Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and I could eat Turkey and Dressing about 7 times a week any time of the year. One of my grandmothers used to raise turkeys on her farm. When November came around I imagine there was extra gobbling and throat swallowing in the pen as all the turkeys felt the extra long gazes during the regular feeding time.
Over the years with my children we made pine cone turkeys for place holders, and construction paper Pilgrim Hats, and Paper Mache Cornucopias. Now that my youngest is a teenager, our family of 6 plan other projects.
One year, we created a giant wall art that each person participated in (and it still hangs in my dining room.) Another year, we each brought items to fill boxes for sending to soldiers stationed far from home.One year had a music theme and each person brought a CD, a record (yeah, can you imagine?), a video or a DVD of 2 favorite songs. We sat around the room as each person explained why they picked this song and then we listened to it. The choices ranged from my husband's favorite comedy album, my son-in-law's music from being a teen in Germany, a southern gospel song from my past, and others ending with my teen's favorite rap song. It was enlightening, to say the least, and we laughed our selves into exhaustion.Last year, each person participated in the making of the meal. When they arrived there was a recipe card, an apron and all their ingredients ready to create their dish. I stood by for guidance, but let them create and tweak the dish as much as they wanted. We took pics of the dishes and played music, gave each other a hard time and ended the meal the way we always wrap up Thanksgiving. One at a time we talk about what we are thankful for this past year and our hopes for the next one ahead. It gets emotional. It feels important. I love it so much.
I also love these Brussel Sprouts. I know, I know - not everyone does, but I still believe it's because not everyone has eaten them prepared well. It would be hard to find a side dish with more benefits than this and they add a nice balance to the rich gravy, dressing and pies to follow.
Recipe: Beer Braised Brussel Sprouts with Apple
1 Bunch Brussel Sprouts (cleaned, cut in half and dry)
1 Tbls. Butter
1 Tbls. Olive Oil
1 Shallot (minced)
1 Apple (peeled, cored and cubed)
1 Amber Ale, or other favorite Beer
1) Heat a skillet over med/high with butter and oil combined.
2) When the oil/butter is hot, add the brussel sprouts without crowding, cut side down. Allow to brown for a minute or so, then turn each one over to brown on other side.
3) Using tongs, remove the browned Brussel Sprouts to a dish for holding.
4) Reduce heat and add the minced shallot, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until tender.
5) Deglaze the pan, by pouring in 1/4 cup of the beer and stirring to release all the flavor.
6) Return the Brussel Sprouts to the pan, add the apple cubes and the rest of the beer.
7) Bring the heat to boil, then cover and turn down the heat to low. Braise for 12-15 minutes.
8) Remove the Brussel Sprouts and Apple with slotted spoon. You can serve like that, or drizzle with sauce, or continue heating the sauce on High for a couple minutes until it is reduced and thicker for serving over the greens.A sincere Happy Thanksgiving to all who stop by here and my deep wishes for a peaceful year~
Here's the whole gang with a giant table's worth of recipes:
Cocktails, Appetizers, Soups and Salads:
Eat Be Mary: She’s Mulling It Over Wine
Cookistry: Bread With Ancient Grains
Celebrity Chefs and Their Gardens: The American Hotel Peconic Clam Chowder
Picky Eater Blog: Butternut Squash Soup With Thyme and Parmesan
Good Food Good Friends: Mushroom Soup
Examiner.com: Grilled Quail with a Warm Beet, Frisée, and Pistachio Salad
She Wears Many Hats: Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey
Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole
Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie
The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes
Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry Studded Stuffing
Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat: Blue Cheese and Rosemary Celebration Potatoes
Burnt Lumpia: Turkey, Sweet Potato and Cranberry Empanadas
Panfusine: Pan Fried Polenta Seasoned With Cumin, Ginger & Black Pepper
Homemade Cravings: Warm Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Slaw
Bakeaholic Mama: Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Crispy Prosciutto
Show Food Chef: Beer-Braised Brussels Sprouts
T’s Tasty Bits: Sweet Empanadas with Pumpkin and Lupini Beans Filling
The Amused Bouche Blog: Braised Kale
The Little Kitchen: How to Make the Perfect Mashed Potatoes
The Macaron Queen: Macaron Tower
Poet In The Pantry: Amaretto Apple Crisp
Farm Girl Gourmet: Pumpkin Coconut Panna Cotta
That’s Forking Good: Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Blondies
Out of the Box Food: Out of the Box Food Maple Pumpkin Pie
Cake Baker 35: Orange Spiced Pumpkin Pie
Lisa Michele: Pumpkin, Pecan, Cheesecake Pie
Food For My Family: Buttermilk Custard Pear Pie
Simple Bites: Black-Bottom Maple Pumpkin Pie
A Cooks Nook: Swedish Apple Pie
Yakima Herald: Pretzel Jell-O Salad
How Does She: Three of Our Favorite Desserts
Dollhouse Bake Shoppe: Thanksgiving Candy Bar Name Plates
Sweet Fry: Pumpkin Latte
Tasty Trials: Spiced Apple Panna Cotta With Caramelized Apples and Caramel Sauce
An Uneducated Palate: Puff Pastry Apple Tart
Frugal Front Porch: Mini Cheaty Cheesecakes