From Pam in Oregon-
The day before Thanksgiving is pie making day here and for the last several years the youngest members in the household are responsible for pie so that I can do other menu preparations. My boys have gotten quite proficient at pie making though I still had to be present and give direction.
Peter chose to make a blueberry pie with the berries we grow in the front yard; Sam had a craving for apple pie (I did too) so we dashed up to a local farm stand for some honey crisp apples.
Since pumpkin pie is ubiquitous, I tossed one together before the end of the day.
As for the rest of the menu- we were expecting a total of thirteen people. I prepare all the main dishes some of the sides. Others contribute things also.
We've been eating a lot of brussel sprouts at the holidays the last few years. My favorite way to prepare them is roasting. This time I roasted the sprouts with sweet potato, a little red onion and some fresh cranberries (425 degree oven for twenty minutes). After they were caramelized I drizzled a good balsamic vinegar over just before serving. Delicious!
I also roasted the sweet garden squash this year instead of just making a purée. The stuffing is made with homemade sourdough bread and cornbread, Minnesota wild rice, onions, celery, dried cranberries and lots of herbs. Kris and I talked about throwing in some oysters this year but he didn't get a chance to find some fresh ones. Kris did bring some fine wines, starting us off with the apertif of sparkling rose.
My daughter-in-law made a large batch of delicious rolls. I invited her to also bring any dish that her family has on their traditional menu. She is from Missouri and they eat a lot of southern style food so she brought collard greens prepared with bacon and onion and red pepper. Again, delicious! (The small bowl is some of the roasted brussel sprouts/sweet potatoes.)
My mother contributed the molded cranberry salad (with apples and oranges) that we have eaten at holiday meals for many years.
Every year, a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, our boys participate in a shooting tournament in which the prizes include turkeys, bacon and hams. Peter won a turkey, (Sam won bacon) but it was only 14 pounds, not enough to feed our crowd, so my brother, Randy, barbecued the turkey he won at the shoot so we would have plenty of meat at our meal.
This little guy made our day extra special. It is such a blessing and a joy to have a grandchild in the house for Thanksgiving. Our other five grandchildren were dearly missed. Maybe someday we can all be together.
And here is the thankful clan, ready to dig in. I think this is the smallest number we have had in the last several years. (By the way, the girls made the center arrangement and set the table. The flowers were brought by Seth, after he asked me what he could contribute, and I arranged them.)
We always eat our big meal early in the afternoon so that there will be enough daylight left for an all-important and much anticipated family tradition- the Thanksgiving day shoot.
We play a game called "Annie Oakley" where the good shooters knock out the not-so-good shooters. And since President Obama asked that Americans talk about gun control, we did that. Everyone practiced gun control and held their guns with both hands.
I came in second in two games, losing once to son Neal, and the other time to son Peter.
When we headed down the hill from the shooting range, I took this shot of our mountain against the twilight sky.
Dessert always follows shooting. In addition to the pie I made this pumpkin mousse. I had made it the previous week for a dinner with visiting cousins; it was so good, it required an encore. It was by far more popular than pie! Are people getting tired of pie? No problem. More for me. You can find the recipe for the mousse here. I highly recommend giving it a try.
And always, after dessert and nibbling at leftovers, comes the ubiquitous card games.
It was a good day! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!