Menu Plan Monday – 11/21

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logo for Menu Plan MondayAnd here it is – Thanksgiving week. How are you feeling?

I think I’m ready. Well, as ready as I can be without having done my shopping yet! But my menu is planned and my shopping list is prepared. I’ll be shopping this evening and doing a lot of pre-cooking on Wednesday. My boyfriend Bill, his son and I will be going to Bill’s parents’ house for Thanksgiving, so I need to have everything ready by Thursday morning, ready for transport and a quick re-heat.

When I was growing up, all of my extended family was in other parts of the country – it was just my parents, my sister and I. We called ourselves orphans. There were a couple of other families in our little town with the same problem, so all of our families would get together and share our holidays every year. We would rotate from one house to the next for each holiday (Thanksgiving and Christmas), and each family would bring dishes to contribute. It worked out really well.

As a child, I didn’t really participate with any of the planning or execution – just the eating and some of the cleanup. But looking back now, I can see how well it worked. No one person had to do everything – the hosting family would make the turkey and a couple of sides, and the visiting families would bring everything else. The work was divided, saving anyone from *too* much stress (don’t think that stopped my mother from staying up way too late the night before and getting up at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving day, anyway, to make sure that everything was done. I’m a lot like my mom.).

My family is very small but the same can’t be said for Bill’s family. In addition to his parents, two siblings, and their kids, there are numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Every time we go to another family party, I meet yet more people I’ve never heard of before! Yowza! It’s a little overwhelming for someone like me. Fortunately, they are all really nice, warm people who have welcomed me with open arms. For Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we almost always go to Bill’s parents’ house. Sometimes it’s just a small gathering with his parents, us and maybe one or two others, but this year the whole clan will be there – parents, the siblings, spouses and kids, plus some neighbors! It’s gonna be a loud, crazy day, I expect. Good thing it’s not as my house, huh?

In order to help out, I’ll be bringing several side dishes and two pies. Plus, my boyfriend has decided he’s going to make a pie (so I guess my house will be a little loud and crazy, too), as well! With all of that to do, I have to be organized and get a lot of work done on Wednesday.

Consequently, the rest of this week is a fairly light cooking week. Thank goodness for that freezer meal I’ve got, just waiting to be baked!

Menu Plan for week beginning 11/21/11:

  • Monday – Leftovers
  • Tuesday Lemon-spiced Chicken with Chickpeas (quick, easy & delicious healthy meal.  Check it out!)
  • Wednesday – Thanksgiving pre-cooking (mashed potatoes, sweet potato gratin, stuffed mushrooms, pie crusts).  Layered taco bake from the freezer for dinner
  • Thursday HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I’ll be baking off my pies that morning, but should be quick and easy since all the prep will be done Wed.
  • Friday – Banana bread scones for breakfast, leftovers for dinner
  • Saturday – Apple, Butternut & Sausage casserole (perfecting this recipe so I can share with you!)
  • Sunday – open

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So, what about you? Are you ready? Do you have a big celebration with crazy relatives to look forward to, a small family get-together or do you skip Thanksgiving altogether?

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