Which one are you? By the lovely Grace Farris.
P.S. A fun ice breaker and tips for hosting Thanksgiving dinner.
Which one are you? By the lovely Grace Farris.
P.S. A fun ice breaker and tips for hosting Thanksgiving dinner.
We’re skipping all of it and going to Busch Gardens!
National Day of Mourning. We shall never forget the pain and the suffering of Native American People.
I’m the post call doctor mom! Grateful to a lovely aunt who hosts 35+ every year and totally gets the night shift thing. Showing up tomorrow with husband, two excited boys, a platter of frosted cookies from Wegmans, potted plant, bottle of wine, will rally to wash dishes post feast.. then home for a long winter’s nap!
I am the Maker of the Trip to Kroger. You need a bottle of wine? Ice? Napkins? I’m your girl. We have long ago learned I’m safest when tasked with something that doesn’t require I step into the kitchen.
A few years ago I bought a potato masher and decided we would be the people who bring mashed potatoes. It truly helps the host for us to bring them, and it’s not that much work if mashed potatoes are the only thing you’re making. :) The trick I learned is to use a potato masher & not an electric beater for fluffy mashed potatoes!
We’re the ‘Skip the Turkey’ hoopla /chaos on Thanksgiving Day. Instead our family goes to Chicago’s Christkindlmarket every year. We nosh on brats, potatoes, pretzels and drink hot, mulled wine. The best part is being totally present in the moment with no distractions and just enjoying each other’s company (and also, no dishes to wash afterwards!)
That sounds lovely! Hot mulled wine is the best. 🍷
I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving because I’m Little Shell Chippewa of Montana but my holiday vibes are very mashed potatoes on my glasses
Wish there had been a family member who wanted to remind people about “national day of mourning”
Jenny, I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving either and I agree with Grace about ”national day of mourning”. Let’s not forget!.
Foodie Aunt but happy to cook all other days.
I’ve been fibbing for weeks saying I have a friend over when in reality I am doing a quiet thanksgiving solo, making ribs and sweet potatoes and green bean casserole for myself. I’m honestly delighted about the down time but feel guilty that this year I want to be alone.
My sister was worried about the roads I would have to travel so we decided to meet up in the spring. I was happy to go visit but am very happy to stay home and snuggle in my house for a few days. I hope you completely enjoy your alone time!!!
Same, Savannah. My alone includes partner and kid, but have turned down all other social engagements (with some guilt) and just want small, cozy, simple. If doing it solo were an option, I would be right there with you.
Having that meal and downtime to yourself sounds absolutely delightful!
I am down to about 24 hours till dinner (just me and my husband) and I have NO IDEA what I am making for dinner…. is that bad? O_O
PS: I don’t really care this year either.. too much going on and I just. don’t. feel. like. it.
Order out and call it a day.
My hubby and I did a giant brunch instead of a dinner one year for thanksgiving, when we didn’t want to travel for the holiday! We were living in HI!
Hahaha, Amanda, this is so relatable. My boyfriend and sister and I just had a group text about making burgers tomorrow!
Order sushi! My favorite way to spend thanksgiving.
I’m the “I bought most things premade at Costco yesterday and I feel no guilt, only delight, about that” chef.
Hate when I forget to remove my exhaustive, anal list of “all the things ” from the front of the fridge before guests arrive, haha, it spoils the intended illusion that I have my act together….
The fact that you have a long list of all the things pinned to the fridge is actually ultimate proof that you DO have your act together :)
Auntie watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. :)
I shop at Macys SPECIFICALLY in hopes of helping keep it open……..mainly for that magnificent parade. Over sixty years ago, my Dad took us in to see it…….I barely remember any of it but coming back home to a house full of Thanksgiving fragrance, my sister and I in matching velvet dresses and Mary Janes, the aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents assembled…..nearly brings me to nostalgic tears.
I am the Brings Anything Which Doesn’t Require Cooking mom/aunt/sister. I have tried practicing my mashed potatoes this week and they are gummy every time no matter what tricks I try so I had to text my sister today that we may not be having mashed potatoes this year, haha! The guys on my husband’s side of the family do all the heavy cooking, mother in law does some sides, and we daughter in laws do the clean up. On my side of the family, my bro in law does the turkey, we girls do the sides, the teenagers do most of the clean up. Deboning the turkey has everyone in the family screaming “NOT IT”.
