Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

It’s Thanksgiving and My Brother’s Birthday!

November 28, 2019


This is the cover of the card I sent to my brother. (With rare exceptions, I make all my own greeting cards.) When Mel called to thank me, I asked him if he had any idea how often his birthday falls on Thanksgiving. He said he didn’t. So, I Googled and discovered that there is a formula: 6,5,6,11. (Truly, everything you want answers to is on the internet!) Here’s how it works. The last time Mel’s birthday fell on Thanksgiving was in 2013*, 6 years ago. The next times will be 2024, 2030, 2041, 2047, etc., etc.

(*Via my blogpost for November 28, 2013, there was a trifecta: Mel’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and the first night of Chanukah. While his birthday falling on Thanksgiving will happen again in the foreseeable future, the convergence of Thanksgiving and the first Chanukah candle is a once-in-a-lifetime — actually many, many lifetimes — event.)

Happy Birth(Turkey)day, Mel!

At Home 2018: Thanksgiving Dinner

December 1, 2018

It’s been more than 10 years since I last cooked Thanksgiving dinner. However, this year, Michael and I did not go to EMP on Thanksgiving as we’ve been doing. Instead, circumstance dictated that we remain at home in NJ. Jen and Louis normally go to his parents. But Jen decided to come out to NJ for a few days and be with us on Thanksgiving while Louis went to his parents as usual. Jen and I don’t often get to cook together, so that would be fun! (Coming out here also gave her a chance to meet up with several of her Marlboro friends. They’d be in NJ celebrating Thanksgiving with their parents who still reside here.)

When I did do Thanksgiving, I always used a kosher turkey. At first, it was because we kept kosher. But even when we stopped, I still continued to buy a kosher turkey because the koshering process, which is essentially brining, made for a flavorful and juicy bird.

This time, I decided to order a cooked turkey from Whole Foods. I purposely ordered a big turkey (10 lbs.) so we’d have plenty of leftovers. Jen could take some home, and Michael could overdose because he loves turkey. We picked it up two days prior to Thanksgiving, and I kept it in the frig until then. Turns out, it wasn’t fully cooked, so it came with finishing instructions along with a disposable roasting pan. I also ordered two large containers of gravy because for me, turkey is absolutely nothing without gravy – and lots of it!

Jen arrived Wednesday morning. After lunch, we baked a pumpkin pie. We also cooked meatballs for an appetizer.

Turkey Day

According to the instructions, the turkey required between 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours finishing time in the oven, plus some standing time before carving. We planned to eat around 2 p.m., so we prepared the side dishes before finishing the turkey.


The instruction said to brush the skin with oil or smear it with butter before putting it into the over pre-heated to 325 degrees. I’d always brushed the kosher turnkey with peanut oil, so I used that here. By the way, the turkey was not stuffed.


Finished and waiting to be carved.


Dinner Is Served!

Brioche Rolls

Brioche Dinner Rolls

Appetizer: Meatballs

“Swedish” Meatballs

I got this recipe nearly 50 years ago from a neighbor (long ago moved away). The beef is flavored with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. The sauce for the meatballs consists of two ingredients: ketchup and beer. Definitely not Swedish (hence, the quotation marks). But that’s what she called them, so we always call them that. We hadn’t had them in ages. Label them delicious!


Carved Turkey

The turkey was very flavorful. So, a good decision getting this Whole Foods bird.





Dressing – My Own Recipe

Honesty compels me to say that even though I have the recipe written down, having not made it for so many years, I didn’t get it right and it somehow turned out too soupy. It had always been delicious, so a real disappointment. I did manage to correct it somewhat when we had our leftovers meals, but still not anywhere near as good as it should have been.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Seriously delicious! There was actually a lot more but Jen started to serve them before I was able to take the picture.

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli

Michael and Jen are big broccoli fans (me, not so much), so this was essentially for them.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

As you no doubt can tell, this is the stuff that comes out of the can. Sue me! We love it! I used to make fresh cranberry sauce, but we still preferred this kind.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

As I did in the past, we used the recipe that’s been on the Libby’s pumpkin label since forever. And, no, we didn’t make the crust. We used a crust from Oronoque Orchards which comes two to a package in your supermarket freezer. An excellent pie!

Pumpkin Pie and Breyer's Vanilla

Pumpkin Pie and Breyer’s Vanilla

Overall, with the exception of the dressing disaster, this was a thoroughly enjoyable Thanksgiving dinner. I hope all of you felt the same about yours.