Thanksgiving, for this Southern girl, used to mean a traditional menu whose roots began shortly after 1977—the early years of my marriage to Alan.
Mimi Lacy’s Jalapeno Corn Casserole
Patti’s Cranberry-Apple Delight
Grandmother Qualls’ Homemade dressing, always served dry, and often without gravy!
Green bean casserole, made with canned veggies and onion rings (This dish screams Americana, huh?)
Mashed potatoes (in the old days, the main ingredients were water, potato flakes, and chemicals😊)
Homemade yeast rolls (or Great Harvest bread)
As our eating preferences morphed to local grown, organic, plant-based foods, we added PrairiErth roasted sprouts with mustard sauce and PrairiErth potatoes, mashed up fresh, with lots of butter churned at a local dairy.
Menus can be transformed, and like many life changes, it’s often for the best!
In the same way you might transform a holiday feast, you might transform that to-do list for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Especially if stress lurks about your kitchen, den, and hobby room starting mid-November, assess whether you get hung up on carrying out every last tradition “because we always do it” and/or because you somehow think if you do everything that magazines like Southern Living proclaim as holiday cool, your family will stay safe, have peace, be happy.
If you’re in a season of life changes, major relationship issues, mental or physical health problems, or just plain tired, transform Mr. Tom Turkey before he gets a chance to engulf your life!
Run a local Turkey Trot and fix a simple meal after you see who wins!
Volunteer at a local ministry or mission, your focus on service rather than stuffing.
Team up with several families to prepare a feast so the burden doesn’t fall on one cook.
(Too many cooks rarely spoil the broth.)
Instead of focusing on food, make a gratitude list and enjoy reminiscing about the year’s blessings. (Sandwiches can too be special!)
Take one of the many online Thanksgiving quizzes—Google National Geographic’s version, Fact or Fiction, or compile several to customize your own fun game. Most allow downloading for free!
Act out the Thanksgiving legend, or at least dress up in costume! I’ll bet you won’t be the silliest-looking turkey out there!