You would think this was an easy category. Traditionally I make a pumpkin or caramel apple cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce, BUT I don’t think I’d call this my “FAVORITE”.
When I was a kid there was always at least 3 choices, almost always the same choices, apple, pumpkin and mincemeat. As a kid I ALWAYS chose apple. I’m still not a mincemeat fan, but I have acquired a liking for pumpkin.
So, I’m playing catch up. BUT, I am determined to get ALL of BLOGEMBER accomplished. Today’s prompt is to describe Thanksgiving using your five senses.
- SIGHT – For me Thanksgiving starts with the first sign of Fall. I LOVE the trees changing color as the season begins. The yellows, oranges, reds, and even the brown colors of the leaves and the season get me in the mood for pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, yams, stuffing and turkeys. Ironically, this is the time of year here that the wild turkeys seem to be more obvious along the roadways.
- HEARING – Thanksgiving is hearing a house full of family and friends munching on appetizers, football games on the tv with armchair quarterbacking going on, cooks in the kitchen preparing the turkey and side dishes. Oh and the desserts!
- TASTE -LOL this is almost a redundant category. My mouth waters at the thought of traditional recipes being prepared for Thanksgiving like a juicy turkey, daddy’s cornbread stuffing, glazed carrots, apple pie, green bean casserole, etc…
- SMELL – Smell and taste really go hand in hand. I always have a pot of cinnamon, oranges and cloves simmering for the aroma and the moisture in the air as well as candles in fall “flavors” burning.
- FEEL – This doesn’t have to be a sensory or tactile “feel” for me. Sometimes the “feel” is what is inside – the drive to help those in need; coats and blankets for the homeless or food for the food pantry because I feel empathy or the desire to bake special recipes friends and family. Feel could also relate to the warmth of the a cozy blanket or a roaring fire.
ON THANKSGIVING, IT’S TRADITIONAL FOR MY FAMILY TO… start the day with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade while we eat a scrumptious brunch – usually a casserole I prepared the day before while I was prepping the sides, desserts and turkey. I start the gravy base on low and let it simmer.
At some point the football games begin and the aromas start filling the house and senses triggering the mouthwatering desire to eat ourselves into a coma. These days with my health issues dinner is done in stages throughout the entire day. As the family gets farther and farther apart in miles, Thanksgiving gets smaller and smaller, which is actually okay with us.
Whenever possible we watch Miracle on 34th street after dinner to kick off the Holiday season. During the movie I begin the Christmas cards and start planning for Christmas.
The day after we avoid leaving the house like the plague! We do start the Christmas decorating and package wrapping while chomping down on turkey sandwiches with homemade cranberry relish on extra sourdough bread or leftover dressing and gravy.
There are sooooo many memories, but one of my favorite memories actually revolves around some not so fun (at the time) events.
This memory has different perceptions on the root cause of the issue, but the end event is what I remember most and cherish. 😀 I was super young so I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few things. Thanksgiving was going to be at our house. Lots of prep was going on in our tiny kitchen. The table was set. The appetizers were arranged in the living room. The turkey was basting perfectly. The side dishes were baking and steaming. Desserts were ready. The grandparents, aunts and uncles were all on their way. AND then the unimaginable happened – the garbage disposal backed up! Not your every day back up, but the oozy black sludge kind that won’t go away! The kind that prevents you from using the kitchen sink until a plumber arrives. This was also before cell phones so there was no way to stop the travelers from first arriving at our house. Many were coming from long distances.
My grandparents only lived 3 blocks away. The decision was made to move the day to their house, but ALL the food was at our house. Ultimately, my grandfather brought over their station wagon and laid all the seats flat (one of the better features of an old Chevy tank). My dad put down a blanket and my uncle and I climbed in. All the food was then arranged around us so we could try and stabilize it on the ride over to grams and gramps.
I don’t remember now if anything was too cold or even too warm, but I do remember that in the end we still had a fun Thanksgiving at grams and gramps house with the whole family and there was a HUGE mess to clean up the next day at our house 😀
I came up with a new way to keep my momentum on posting regularly. Here’s my list for the first half of November. I ended up choosing BOLGEMBER because the “ember” part made me think about a burning fire and harvest colors.
This is a tough category because there are SO MANY items, but I’ll narrow it down a bit.
- BEING THANKFUL – I know it sounds cliche, but it truly is one of my favorite things about thanksgiving. For one, it’s a non-religious holiday that is the most inclusive of our culture. If you’re American, it is assumed that you celebrate Thanksgiving. Setting aside time to give thanks for one’s blessings, along with holding feasts to celebrate a harvest, are both practices that long predate the European settlement America. While Thanksgiving as we know it has adapted to fit what we like and shows very little resemblance to the original American Thanksgiving, the reason for it still exists. It is the one holiday that is NOT really commercialized and is only about spending time with family and friends!
- FRIENDS & FAMILY – MEMORIES – When I was a kid, most things were closed on Thanksgiving. You’d find an occasional store open for last minute things like milk, bread and butter to put the finishing touches on your big dinner day, but for the most part EVERYTHING was closed and the day was spent at home with family and friends, eating yourself into comas, playing or watching football…
- FALL SEASON – Since it is primarily a harvest celebration, the timing of the season is GORGEOUS! The reds, oranges, yellows and ultimately browns of the leaves falling and the grasses dying for the season lend their “hands” to the gorgeous display of color.
- AMAZING FOOD – When I was a kid my dad would start the prep days before for the BIG day. He made the most amazing turkey and cornbread stuffing! Over the years I have recreated his stuffing to my own Sourdough Herb version and added my own homemade cranberry relish to replace the canned stuff. Personally, I’m not fond of the canned relish, but my son will eat nothing but! LOL 😀 The desserts used to be traditional pumpkin, apple and mincemeat pies, but I have adapted these also to add some homemade apple bread pudding, “regular” bread pudding (recipe below) and baked pineapple. The gravy is still dad’s recipe minus the giblets. 😀 I see I need to get a few new pictures this year to update my recipes.
- OFFICIAL START OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON – I have to start the day with the Macy’s parade while I’m bustling around the kitchen! It is a tradition I’ve never grown out of. It is also okay to officially start watching Christmas movies, though truth be told I do year round thanks to Hallmark 😀 There are also a handful of Harvest festivals and craft fairs to attend.