Thanksgiving Food for a Small Family


(Photo credit: gvgoebel)

This year there will be 6 of us eating turkey.  Seven people will be at the table but the youngest member is what some people might all a picky eater.  I have other words for a child that passes on mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.  The problem of cooking for a small family is that if we served everyone’s favorite our dinner would consist of: deviled eggs, turkey, dressing (traditional, cornbread and oyster), gravy (one with giblets and one without), cranberry sauce (Ocean Spray I love you fresh stewed with oranges and red wine), mashed potatoes, potato salad, rice, macaroni and cheese (or as the granddaughter said “the good kind, homemade not out of the box,” green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole with pecan topping, sweet potato casserole with marshmallow topping, dinner rolls, butter, some type of green salad, a bottle of wine or maybe a Mimosa, pecan pie, coconut cake, key lime pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and chocolate cake.  Do you see a problem?  As much as I like food even I can see that’s too much food.  We may live in a land of plenty but that menu is plenty too much.

Thanksgiving Past

Personally I would be happy going to a restaurant, that is until Friday arrived and there was no leftover turkey to make into a sandwich.  Normally I prefer multigrain bread but for a down home true leftover turkey sandwich you can’t beat plain old white bread – slathered with mayo and heavily salted.  It’s an eating sin I live with during the holidays:  too much fat and  too much salt. Some people top their post-Thanksgiving sandwiches with dressing and cranberry sauce but that’s too much; make it plain and simple for me – reminiscent of my childhood.  Years ago we had traditional Norman Rockwell holiday meals with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins around the table.  All the food spread out on a table with the turkey as the crowning glory at the table’s head.  Whether he carved or not my memory recalls my grandfather carving the perfectly roasted bird for the assembled family members.  Was wine served?  With the adults involved it should have been but I don’t know; I, after all, was just a child and intent of stuffing my face not observing what the old people at the big table were doing.

English: A small plate with a serving of mashe...

Remembering my grandmother’s kitchen it’s amazing she could amass such a feast.  I’m sure every family brought something and it must have gone immediately to the table as each group arrived.  There would have been no room in the kitchen.  Many modern homes have closets larger than that kitchen.  Yet the best food in the world came out of that tiny room.

More Food, Why Yes I Believe  I Do

One Thanksgiving tradition never changes.  I’ve been grocery shopping once and even with a pared down menu I still have my 2nd list of things that were forgotten on the first trip.  Will there be a third trip?  Probably, even though it’s a small family I want my grandchildren to remember a festive and full Thanksgiving.

What is your favorite holiday food?  and no fair saying “dessert.”



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