I look forward to this day all year. It's my favorite holiday by far for several reasons. It's the only holiday we have that the focus is food. Cooking is something I enjoy doing. Nothing makes me quite as happy as making a good meal for the people I love! This year, our son is having back surgery the Monday before Thanksgiving. He'll be in the hospital for a couple of days before returning home to recuperate. He won't be able to travel, and we told him we would just skip Thanksgiving so he could rest, but he was having none it! I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. He is a great cook himself and looks forward to the special foods that are traditionally prepared for our turkey day meal.
We plan to go to their house on Wednesday and stay overnight. I'll make the pies on Wednesday evening...dutch apple and pumpkin. Then on Thursday morning our daughter in law will be making her first turkey with my help! I'm so excited to help her learn this skill. In our family, we use a baking bag for the turkey. We don't 'present' the turkey whole at the table to be carved, but rather slice it and place it on a platter. When using a baking bag, the turkey skin sometimes sticks to the bag and makes for a less pleasing presentation, that is if you are serving it whole. That's one reason it doesn't matter that we use the bag, because we prefer just having it all plattered for ease of serving.
If you have never cared for turkey because it tends to be dry, you really should try a baking bag once. You will be amazed at the difference it makes. I never, EVER, have a dry turkey!! It's moist and delicious every time. We'll also have mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, green bean casserole, and cranberry relish, and as I said earlier, pie for dessert.
One of our favorite side dishes is scalloped oysters. My mom always made this for Thanksgiving and it isn't Thanksgiving without it! It's so delicious. It's not a cheap dish to make, but once a year, we indulge. My mom would have also served deviled eggs and a cranberry jellied salad and possibly a 7-layer salad. I'm not sure what all is planned for our meal on Thursday yet...whether we'll have a salad or bread...but I do know that it will be the kind of Thanksgiving that makes me happiest. Filled with good food, and family close by. I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving day with your families. I'd love to hear what dishes you will be enjoying!