Cornerstones of a Thanksgiving Meal : Tidbits from Chef Melissa

Cornerstones of a Thanksgiving Meal

by Chef Melissa on 11/24/10

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. It's about tradition, sharing a great meal with friends and family, but most of all it's about reflecting on the blessings in your life. There is something comforting in the fact that for one day a year, we can stop the hectic life of work, emails and carpooling to enjoy a day with family and friends. We always eat lunch at my mother's house, then I come home and prepare a meal for my husband's family. Yes, we eat alot on Thanksgiving! Maybe that's the biggest reason why I love this holiday, it's all about the food!!! 

I had a conversation the other day with my mom about what dishes have to be apart of the Thanksgiving meal. You know the ones, the dishes that if they were missing it wouldn't feel like Thanksgiving. So, it got me thinking, and I asked around to find out what dishes people had to have on their Thanksgiving table. Unaminously everyone said turkey, but then the dishes varied. For me and my mom creamed onions, stuffing, and rutabagas are a must. I also like the cranberry sauce. My husband needs mashed potatoes, black olives, and deviled eggs. (My mother in law made the best deviled eggs) My father in law has to have pumpkin pie. I was surprised the most when I asked my daughter and she said cranberry sauce and turkey. (I thought for sure she would have said pumpkin pie!) I also heard cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes, and corn pudding. It's alot of work to make all the dishes but worth every minute!

The best part for me are the leftovers. My favorite sandwich in the entire world is turkey and stuffing sandwich with lots of mayo and black pepper. I've been eating this sandwich since, well, my whole life, and I can't wait every year for that sandwich. When I first started dating my husband he thought it was the craziest sandwich he had ever heard of, until I made him one. He was hooked. Now he anticipates it as much as I do. My kids love the morning after Thanksgiving, when for one day out of the year they get Pumpkin Pie for breakfast! Yes, I let my kids have pie for breakfast. If you stop to think about it, it is has fruit, protein, and carbohydrates. Serve with a glass of milk and I figure it's better than alot of cereals out there these days.

I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving foods and traditions! Maybe you can start a new one and have pie for breakfast!!

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Here I will share recipes along with my thoughts, adventures, and stories about food.  Check back weekly to see what I've been up too! I would love to hear from you, so feel free to post your thoughts as well.  Thank you for going on this food journey with me! -- Chef Melissa