Tomorrow we join the extended family at my mom’s house – 13 of my 14 siblings will be there with their spouses and 16 children, plus 11 people from our own household (Deanna is in Tennessee with her other grandparents). Cooking will be simple since there are so many hands and households to share the labor.
There is so much to be thankful for, but right now my mind is mostly on the food for tomorrow. Part of me feels a twinge of guilt as though I were falling prey to our culture’s penchant for materialism, but another part of me is eager to disagree. Food is a wonderful and fitting sign of God’s provision, and it seems right that a day of thanks should have a heavy emphasis on food. Food is also a big part of how we commune with God during worship every Sunday, so why shouldn’t it be a holy part of this Thursday celebration as well?
And so we plan the day largely around what we’ll eat, thinking thankful thoughts with each bite and voicing those thoughts between bites.
Our group has decided to plan for leftovers, so there will be 2 large turkeys and 2 hams. Our family will be bringing one of the turkeys. We want to spend most of the day together, so I’ll brown my turkey at home in a very hot oven then transfer to my electric roaster so it can finish cooking in an out-of-the-way corner at Mom’s house while we visit tomorrow.
We’re also bringing homemade whole-berry cranberry sauce, which we discovered a few years ago. So easy and yummy, we’ll never go back to the gel-in-a-can. I love that the youngest cooks in our house can make it by themselves and know that they contributed to Thanksgiving dinner!
I would love to try The Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes, but my sister beat me to the potatoes this year. Maybe next year.
Mom is making plenty of pies, so I’m trying two desserts that are new to us this year: Tres Leches Cake, a traditional Mexican cake which I hear about all the time and finally tasted for the first time last month, and Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle, made with the pumpkin we canned last year. The photos of the trifle in the linked post are so beautiful I seriously contemplated stealing one (with a link and credit, of course), but my conscience won out. If mine turns out half as beautiful, I’ll be updating this post with a photo. (Scroll down to see photo added later)
Both cakes are cooling on my stovetop now, waiting for final assembly.
I guess they call it Tres Leches (3 milks) because it has a nicer assonance, but does anyone think quatro leches would be more accurate?
A little later today, we’ll head out for our church’s Thanksgiving Eve service. Not sure how we’ll end the evening, but it’s sure to be fun. Maybe you have a suggestion?
Do you have any Thanksgiving Eve traditions?
Update: my pumpkin gingerbread trifle is done. It was so fun and easy! My big dish couldn’t hold 3 complete layers so I put the extra in pint jars. This is perfect because now I can garnish the big one with candied pecans without risking the life of my nut-allergic sister. We’ll just hand her a jar.
Call me partial, but there’s something about my trifle that I think is far more beautiful than the photos in the original recipe. :)