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Thanksgiving Dinner Survey & Menu

Posted Nov 17 2012 12:00pm

I always feel most thankful during the holiday season.  Thankful for the love and support my family provides me.  Thankful for the laughs and memories my friends provide me.  Thankful for my puppy’s unconditional love.  Thankful for my health.  Thankful for a job that pays my bills.   Thankful for the roof over my head.

I’ll admit that my family doesn’t always get along, but I think that’s true for almost all families- if not, then please share your secrets in the comments below!  Regardless, there’s something so special about gathering with the people you love…  Sitting around the fire reminiscing about things that happened over the past year, playing never-ending games of Scrabble, eating good food and sipping on holiday drinks, sleeping off food comas, and simply enjoying each others company.

Ryan and I have celebrated the holidays together since we started dating a few years ago but this year is different because it’s our first Thanksgiving [and will be Christmas] as a married couple!  For Thanksgiving we’re going to my momma’s house and will be joined by my younger brother and a few family friends.

This morning my momma asked me to outline our Thanksgiving menu and make the grocery list.  It shouldn’t be too hard considering we to stick with the same dishes every year but my momma and I both are planners and prefer walking into the store with a list in hand rather than trying to remember everything off the top of our heads.

Every family has different traditional Thanksgiving dishes and sometimes serves multiple variations of the same dish.  In honor of the upcoming holiday and my morning plans of menu planning, I thought it would be fun to do a food-focused Thanksgiving survey…

1.  What time do you eat?  We shoot to eat at 6PM.  We start prepping the ingredients Wednesday, make the dishes Thursday morning, and relax throughout the afternoon until the turkey is done.

2.  Roasted or deep fried turkey?  Roasted turkey with some sort of glaze.  In the past we’ve tried all different kinds of glazes and it’s usually just a mixture of whatever we have leftover from the other dishes.  Cranberry-orange, pomegranate, apple cider, balsamic-mustard…  I’m not sure what we’ll end up with this year.

3.  Rolls or biscuits?  My momma makes a loaf of cranberry-orange bread [like a tea bread] and we also have slices of warmed bread from Great Harvest Bakery .

4.  Stuffing inside or outside the bird?  We serve both.  My momma prefers stuffing from inside the bird and I prefer it outside so half of the stuffing gets stuffed inside and the other half is used to make stuffing muffins…  I love the crispy edges!

5.  Green bean casserole or sauteed green beans?  Green beans with sauteed balsamic shallots and turkey bacon.

6.  Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes?  We make 3 different potato dishes: garlic mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes with apples and carrots, and plain baked sweet potatoes.

7.  Cranberry jelly or compote?  We serve both.  My mom grew up with cranberry jelly so we always have to have it on the table [but no one eats it] and I also make a fresh cranberry-orange compote.

8.  Apple or pumpkin pie?  I’m a fan of both and we have served both in the past.  This year I’m thinking of making mini pumpkin pies and we’ll also have a traditional yellow cake with chocolate frosting in honor of Ryan and my brother’s birthdays.

9.  Who washes the dishes?  We’ve gotten into a good routine of cleaning the dishes as we go and making an assembly line after dinner so clean-up goes pretty quickly.  The worst part is transferring the carved turkey off of the cutting board into the trash…  Ryan has been dubbed that duty!

10.  Yay or nay to Black Friday shopping?  Last year was my first time , Ryan nor I had ever been and we were interested in seeing what all of the hype was about.   We had nothing in mind to buy so we decided to stroll through an electronics store and walked out with a new TV!

Side note: About an hour after Ryan set-up the TV he said that he needed to go to the hospital because he had been having pain in his lower abdominal area since after Thanksgiving dinner.  After hours of waiting and testing, it turned out that he had an appendicitis and was lucky to have caught it before it burst!  And we joked the night before that he was just trying to get out of doing the dishes ;)

2012 Thanksgiving Menu

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Fresh Veggies


Great Harvest Bread

Cranberry-Orange Bread


Green Beans with Sauteed Balsamic Shallots and Bacon

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Carrots and Apples

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sausage-Pear Stuffing

Roasted Turkey with Glaze

Cranberry-Orange Compote


Mini Pumpkin Pies

Classic Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Question:  What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

Question:  Does your family have any Thanksgiving traditions?

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— Allison

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