5 pound bag of russets
Stick of butter
2/3 brick of cream cheese (6 ounces)
Half and half or milk, maybe a cup
Salt and pepper.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add peeled and quartered potatoes…..when the water comes back to a boil (about 6 minutes), reduce heat to a gentle boil and cook till fork tender (about 22 minutes). Drain thoroughly and return to pot. Hit it with your electric beater, dump in cubed butter and cream cheese and allow a few minutes for everything to melt together. Whip again, this time adding half and half or milk until smooth and creamy. Pile into a buttered casserole and here’s the best part— when cool, cover and refrigerate. Yes, do ahead of time…..I made mine yesterday.
On Thursday take out of the fridge and allow to come to room temp. You can heat this in the microwave ( I cover it with a paper plate) for about 12 minutes. Or in the oven for about an hour, loosely covered with tin foil. Either way, stir at least three times while heating. You can add a little more milk if they seem too stiff. Almost fail proof and delicious.
If not this year, try them next Thanksgiving. Wishing everyone a lovely holiday.
That’s so funny- I look forward to deboning the turkey every year because it’s an excuse for my introverted self to hang out in the kitchen and catch my breath for a few minutes after the meal!
Much respect, but if you want to give it another go… I’ve found this has brought consistency to my mashed potatoes.
Sunny, you have created OUR perfect mashed potato. We love them a big gummy/gluey! Whenever I read don’t use red potatoes because they come out gluey, I think, “Oh yeah, must buy red potatoes…” We always make a bunch and never have much leftover!
@ Bonnie: I love them that way, too! :)
Thank you for the tips, everyone! With some more practice yesterday, I managed to make edible mashed potatoes. Not fluffy at all, but not gummy either.
Bonnie, that is so funny! My mother made mashed potatoes my entire life with red potatoes and a hand mixer, the two biggest contributors to gumminess according to my google searches. But her’s were fluffy every time!
Hildy, I love that deboning the turkey is your time to get a recharge!
My sister is the ‘Order the Entire Thing from Cracker Barrel’ ninja priestess.
I am the “Order the entire thing from Wegman’s or Whole Foods or whichever place” since I cook almost every single day of the year. Also, I decided that my husband was in charge of making all food decision and placing the order. I am just picking up this year. My only kitchen related task tomorrow is to bake a gluten free cake with my 9 years old girl.
YDA, I hope your cake is the best you’ve ever had! Cheers.
As David Rose would say, “I’m a delightful little half-half situation” of Special Ops and the Foodie Aunt. Hope everyone at Cup of Jo has a lovely Thanksgiving!
I am the Bringing Fruit Salad Aunt.
Heh… that rookie feeling still returns every year. Happy Thanksgiving!
When I host, I’m the Special Ops (non)Mom with a spreadsheet timeline to coordinate the timing of all the steps of all the dishes (that I would print and tape on my cabinets above my work space). Pre-Covid, I’d host a Thanksgiving potluck (but make all the essentials) for 15-25 people. These days, now that I’m not hosting and I’m single, I’m more of a Throw-Together-the-Key-Dishes-and-Call-It-Done person. (And then I just enjoy the leftovers for DAYS after, haha!)
My husband and I are definitely Special Ops. lol. On years we are hosting, we sit down earlier in the week and write out the Timeline, of when things need to happen, Beginning with the time we intend to eat and clocking it in reverse to when the turkey needs to be set out to defrost. What that does is it lets us be really chill and unruffled about each step. In fact, last year, it kinda freaked my mom out! She came in the kitchen with her own flurry of anxiety about when things needed to get started and we just had it all sorted out, and my sister came in and whispered, ‘Jeez, guys-you need to argue like, a LITTLE. You’re freaking Mom out.” LOL. We find that if we’re organized and see the whole undertaking as a bit of a dance, it lets us not lose sight of the fact that it’s just DINNER (it just requires a bit of orchestration, but ultimately, it’s just food on a table shared with people!). Happy Thanksgiving all of you. I’m glad we have a community like this here. :)
You are my people! I do the backwards clocking too and it works like a charm.
I really resent that Thanksgiving is fueled 98% by women’s labor.
5 people will be eating food at my house tomorrow. 1 person has been responsible for thinking up a menu, buying ingredients and putting a plan of attack into motion.
This morning my husband said he felt bad that I was doing everything thus far and I laughed and said he was likely the first man in history to have that emotion.
I dunno, my last partner used to help a lot when prepping Thanksgiving (cooking and cleaning), so it’s possible. My previous partner did not help much at all, though. And growing up, it was my dad that did all of the Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking.
Not all families! My dad has always been the main cook in my family and does most of Thanksgiving cooking. My BIL and his brothers are excellent cooks and bakers.
