I am not a fan of Black Friday shopping! The last thing I want to do the day after Thanksgiving is shop! As far as I’m concerned Friday is the best day of the entire Thanksgiving weekend, especially if I can spend it at home. I love Thanksgiving; it has always been my favorite holiday. It’s not just the food (though I do love that), it’s the coziest one, there are no gifts involved, and everyone gets to hang out in their jammies all day with no pressure to put on shoes, except maybe bowling shoes.
For most of my adult life my family spent Thanksgiving at my parent’s house in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. My parents bought a huge house in 1985 and though most of the year it operated as a bed & breakfast, over Thanksgiving there was plenty of room for the entire family to sleep, lounge and cook comfortably. It was often very cold, and sometimes even snowed. Thursday we’d cook all day in the big kitchen, and then sit down to have our big meal. There was always a last minute trip to the Big Y supermarket, and lots of hands to make all the food.
We had Thanksgiving at that house for 24 years. The first year, 1986 there were both my parents, no little kids, and only my older sister was married. Over those years we went through births, graduations, weddings and splits, and the deaths of both our parents. It was a wonderful house that held us all well.
Friday we’d hang out, and eat breakfast in shifts as everyone woke over the next several hours, my brother starting about 5:00 a.m. and my niece Eloise generally straggling in last sometimes late enough to run into the early risers’ lunch time. If we were feeling really ambitious we might go to the movies, or better yet, bowling!
Lunch is the main post Thanksgiving event! I think I may like the leftovers as much, or more than the original meal. Leftovers is why you need to carve your turkey* well. If you’ve done it right you can slice up the breast meat for sandwiches. I like to pull all the bits meat off the bird, and then use the bones and those odd bits of meat for turkey-noodle soup. When I was a kid we’d have twenty or more people for Thanksgiving dinner and I swear my mom bought some sort of prehistoric 40 pound turkey, and we always had plenty left over for her turkey curry.
We kids loved this meal, the curry was fine, made with Campbell’s cream of something soup, but the condiments were the exciting part. The center of the table held at least twelve little bowls filled with condiments (we loved saying the word)! There were always at least two types of chutney, chopped hard boiled egg, shredded coconut, chopped peanuts, currants, sliced banana, chopped red onion, chopped tomato, pineapple chunks, and more but that’s all I recall. We would put a scoop of rice on our plate, ladle on the curry then just go nuts with the toppings, like a sundae bar, but for dinner!
Another great leftover treat is a Thanksgiving wrap. You can use any type of large tortilla or wrap, and layer turkey, stuffing (or dressing), cranberry sauce and lettuce (if you really need to), and roll it up tight like a burrito. You can do the same thing on a sandwich but this is a little neater. I once knew a guy who made a soup with leftover stuffing, though I didn’t think it was very good, and I don’t recommend it. And then pie, leftover pie, mixing pies, putting them in the microwave to warm them just a little, and maybe add some whipped cream (we make ours) as long as there’s some around to put in the coffee. Every year we make pecan, cranberry-apple and pumpkin pies, I love pie!
I hope you’ll have a cozy, warm and happy Thanksgiving with plenty of tasty leftovers, and no urge to run out and shop!
*I had intended to create a video of carving a turkey, but I am a turkey, and never got around to it… Here is a helpful one though!