Monday, November 24, 2008

Counting Down To Thanksgiving

I can't believe it's three days to Thanksgiving. I have been very busy. Last week I was able to go to the grocery store and purchase everything to cook my Turkey feast. I'm going to my parents for Thanksgiving but I still like to cook at home.

Sunday I started prepping. First I thoroughly washed the collard and kale greens. I like to cook both (something I learned from my grandmother). While the greens were soaking, I cut up the potatoes for the potato salad and the sweet potatoes. Next I chopped onions, celery and green peppers to have ready to go into their assigned dishes. I even baked a cream cheese pound cake for dessert. After the greens soaked a few hours I cut them up and put in the crock pot. I love using the crock pot. I always cook my vegetables in it when preparing a large meal. It frees up space on the stove, plus you can tend to other things while the crock pot basically takes care of the vegetables for you.

Tonight I hope to start my crab stuffing and sauerkraut. When my grandmother used to cook, she'd put pigtails in her sauerkraut. I like to use salted pork or fat back as I call it. I started making crab stuffing a few Christmases ago and haven't looked back. The first time I made it I also made the traditional sausage/sage stuffing which no one wanted after trying the crab stuffing.

Here's how I make it:

1 bx corn muffin mix
4-8 tablespoons butter
1 lb crab meat
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 cups of chopped onions
dried parsley (if you use fresh parsley it's 1/4 - 1/2 cup; minced)
1 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning (optional)
1 cup chicken stock (I like to use the stock from the turkey)
2 large eggs, well beaten (optional)

Prepare mix then bake in oven according to instructions on box .

Meanwhile in a skillet melt butter, add celery and onions and sautee until tender. Remove from heat and stir in the spices.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Add drained crab meat. Toss well until the stuffing is moist, but not packed together.

Stir in the stock and eggs, re-moisten and adjust spices as necessary.

Cooked in casserole dish at 350 until heated through with a crust on the outsides, 25 to 40 min.

I like to stuff my turkey with the dressing at least a 1/2 hour - 45 min before it's time for the turkey to be removed from the oven so that the stuffing gets some of the juices which really makes it taste 'o so good.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Week One of Thanksgiving Countdown

Here's what we did for the first week which was from Nov. 2nd to Nov. 5th:

1. Make the promise. Promise to spend 15 minutes each day to get organized for the big event. DONE

2. Set up a notebook or a section in your notebook to help organize. Remember to add some blank pages for notes and records. DONE

3. Create or print lists that might be needed. For example: Guest list, food list, budget party planner, etc. DONE

4. Review party planner pages and begin thinking about the menu. DONE

5. Print the home spruce-up worksheet and complete it. Examine the area of the gathering. What are some things that need to be spruced up before the event? I'm not hosting this year so there's no sprucing up for me to do.

6. Will you host overnight guests? If so add “get guest room ready” to your list. Create a pamper basket for the guest room. Not hosting any guests

7. Stock up on batteries for cameras and video recorders. DONE

House Prep – Cooking Space.

Also each week there's a neat project to do if you wish. For this week it is a tin can turkey. Isn't he the cutest. I made one to take to my parents house. Everyone will write what they are thankful for and place in the turkey. Then after dinner we'll gather around and read each one. It should be really nice.

So Busy!

Well for me the holidays are in full swing. Over at Magical Holiday Home we've started the countdown to Thanksgiving. I love the countdowns because they really keep me focused. I'm not hosting Thanksgiving this year but will still cook at home.