Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks......

Thanksgiving was held at my house this year, and I have so much to be thankful for.  I was thankful that all of my family could be together again this year - all 30 of us!!!  I am also thankful for the fact there are so many good cooks in my family.  The food was divine!!!  There was turkey and ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, homemade noodles, sweet potato casserole, 7-layer salad, rolls, and 2 kinds of cranberry dishes.  I always make the cranberry salad that my mother-in-law made - red Jell-o, cranberry relish (ground cranberries and oranges), crushed pineapple, and apples.  It is a favorite of young and old - and everyone in between.  But this year I also made a cranberry sauce shared by my herbie friend Big Sue.  And it was soooooooo easy to make.  Here are the directions:
Ginger Lime Cranberry Sauce
1 lb. fresh cranberries
1 scant cup sugar
1 cup apple cider or water
lime zest to taste
1/8 tsp. fresh grated ginger root
Rinse the cranberries and discard any soft ones.  Heat sugar and liquid in sauce pan to dissolve sugar.  Add berries and cook slowly until berries pop.  Add grated ginger while cooking.  Remove from heat and add lime zest.  Cool and cover.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Makes 3 cups.  (I embellished a bit and used about 1 tsp. grated ginger root because I LOVE fresh ginger!)
Hosting a dinner for 30 people is not an easy task.  I worked all week on cleaning the house, making my grocery list, shopping for supplies, and cooking.  Thank goodness that everyone else pitched in and helped make it all happen.  My dad and sisters arrived early to work on the dressing, make the mashed potatoes and cook the noodles, and also set the napkins and flatware at the numerous places on the tables.
My sister Linda cooking her homemade noodles.
Linda makes homemade noodles for many of our occasions and they can't be beat.  She also made the sweet potato casserole that was wonderfully delicious.  It really should have been on the dessert table.
My sister Debbie made all of the desserts this year.  We were celebrating 6 family birthdays as well, but who needs cake when you can have pie!?  She made 2 each of pumpkin pie, sugar cream pie, and pecan pie.  (She makes the absolute best sugar cream pie - my favorite!)  She also brought a cherry delight.  We were all so stuffed from the meal that a lot of the desserts were left over.  We should have taken a break and come back today to feast on the desserts alone!  Maybe we can start a trend -- Thanksgiving Day followed by Dessert Day!  Who's with me on that one??
I do also want to comment on the pumpkin pie.  If you remember an earlier post here, I baked pie pumpkins for the first time.  I scooped out the pulp and delivered it to my sister Debbie for the pie-making this year.  I had never done that before, and in fact, I'm not sure that I have ever had pie baked from fresh pumpkins.  It has always been canned pumpkin.  The pulp was a little paler in color than canned pumpkin and I was afraid that it would be bland tasting.  But my sister asked me near the end of the evening if I had tried the pumpkin pie.  I hadn't.  (Remember -- sugar cream is my favorite!)  So I tried a little sliver and it was delicious!  Because I had scooped it out of the pumpkin shells, but did not puree it (I just used a potato masher) , it had a little more texture to it than canned pumpkin.  And the flavor was WONDERFUL! 
The pumpkin pie!  (I didn't get a picture of it before everyone dug into desserts.)

 So I'm sold on the fresh-baked pumpkin.  I will definitely be growing my own next summer!  I hope you all had a Blessed Thanksgiving holiday filled with love and good food!


  1. you know my mom would KILL you if she knew her mug shot was on your blog... hope you had a great day at the shop! we missed you. thanks for a wonderful thanksgiving! love you!

  2. 30 guests... you are Wonder Woman, Joyce! Sounds like a wonderful day and quite a group effort. That cranberry sauce sounds delicious; thanks for sharing the recipe. My grandma used to make the best homemade noodles. I wish I could've learned how to make them from her. Maybe your family can adopt me?! LOL

    With our family scattered, we had our traditional Thanksgiving the weekend before. On Thursday, my mom came to the farm to share what Tyler dubbed our "fall groove feast" ~ homemade roasted butternut squash soup, mixed greens salad with bleu cheese and dried cranberries, mushroom ravioli with brown butter sage and pumpkin bread pudding with toasted pecans, maple syrup and french vanilla gelatto. Not too bad for a turkey-free meal. ;-)

    Thanks for sharing your story and inspiring me!

  3. Mollie, I figured your mom was hardly ever on the computer, so she probably won't know!
    Lisa, when we get some chickens and have eggs a-plenty, we'll have a noodle making session! You also need to share your recipes for the butternut squash soup, pumpkin bread pudding, and mushroom ravioli! Sounds yummy!