Monday, November 24, 2008

A Thanksgiving Meme

Amanda at Mrs. W's Kitchen has tagged me for a fun Thanksgiving Meme. :-) Thanks, Amanda!! While here in the States we are all busy preparing for the big feast and for family and friends to gather, a fun tag just might be the answer for both blog authors and readers.

It's almost Thanksgiving so we had better all tag a lot of people before the holiday comes and goes. I am tagging:
There are only two easy rules:
1. Post these rules when you participate in this meme.
2. Link to the people you tag as well as the person who tagged you.

Now on to the FUN!!

1. Which do you like better: hosting Thanksgiving at your home, or going elsewhere?
I prefer to host Thanksgiving; I'm a homebody, but I'm also very social, so I get to enjoy both worlds when I'm the one inviting people. There seems to always be someone who needs an adoptive family for Thanksgiving so we invite them. The elderly neighbor living alone, the empty nester who recently lost her job, a single friend with family out of state, these are the kind of people whom we invite each year. This year though, we find ourselves being the poor, alone mother and child whose husband and father is working several hundred miles away and whose relatives are in other countries entirely. So our son and I are making the exception to the rule and having Thanksgiving with friends from our homeschool group.

2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen turkey? Organic? Free-range?
We've had each kind over the years. Fresh, free-range is our favorite, but we most often get a frozen, free-range just for ease of planning. It's always a high-quality turkey though, and if we need to, I prefer to make two smaller turkeys than one Gigantor Tom.

3. Do you make stuffing or dressing? What kind?
Stuffing!! I make either a French stuffing which is all meat or in recent years, my very own creation -- my Franco-American stuffing -- which is meat (sausage), but mixed with American bread stuffing (1/2 corn bread is even better), mushrooms, shallots, nuts, dried fruits and a bit of alcohol. My family and guests always feel like they have gone to heaven, rave and generally make me feel very special. :-)

4. Sweet potato pie or Pumpkin pie?
Pumpkin pie, pecan pie and my perpetually requested apple tart.

5. Are leftovers a blessing or a curse?
I think a little bit of both. My husband is of the opinion that it is not Thanksgiving unless there are leftovers for meals and sandwiches for at least one week!! I am of a different opinion. So he has Turkey for a week and I don't. Everybody is happy. :-)

6. What side dishes are a must-have in your family?
All the standards except cranberry, but we usually have it for our guests.

7. What do you wish you had that might make Thanksgiving easier?
A bigger kitchen! My dream kitchen would be just like mine right now (the walls make a square, but the counters make a circle -- whoever designed it was a GENIUS!!!), but push the walls back to make it 4 or 5 times its size (it's really tiny), extending all the countertops and cabinets, bring the full-size upright freezer that's in my garage into my kitchen, and add a second dishwasher. I'll keep my double wall oven, my extra-wide stovetop, and my back door to the covered deck and patio with herb garden and barbecue. :-)

8. If/when you go to someone else’s house for the holiday, do you usually bring a dish? If so, what is it?
My apple tart is perenially requested -- no -- demanded!! -- no matter what the season or occasion.

9. What do you wish one of your guests would bring to your house?
Just their cheery selves is enough, but if each brings their signature Thanksgiving dish, it makes for a very tasty and easy Thanksgiving potluck.

10. What do you wish one of your guests would NOT bring to your house?
Grumpy faces, but that has never happened. I'm knocking on wood now. I don't want to jinx myself. ;-{

11. Do you stick with a particular menu from year to year, or do you mix it up?
I do all the traditional dishes that make it a real Thanksgiving for everyone and each year I make a few all-new dishes such as a variation on the green bean casserole or a pumpkin soup or a different fall vegetable or dessert. This way the menu is never boring, but we still all have our old-fashioned favorites which make Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving. We have also adopted a few new favorite recipes this way.

12. Is Thanksgiving a religious or secular holiday in your home?
It is a beautiful melding of both. When I first came to this country I thought Thanksgiving was all about an over abundance of food and I did not appreciate this holiday for gluttons so I incorporated my faith into this holiday, and I learned to appreciate and love this New World tradition.

13. Share one Thanksgiving tradition.
When I was working for our church, one of our fellow staff members brought in a large tree branch which she set standing on a small circular table. She had the children cutout leaves from fall-colored construction paper and then she had them write something they were thankful for on as many leaves as they could fill. They all gathered around the bare tree, each child read one leaf at a time, hung it on the tree like an ornament while the others repeated a phrase of thanks to God, much like a litany. The tree became overflowing with leaves of thanks. It was very moving for both adults and children. It became a beautiful Thanksgiving decoration and a new tradition for both our church and our home too.

14. Share one Thanksgiving memory.
One of my favorite Thanksgivings was when our son was a newborn. We were happy new parents and made friends with four of our condominium neighbors in particular. We were all brand-new homeowners, had family living far away and found a common bond for friendships which have lasted through the test of time and now distance as we each moved away. Each holiday we would spend in a different home, but we never had to drive and sometimes we would even start in one home, but finish in another. It was so easy to bring a dish or run upstairs to check on the turkey, and we even shared many impromptu dinners together. That Thanksgiving was typical of our gatherings, where we all shared excellent food, great laughs, interesting conversation and loving friendships. We must have looked like a funny bunch to outsiders -- the long-ago-divorced empty nester, the diabetic Irish-American spinster, the rich bank Vice President, the poor, old Arab man with a pacemaker, the French stay-at-home mom and the mild mannered Clark Kent AKA Superman who always worked nights and holidays -- a circle of 6 friends with nothing visibly in common, but yet we had the very best of times.

15. Name five things you’re thankful for.
  1. Our family;
  2. Our health;
  3. Our friends;
  4. Our California firefighters who have saved our home and belongings with each fire, including twice in the last month.
  5. Twenty-first century technology where we can save more lives than ever before, or find the entire world at our fingertips and video message friends and relatives far away.

Join in the FUN!! If I didn’t tag you, please feel free to participate anyway! Add a link to your replies in the comments below.


  1. What beautiful answers, Joy. Thanks for playing along!

  2. Thanks for tagging me Joy. My answers are up. I also find that many of mine don't differ from yours all that much - no surprise there. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!:)

  3. That was a fantastic meme...I loved it and posted it on my site!

    Thank you so much for sharing it with me!

  4. Thank you for tagging me Joy and for the idea! I'll enjoy doing this.

  5. I will be doing this! Thanks! Also I didn't get your email...

  6. Done! And I'm more than a little curious about the Apple Tart...

  7. Thanks Joy! I'll get on this tomorrow morning!

  8. Hi! I found your meme over at Gina's Public Diary and I stole it for my Friday Meme. I liked your answers and I can't wait to browse the rest of your blog!

  9. Hi Joy and thank you for visiting me! I just scraped the last of the left over sweet potatoes into the garbage disposal. Ugh! I couldn't eat another spoonful if you tied me down and spoon fed me!

    How about posting that apple tart recipe?

  10. Hi Dana and Daisy! I already have posted several apple tart recipes and there's also a pink apple galette recipe submitted by one of my readers. All you have to do is either click on the Fall Pies and Tarts Roundup Button in the sidebar or use one of the search features. There's one in the sidebar and one at the very top. Or even just scroll down to Nov. 14th. :-)


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