I especially love the day before Thanksgiving when all the preparations begin. Our Thanksgiving is usually small, with just the four of us plus Grandpa, but we put on a feast like we're cooking for a crowd, because who doesn't love lots of leftovers?!
Spiced Cranberry Sauce is always the first dish I make. The simmering and popping berries with the spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves; can you just smell my house?!
Next we'll bake the pumpkin pies, chop-ahead all the stuffing ingredients, and boil the sweet potatoes for a sweet potato casserole that is more like dessert than a side dish. The rest of the menu will be taken care of in the morning, along with the setting of the table complete with my turkey candle-holders. The table would not be our Thanksgiving table without them.
By the way, I do make my own stuffing, but I never stuff the bird. I have used this excellent stuffing recipe for years and like it for many reasons. It is cooked in the crockpot so once it's in the pot, it can be forgotten until dinner is served; it doesn't take precious oven space; and finally, after cooking as it does for hours it tastes just like it came out of the turkey! It is so flavorful, especially topped with homemade gravy made from those delicious turkey drippings.
This day before Thanksgiving also gives me pause to be thankful for all of Our Lord's blessings on us. We have our health, we have each other, and most of all we have our beautiful Catholic faith and a traditional church and school in which to freely raise our family in the Faith. And in these days, more than ever before in my lifetime, we cannot take these things for granted. Indeed, we must redouble our prayers for our Church and our nation, that we will continue to have the freedom to worship as Catholics, upholding and living by our Creed. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Let me say too, I am thankful for these men in my life, big and little! Without all three of them I could not begin to put on our Thanksgiving feast, for when my own are not equal to the task, my boys and my husband are my arms, my legs, my hands..... my heart, my soul, my life. God love 'em, I sure do!
And so, on this chilly, foggy day before the holiday, I want to wish each and every one of you a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.
C'mon, boys, let's get cookin'!