I resent it too, Andrea! Pointing out the few exceptions to the rule doesn’t make it any easier for most of us struggling to get through another mountain of holiday labor.
Andrea, I’m sorry so much is falling on you. But I agree that this isn’t the case in all families. Growing up my mom was the main caretaker and everyday cook but my dad did step up on Thanksgiving and I’d say it was a 60-40 split. Now my husband and I share Thanksgiving pretty evenly — he’s in charge of inviting people (sounds like the fun part, but not for an introvert like me who likes to cook/host but is terrible at texting friends) and about 50% of cooking (the bird and all the veggies while I do starchy sides and desserts). I do more grocery shopping and a bit more cleaning but this year I’ve decided the apartment will just be messy.
Yes! For 35 years, my mom did all the work and my dad and brothers watched football. I was always torn between wanting to help, so that my mother wasn’t doing it alone, and not wanting to carry on/take over the role of woman serving everyone else. It’s tough. Now we have thanksgiving with our separate families and it’s up to my sisters-in-law how they negotiate things with my brothers. In my house, my daughter will see her parents clean up for company as a team and order dinner from the grocery store. :)
@andrea Thanks for bringing up the seldom mentioned labor of menu planning. This is a lot of work and is rarely given the appreciation it deserves. Also, making sure the pantry is stocked–basically you have to be an inventory planner!
To whoever is taking on this task, I just want to say I see you and know firsthand the amount of work involved in menu planning, food shopping, cooking and cleaning. You have to be a chef, nutritionist, inventory planner and sourcer all in one! And it never ends!
And, by the way, this can be very fulfilling. But it involves labor!
I used to be Special Ops (and similar to Connie above I had a very detailed timeline which my husband labeled the “T-Zone”). But as my daughter and nieces and nephews got older (i.e., elementary school age) and as I got more annoyed at my mom and brothers asking “When are we eating?”, I switched over to a dictator-like approach of telling everyone in October what they were making. They could use any recipe they want but they have to buy the groceries for that dish. They could also just flake out and forget and that’s okay too. The most important thing is it is not my problem. It’s worked out great and the kids especially are way more into the food because they helped make it.
Why didn’t he/doesn’t he actually just pitch in then? Or do it all next year since clearly you’ve been carrying the water on this for a while. His feeling bad does nothing except for add more burden to you because he isn’t helping AND he somehow wants you to make him feel better for feeling badly about being lazy about this family activity.
My husband shines at Thanksgiving because he’s a master of gravy and mashed potatoes. Yes, I do the things that require “cooking” skills, like stuffing, he’ll do most of the prep work, the cleaning (including washing towels/making beds for our guests, etc.) and all the kitchen clean up. He’s one of seven, and his parents ran a motel with all the kids expected to do ALL the work, no matter their gender = a keeper!
I cringe when I hear that the woman does the whole Thanksgiving dinner, but then I step back and realize my husband does the whole Thanksgiving dinner at our house. ☺️ Maybe the difference is that he likes it?
I have a “not all men” story in my own home for holiday cooking, too, yet I remain completely enraged enraged at what is expected of our gender – tomorrow and all the time.
Andrea, although it isn’t the case in my marriage, my mom did 100% of all housework and cooking at all times. My dad was a hard worker, true. But when he came home, he did nothing to help her at all and with six kids, she never got a break. As we kids got older, the housework and cooking evened out between us and our mom. My husband can’t cook a LICK, but he is thankfully so much different from my dad and so helpful to me in non cooking ways. I’ve never hosted a holiday dinner which makes me pretty happy, but I love some of the ideas in these comments about ordering out to ease the work load.
Your husband is definitely not the first man in history to think that way. Is someone making you do all the labor or have you opted into that yourself?
I bring a few dishes that I like to make or buy and share with others. Aside from that, I’ve opted out of all of it. I don’t send holiday cards, I don’t do gifts, and if I’m hosting for a holiday I ask people to bring dishes, I don’t decorate or overthink it. Although I get messaging most of the time to the contrary, sometimes it’s awesome to be a childless, unmarried mid-30s woman; every year that I’ve failed to conform to the major expectations society has for me, it gets easier to wave the expectations aside and not do things that make me feel resentful.
Maybe just depend on the household. My husband does the cooking (on Thanksgiving and in general) and this year he included our 4 yo who was interested in learning some kitchen tricks. I have little interest im kitchen tricks but help in other ways such as keeping the baby out of the kitchen.
Same for a dad who does Thanksgiving here. Now that he’s older we host and he still offers to cook the turkey. My husband almost always makes the side we bring if we go to a family members house!
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