"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood"

 Cella's News

November 2004



The Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
(Edgar Albert Guest, 1881-1959)

It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwell

Upon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well;

But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could know

A simple old Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago,

When all the family gathered round a table richly spread, 

With little Jamie at the foot and grandpa at the head,

The youngest of us all to greet the oldest with a smile, 

With mother running in and out and laughing all the while.

It may be I'm old-fashioned, but it seems to me to-day

We're too much bent on having fun to take the time to pray;

Each little family grows up with fashions of its own;

It lives within a world itself and wants to be alone.

It has its special pleasures, its circle, too, of friends;

There are no get-together days; each one his journey wends,

Pursuing what he likes the best in his particular way,

Letting the others do the same upon Thanksgiving Day.

I like the olden way the best, when relatives were glad

To meet the way they used to do when I was but a lad;

The old home was a rendezvous for all our kith and kin,

And whether living far or near they all came trooping in

With shouts of "Hello, daddy!" as they fairly stormed the place

And made a rush for mother, who would stop to wipe her face

Upon her gingham apron before she kissed them all,

Hugging them proudly to her breast, the grownups and the small.

Then laughter rang throughout the home, and, Oh, the jokes they told;

From Boston, Frank brought new ones, but father sprang the old;

All afternoon we chatted, telling what we hoped to do,

The struggles we were making and the hardships we'd gone through;

We gathered round the fireside. How fast the hours would fly--

It seemed before we'd settled down 'twas time to say good-bye.

Those were the glad Thanksgivings, the old-time families knew

When relatives could still be friends and every heart was true


Thanksgiving Tips and Recipes

Thanksgiving Dinner is my favorite meal to prepare.  I'm going to give you a few tips to help make your day less stressful, and more successful.  I'll also share a few of my favorite recipes with you at the end.

People are in a holiday mood this time of year and they're going to want to help you.  Yes they are, bless their hearts, so you've got to be prepared.  I almost had my Thanksgiving dinner ready one day, when the company arrived.  It was mighty hard to find my turkey with 10 people standing in my kitchen, taking off their coats and wondering what they could do to help.  I thanked them all and ushered them into the living room to visit until I needed them to help carry the food to the dining room.  I welcomed them into my kitchen later for cleanup.

One year I forgot the next day was Thanksgiving.  I had to thaw out my turkey in the bathtub.  Turkeys can be safely thawed in cold water.  Keep the turkey in a leak-proof package, allow 30 minutes per pound.  Replace the water every 30 minutes.  Thawing turkey in the refrigerator is the best method.  Follow directions on packaging for thawing and cooking turkey. 

  • If you are hosting the dinner, make out a menu ahead of time and do your shopping.  Keep this menu handy so that you remember to put everything you made on the table.  You'll be disappointed if you find a dish you worked so hard on still sitting in the refrigerator the next day.  It's happened to me.

  • Make sure that if anyone volunteers to bring any portion of the meal, that you are prepared if they don't show up.  One year someone had volunteered to bring the drink for Thanksgiving.  They showed up with two bottles of pop for about 20 people.  I had to send someone to the store to get more drink.  Another time someone volunteered to bring meat to a party and came almost an hour late.  Guests had to wait while the meat was then grilled.
  • Make a timeline when meal preparations need to be done, working backward from the time you want to eat.

  • Assign table decorating to someone that enjoys it.  The kids can even get involved in this.

  • Put cooked turkey on the table whole.  Guests will enjoy cutting their meat the way they like it - thick or thin, white or dark.

  • Serve the little children first.

  • Bake pies, rolls, and desserts the day before.

  • Serve punch.

  • Make more food than you need for one meal.  Send some home with your guests.  Consider cooking an extra turkey the day before and have it sliced in the refrigerator for backup.

  • Share your Thanksgiving dinner with someone that is alone.

  • Place gravy in a coffee carafe to keep hot.

  • Peel potatoes ahead of time and cover with water.  Drain and cover with fresh water before cooking.  Mash potatoes with hot milk (not boiled) and butter until there are no lumps.  Keep hot over a double boiler.

  • Buy frozen bread dough and make and serve hot baked bread.  Your guests will never forget that extra touch.  When the bread comes out of the oven, rub butter over the crust for a soft crust.  Place multiple loaves of warm bread on cutting boards.

  • Serve a relish tray of sweet gherkins, dill pickles, green and black olives, and cheese curds.

  • Serve a vegetable tray of broccoli, cauliflower, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, celery, and radishes.

  • Consider ordering a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving.

  • Reheat rolls by placing them in a large paper bag and wetting the bag under the faucet.  Place in hot oven 10 to 15 minutes until rolls are warm.

  • Let someone show you how to make gravy.  Have some cans of turkey gravy on hand.

  • Give Thanks.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Old Fashioned Stuffing for Turkey

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Sweet Pecan Topping

Corn Pudding

Visit my web site at http://cellascookbook.com for more great recipes (updated monthly) and to find out how to order my cookbook.  

Submit your favorite recipes to marcellastockin@yahoo.com

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

"providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood" - Marcella