Monday, November 18, 2013

Thinking About Food, Lots of Food

We just returned from a pleasant several days of shopping and time up on the mountain at our cabin.  Some furniture and appliances were selected, and progress on the new cabin was checked.  All is good.  Things are coming together.

Next year our Thanksgiving will most likely be spent in our new digs.  Whee-o!

However, now I am home, and I'm thinking about food.  Food for this year's Thanksgiving holiday.  Lots of food.

You see, we will be spending the better part of the Thanksgiving week up at our cabin, with lots of my extended family.  Although we will all chip in with meal supplies and cooking and cleanup, the job of ORGANIZATION has fallen in recent years to me.

So, today I will be making a menu for about a week's worth of meals, along with notifying each relative of who shall bring what.  This is no easy task.

There is one who is picky (SIL Eric), one who hates peas (SIL Lance), one who is pregnant and is eating carefully (daughter Sarah), one who eats massive quantities (son Caleb), one who is skeptical of casseroles (my father), one who is allergic to nuts, ginger, and a few other things (my mother), one who thinks every meal should include ice cream (my husband), and several young kids (and you know what that means).

To plan this week of meals, well, let's just say I have my work cut out.

Thinking of my task ahead reminded me of  THE THANKSGIVING LETTER I came across one year.  I will reproduce it here in its entirety.  In my research I learned that this letter is true - it was actually sent to family members several years ago.

Happy Thanksgiving

From:  Marney,

As you all know a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner does not make itself.  I need to ask each of you to help by bringing something to complete the meal.  I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparation.

Now, while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders.  I am very particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully.  If I ask you to bring your offering in a container that has a lid, bring your offering in a container WITH A LID, NOT ALUMINUM FOIL!  If I ask you to bring a serving spoon for your dish, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON!  And please do not forget anything.

All food that is to be cooked should already be prepared, bring it hot and ready to serve, warm or room temp.  These are your ONLY THREE options.  Anything meant to be served cold should, of course, already be cold.

man cutting turkey with a chain saw

1.  Turnips in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon.  Please do not fill the casserole all the way up to the top, it gets too messy.  I know this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but most of us hate turnips so don't feel like you have to feed an army.

2.  Two half gallons of ice cream, one must be VANILLA, I don't care what the other one is.  No store brands please.  I did see an ad this morning for Hagan Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, yum!! (no pressure here, though).

3.  Toppings for the ice cream.

4.  A case of bottled water, NOT gallons, any brand is OK.


1.  Green beans or asparagus (not both) in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon.  If you are making the green beans, please prepare FOUR pounds; if you are making asparagus please prepare FIVE pounds.  It is up to you how you wish to prepare them, no soupy sauces, no cheese (you know how Mike is), a light sprinkling of toasted nuts, or pancetta, or some extra virgin olive oil would be a nice way to jazz them up.

2.  A case of beer of your choice (I have Coors Light and Corona) or a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay (you will have to let me know which you will bring prior to 11/22).  HH


1.  Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level.  You can bring an hors d'ouvres.  A few helpful hints/suggestions.  Keep it very light, and non-filling.  NO COCKTAIL SAUCE, no beans of any kind.  I think your best bet would be a platter of fresh veggies and dip.  Not a huge platter mind you (i.e., not the plastic platter from the supermarket).


1.  Stuffing in a casserole with a serving spoon.  Please make the stuffing sans meat.

2.  2.5 - 3 quarts of mashed squash in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon.

3.  Proscuitto pin wheel - please stick to the recipe, no need to bring a plate.

4.  A pie knife.


1.  15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a casserole with a serving spoon.  Please do not use the over-size blue serving dish you used last year.  Because you are making such a large batch you can do one of two things:  put half the mash in a regulation size casserole with lid and put the other half in a plastic container and we can just replenish with that or use two regulation size casserole dishes with lids.  Only one serving spoon is needed.

Happy Thanksgiving
Perhaps that letter will help you in your Thanksgiving organizing.  As for me, I'll be sending out some simple texts or emails.

I feel fairly certain there will be no shortage of food.

Or serving utensils.


  1. Have a great Thanksgiving, Jill! I don't think anyone ever has a shortage of food on Thanksgiving -- I guess most of us have much to be thankful for! Love the letter . . . thinking about sending it to my brother so he can send it out to my family . . . he's in charge of Thanksgiving at my Mom's house. He'd get a kick out of it!

  2. Sounds like you are going to have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family with no one going the least bit hungry! Good luck with the planning, preparations and the 'letters'.