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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

How was your Thanksgiving?

Did you get together with extended family? Did you host or were you a guest? What was on your menu? Do you have any family Thanksgiving traditions? Did you try anything new?

For my household, as I mentioned before, we hosted my son and daughter-in-law. 

Here was our menu:

  • roasted marinated pork loin (the kind that comes pre-marinated)
  • roasted whole chicken (made the day before), glazed with cranberry sauce/orange juice/sage/onion powder/salt/pepper inspired by Southern Living magazine 
  • gravy made with roasted chicken drippings
  • cranberry mustard -- cranberry sauce blended with yellow mustard
  • green bean casserole (prepared by one daughter)
  • sweet potato casserole (prepared by other daughter)
  • oven-roasted broccoli -- Asian-inspired, frozen broccoli tossed with garlic and sesame oil, then oven-roasted (both daughters)
  • casserole dish of bread/herb dressing
From son and daughter-in-law:
  • maple-roasted Brussel sprouts with pumpkin seeds
  • cooked shrimp and cocktail sauce
  • bottled cranberry juice plus Sprite

  • an apple crumb pie and a pumpkin pie
  • My son and daughter-in-law brought some chocolates (something they did last year, too) and some persimmons.

After the big meal, the six of us decorated the Christmas tree. I'm not sure if we'll see them again before Christmas Day, so like last year, we took the opportunity to decorate the tree as a whole family. This has become a new Thanksgiving tradition for our family. 

I tried to spread the work out over a few days, cleaning and cooking beginning on Monday. My daughters took care of setting the table and cooking a few dishes. My husband helped with cleaning both before and after. I simplified our menu and cooked what I could in advance. I like how this holiday went for us. Everyone pitched in to some degree, and while I was tired the next day, I was not nearly as tired if I had tried to do it all myself, or if I had waited until Thursday to do all of the cooking. And there was plenty of variety so everyone had something that really hit the spot.

We finished the leftovers on Sunday. And today I finished all of the clean up -- table cloth and napkins in the laundry and all of the sheets of used foil washed to use another time.

So, tell me, how was your Thanksgiving?


  1. Wow, Lili! Our menu was a lot like yours especially the main meat portion. We had roast pork, and a whole roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, my son brought sweet potato pecan praline casserole, rhubarb custard and twinkie cake with crushed strawberries and whipped cream for dessert.

    We hosted (we always host) my dad, my mother in law (from her memory care unit where she lives), and my two oldest kids. The Ohio kids came over Veteran's day weekend so not for Thanksgiving although they did give us a surprise announcement! They're expecting! After a miscarriage 2 1/2 years ago with what we think were twins, this came as a surpise and we're so excited.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Congratulations on the upcoming grandchild! I remember when your daughter miscarried a couple of years ago. I'm so happy to hear their expecting again. I will pray for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

      It sounds like you had a lovely Thanksgiving. I'm glad both your father and your mother-in-law could enjoy the day with you.

  2. We had a big crowd here - 30 people and 2 babies. Certainly many more than we've ever had for a sit-down dinner. It took a lot of coordination, but we managed to seat everyone. My husband smoked two turkeys, and I made 15 lbs of mashed potatoes. We also did a ham and rolls and drinks. The guests brought sides. It turned out great with plenty of delicious foods, and people seemed to be having a good time, even though, several of them had never met before. We are pleased, and a little surprised, that it went so well.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      What a fun and festive Thanksgiving (although I realize it must've been a lot of work coordinating everything)! I'm so glad everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

      Do you think you would ever host a large crowd again for a sit-down meal?

    2. Never say never, but certainly not anytime soon. We didn't intend to have that many people, but the list grew as people asked to bring extended family members, etc. And we couldn't say no to families spending time together on a holiday.

    3. I imagine it was quite a bit of work coordinating everything. I'm glad everyone enjoyed themselves so much. That says a lot about your hostessing abilities.

  3. My son was home from college for a few days, but had to return Friday for his on-campus job. That turned out for the best, as the weather was wintry over the weekend. It was the 4 of us only, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Like you, Lili, we decorated our tree Thursday evening.

    Our meal was a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Nothing unusual, but tasty.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I'm glad your son could make it home and back before the wintry weather set in. We've decorated the tree just after Thanksgiving for the last 2 years. I think we'll continue doing this as this was an occasion we could all be present.
      I'm glad the 4 of you had such a good Thanksgiving together. Making memories. . .


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