Thanksgiving. This is the day to bring all the family and friends together for hours of warm feelings. A traditional holiday with all the women in the kitchen slaving away over big birds and family home-made potions while the guys sit back, drink and watch football.
The meal is served and everyone indulges too much so the evening retires to naps and unbuckling belts. Thanksgiving is a celebration for opulence and excess. Would you like seconds?
Well I’ve spent many a Thanksgiving in this tradition. Years of dusty of the special carving tools so the father can stand at the head of the table and carve the turkey. The silver platters full of substance for the holiday not prepared in the kitchen but consumed with abandon.
Even when it was my turn to carve did I follow the tradition of abundance with the tradition in hand? Every variation of cooking the bird in ovens and on fire was experimented with while my wife would prepare all the fixings. Through the years our menu went from the evolvement of the all-American traditional to Chinese influence to Tex-Mex to all veggie variations.
The past couple of years I’ve been on my own for the holiday. I’ve been thankfully invited to other families’ gatherings with much appreciation and gluttony, but once I did the Thanksgiving dinner for myself. The following is the recipe for that once a year meal-for-one.
1 - 8 oz. package of Private Selection Off the Bone Smokehouse Ham deli sliced
1 – 24 oz. Kroger home style mashed potatoes microwavable bowl
1 – 3 oz. bag of Stove Top everyday stuffing mix for turkey with real turkey broth
1 – 17 oz. dozen Sara Lee classic dinner rolls
1 – 8 oz. package of Private Selection Wildflower Honey Turkey Breast deli sliced
1 – 2.8 oz. can of French’s French Fried Onions
1 – 10.5 oz. can of Campbell’s Beef Consommé with gelatin added
1 – 14 oz. Ocean Spray whole berry cranberry sauce
1 – 12 oz. Heinz Home Style roasted turkey gravy
1 - 14.5 oz. Glory sweet traditions fried apples
1 – 14.5 oz. Kroger cut green beans
(Note: Sorry to use brand names but it is easier than just a generic package.)
1 – Open a bottle of wine. Might want to start with a light rosé or white. Everything goes better with a glass of wine.
2 – Open the rolls. Take one out and put it in your mouth. You know you are going to. Put the rest of the bread on a cookie sheet and pop into a warm oven, say 200 degrees.
3 – Open the packages of turkey and ham and place on a platter. You might even mix them up for variety.
4 – Open the turkey gravy and pour into a microwave safe bowl and place into microwave and heat for 3 minutes or until it is steamy and fluid.
5 – Open the can of green beans, drain the liquid in the trash can and put into a microwave safe bowl. After the gravy is heated, take out of the microwave and place the green beans in.
6 – Pour the gravy over the turkey and ham platter.
7 – Open another bottle of wine
8 – When you hear the ding from the microwave, open the mash potatoes. Peel off the plastic cover and put in the microwave after taking out the green beans. Cook for whatever time is on the package.
9 – Put the steaming green beans on a plate and cover with butter and the French onions.
10 - Open the can of cranberry sauce that has been stored in the refrigerator and plop on a saucer.
11 – Open the fried apples, place in a microwave safe bowl and when the mashed potatoes are done replace it with the apples. Cook on high for 3 minutes.
11 – Butter the mashed potatoes then pour the rest of the cooling gravy over them.
12 – When you hear the ding on the microwave, put down your glass of wine, put the apples out and put the platter of meat and gravy in. Heat for about as much time as it takes to open another bottle of wine.
13 – Turn off the oven and pull out the rolls. Butter and place on another platter.
14 – When the microwave tops remove the ham and turkey covered now in nice warm gravy
15 – Place all the plates on the table and turn on the television. If you cook early enough, watch the parade. Otherwise watch the football game while you gorge.
1 – bottle of Rosato rosé wine from Barboursville vineyards
1 – bottle of Simply Red Trump from Monticello Vineyards
1 – bottle of Governor’s White American Riesling from the Williamsburg winery
1 – bottle of Angel Chardonnay from the Chateau Morrisette
1 – bottle of Sweet Muscadine ‘a southern favorite’ from the Chateau Morrisette
1 – bottle of 2012 Two Shilling Red from the Williamsburg Winery
and when you are slipping off into sleepy land, pick up the bag of stuffing you never opened. Well, there is always next year.