring on the chocolate. Bring on the decadence. And by golly, make sure that last bite has ALL THE INGREDIENTS. I want to remember my favorite thing exactly the way that last amazing bite tasted! The Perfect Last Bite!
My Perfect Thanksgiving Meal:
Thank goodness we have phenomenal cooks in my family! Everyone has their specialty and we bring it all together in one buffet line of deliciousness. Did you take a moment to appreciate the said deliciousness pictured above? It was epic!
Turkey & Ham – They go on the same line because they go together! Also, I love ham. Like loooooove ham. (Ham is absolutely the First Bite – unless you’re like me and you already stole pieces while Mom sliced it for the platter.)
Party Potatoes – Basically twice-baked mashed potatoes with cheese, cream cheese, butter, salt & pepper, and a sprinkling of parsley and festive paprika. (I dram about potato cakes for breakfast when pack up these leftovers.)
Sweet Potato Casserole – the kind my mom makes with coconut and crushed pecans and brown sugar, and and and…
Corn Pudding – This used to be my MooMaw’s specialty. The tradition is carried on, along with those nutmeg sprinkles!
Stuffing – Pepperidge Farm, herb flavored, crunchy on top, please and thank you.
Green Beans – Gotta keep it simple and classic. There is a lot of casserole-ness going on around here. (Don’t judge me. That’s a word.)
Macaroni Salad – We are minimalists here. Strictly tomato, cucumber, lemon juice and (suprise!) Miracle whip!
Macaroni & Cheese – Yes. I know. Two noodle dishes. We also did two potato dishes, but whatevs! (God made elastic. We have on our Thanksgiving britches. And it’s an actual food group in my house.)
Orange Salad – NOT the same as that awful green Watergate Salad (bwup!). It’s slightly orange-colored. And fruity. And delicious.
Cranberry Sauce – straight-outta-the-can
Rolls – Gotta be a yeast roll (and pray there are leftovers)!
Lemon Pie – Tart yumminess.
Chocolate Chess Pie – Obviously. Chocolate. (Pie is the Last Bite.)
The Best Bites (also known as the perfect parts)
Yes. I know. It’s a lot. Yes, there are dupes. But we can’t give ‘em up. Everyone has a wish and those wishes are granted on the biggest eatin’ day of the year. Also… #leftoversfordays! All the turkey sandwiches. All the Ham Biscuits. Mac-A-Roni. All the pie with morning coffee!
There’s nothing us Bite Planners love more than a holiday. Holidays are rooted in tradition and traditions are comfortable. They bring back memories and smiles (and full bellies). I love to hear the stories behind everyone’s “Perfect Thanksgiving Meal”.
The REAL perfect parts though… they are actually all the in-betweens of all the best bites. The compliments to the chefs. The moans and groans of goodness. The obligatory, “Let’s not all talk at once.” as you fully appreciate the magic that took place in that kitchen. The hands that prepared that food. The chance that you had to come together and just BE for a bit. Getting to tell the little people about what makes each dish so special. Laughing, remembering, and engaging in two rounds of “What are you most thankful for?” (And, if you were lucky, your day had an epic nap thrown in there somewhere. <sigh> I lurvvvv a Thanksgiving nap!)
What’s on the menu of your perfect Thanksgiving meal(s)? What are your food wishes and why?