While our “thanksgiving” is on the pagan holiday of Mabon, we have a wonderful dinner for those in our family who are not pagan on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is all about good food, family, and comfort while preparing for winter’s long and cold dark. This week is always an exciting time, especially for the kids.
So, we wanted to share with you what our thanksgiving week entails here on the homestead and, of course, our delicious meal plan.
On the homestead, the calm before the storm starts on Monday as I quietly go over my plans and ensure the family is set up for the week. Tuesday begins with baking the cornbread for the stuffing, finishing up any work I have for the week, and making sure my daughter finishes her classwork for the week too. Then, the chaotic storm starts to pick up on Wednesday when I begin to make the desserts and prep anything for the next day.
My Thanksgiving starts early, about 7 am, with prepping the bird for the oven. Over the course of the day, we will all be gathered in the living room, watching movies while we cook. This year’s movie theme is the Jurassic Park/World saga, because who doesn’t enjoy inviting the raptors to dinner? As dinner time approaches, it becomes a mad dash to finally get everything finalized for us to eat. After dinner, we prep the leftovers and put the turkey bones in the freezer for turkey bone broth. The only part I think everyone hates about the holiday is the dishes!
Our Thanksgiving Meal Plan
Every year we talk about how we plan to cook the bird; it was not different this year. This year we plan to cook a garlic and herb turkey with a lemon, garlic, and onion stuffed cavity. Of course, we always serve our turkey with a side of cranberry sauce.
Stuffing has always been one of my favorite parts of the holidays. There is something just magical about that stock-infused cornbread. So this year, I will be making a cornbread, sausage, and apple stuffing. I have made stuffing in the past without sausage but this year we wanted to try it and see if we liked it better, since it is a staple around here in the south.
Who doesn’t love a warm bite of fluffy mashed potatoes with turkey gravy? Mashed potatoes are a must on our thanksgiving plate. We make ours with half and half, butter, sour cream, and some of our dehydrated chives from the garden.
Not everyone in our family loves sweet potatoes, but I require them because of my fond childhood memories of my grandmother’s sweet potatoes. So we are taking a shortcut this year by using steamable sweet potatoes instead of pressure cooking them as we did in the past. We will then mash them with butter, coconut sugar, and cinnamon.
Green Bean Casserole
Since the diagnosis of my wheat allergy so many years ago, I have missed out on my thanksgiving love of green bean casserole. I have tried so many times to recreate it gluten-free, but ultimately there is something about the flavors of that condensed cream of mushroom soup that just can’t be replaced. Luckily this year, we have found a gluten-free cream of mushroom soup that is just as heavenly as the one from my childhood. So, we won’t be missing out on the green bean casserole this year!
My husband and I are huge fans of Brussels Sprouts and their versatility during the fall. One of my favorite ways to cook them for the holidays is to sauté them with onions, garlic, cranberries, Dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar. Of course, if you eat bacon, add the bacon in there too. It is absolutely divine!
I make pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving each year, but I am exceptionally excited because I grew the pumpkins for our pie! This year I will be roasting and making our pumpkin pie with the sugar pumpkins from our garden for our holiday dessert. We can not wait to see how it turns out!
So that is our Thanksgiving plan for this year. What are yours? What is your favorite dish from the holiday?