Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our Family Traditions at Thanksgiving

My family has always had the tradition of getting together at lunch time on Thanksgiving Day and we will continue that this year at our older daughter's home. My husband and I have been the hosts for the last few years, but now the next generation is taking its turn.

This year the host family will roast the turkey and the rest of us will bring the sides and desserts for our Thanksgiving repast. Our son-in-law will also deep fry a turkey breast. He has a new deep fryer and is experimenting with everything from donuts to turkeys.

Our menu will be somewhat the same as it has been for decades.

Turkey with dressing and gravy
Green Beans
Sweet Potato Casserole
Pumpkin-Orange Cake
Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Pie

A few years ago, I realized I've been making the same cake for Thanksgiving for the better part of 30 years! I found the recipe in Ladies' Home Journal and thought it looked so good I'd make it. Little did I know that that was the beginning of a long standing tradition for us. My family all liked it, even the picky eaters and each year I'm reminded (usually by my sister) to bring THE cake. It's humorous that she reminds me to make the cake because she's known as the baker in our family.

I used to make the cooked icing recipe that came with the cake recipe, but now I use the cream cheese icing (not the whipped icing) in the can. Nobody seemed to notice even though some of us have very discerning palates.

Perhaps this year we'll establish a new tradition: maybe we'll set up a little friendly competition with the Wii games. With the testosterone that will be there, I'm sure we can challenge somebody to play a "friendly" game or two. It will help us work off our dessert and not feel guilty about a turkey sandwich later!

One year when our daughters were teens, we were in Florida at Thanksgiving. It definitely was not the same for us even though we were in a beautiful setting and the buffet was grand. We all decided then we would try to be with our extended family when we could.

In years past, we have watched the Macy's parade on TV. Two years ago our older daughter and family were in New York City and watched the parade from their hotel which was on the parade route. Some of the balloons were just outside their windows!

Last year, our younger daughter and her husband were on a cruise. I'm glad we can all be together this year. It's not the same when any of us are missing. There will be 11 of us gathering this year.

We usually take time to talk about what we are thankful for and how God has so richly blessed each of us. We don't place a lot of value on things, but we value each other and the fact that God is in the midst of all of it. This year, we are blessed to have 4 generations gathering for this important time together.

1 ½ C. Sugar
½ t. Nutmeg
½ C. Raisins
½ C. Butter
½ t. Allspice
1 t. Cinnamon
2 Eggs
¼ t. Cloves
1 C. Pumpkin (I use canned pumpkin)
3 oz. Orange Juice Concentrate
1 2/3 C. Self-rising Flour
¼ C. Milk

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour pans.Beat shortening and sugar until light. Add eggs and beat well. Add pumpkin, juice, and milk. Stir together flour and spices (I like cinnamon better than the other spices, so I increase the cinnamon and decrease or eliminate the others. Also, I have used Pumpkin Pie Spice which is already mixed). Add to pumpkin mixture, beat until smooth. Stir in raisins. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool layers thoroughly on rack.

I use cream cheese frosting from a can and sprinkle the top with a circle of chopped pecans. Be generous with the frosting between layers.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. I am so excited for next Thursday. It seems like forever since we were all together. I'm saving room for cake now!