As we are approaching Thanksgiving Day, my family and I are planning our meal, going over all the details of what to serve, and listing our favorite dishes that everyone insists be included in the feast. I’m proud to contribute my homemade cranberry sauce again this year (recipe below), and am pretty excited for the many traditional side dishes that go along with the turkey. In fact, I look forward to some of them more than the turkey itself.
Unless of course you forget to serve them! This happened to us several years ago. It’s my family’s famous “Thanksgiving blunder” story:
Don’t Forget the Veggies
We were finishing up our big meal, and getting ready to cut the pie, only to realize that all of the vegetable side dishes that we worked so hard to make were still warming in the oven. We never served them. Creamed onions, squash, green bean casserole, Brussels sprouts, baked sweet potatoes. The funniest part was that no one noticed — we were obviously happy with turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes and enjoying the meal together. It’s a story we tell every year — “Don’t forget the veggies!”
Magnolia Twigs, In A Pinch?
Peter, the Farmers’ Almanac web developer, shared his story of one Thanksgiving in Georgia, when he was in charge of cooking the turkey that was perfectly smoking outside on the grill. With 2 hours to go, he ran out of charcoal. Panicked, he raced around town trying to find not only a store that was open on Thanksgiving Day, but one that carried charcoal. He visited seven different stores and EVERY ONE was out. He resorted to using Magnolia twigs from the backyard and hickory chips to keep the fire going at the correct temperature to finish the job. But it worked! Talk about innovation.
A Meal Even The Dogs Love
Then there’s my friend Sue, who has my favorite story of all, serving her first Thanksgiving dinner as a new bride to her family and new in-laws. Twelve hungry guests all gathered around the table waiting for the main attraction. Sue brought in the entire carved turkey on a platter but tripped on the rug, and sent the turkey pieces flying through the air, which her two dogs expertly caught before they even hit the ground. She cried for hours (but can laugh about it now).
Do you have a Thanksgiving blunder you’re brave enough to share in the comments below? One that makes you laugh every year when you tell it? Here’s to hoping this year is blunder-free.
In the meantime, enjoy this recipe for whole cranberry sauce, which is so easy and delicious, you’ll wonder why you ever open a can of the stuff. And it’s pretty foolproof, so no blunders here, guaranteed.
Easy Whole Cranberry Sauce
Once you make it homemade you’ll never open a can again. Makes 2 ½ cups, enough for leftovers.
1 12 ounce bag whole cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan. You’ll hear the cranberries “pop.” Boil for about 7 minutes over medium heat, then remove from heat. Let cool completely. Using a potato masher, lightly mash the cranberries (you won’t get them all). Put in a glass container, cover, and chill overnight. Serve at your Thanksgiving table!
Note: Don’t make it too far in advance but it does keep for about a week.