Cowboys Football - Audra's pick
Our extended family has been pretty spread out over the past 17 years that Jordan and I have been married. And there are three sibling families that we have to consider as well. Needless to say, every Thanksgiving looks very different for us. But the one thing, no matter which family members we are with, that never changes, is that the Dallas Cowboys, “Our Team”, always play on Thanksgiving! We even plan our big meal around the game. Last year, we were so blessed to have someone invite our entire family, both sides, to the actual game. It was a Thanksgiving memory for the books!
Thankfulness - Laura's pick
Since my brother has been married, Thanksgiving on my side of the family has always been shared with my sister-in-law's family as well. As our two families join together at my brother's house, my sister-in-law has always allowed for a special time of thankfulness. She puts so much thought into the way we will share, it's always fun to see what she comes up with every year. I remember one year she gave each of us a little bag with three seeds and we were to tell three things we were thankful for. In our family's bag there were four! She added the fourth because our family had been praying that the Lord would give us another child and that was our reminder. I still have that seed and God did move that mountain! From joining hands in a circle and each of us telling something we are thankful for from the previous year, to tying paper leaves onto a tree limb where we write our thankfulness down, to my favorite...strips of fabric that you can purchase that have discussion questions about what you are thankful for, it's a very special tradition that has been created. I love Thanksgiving because of the simplicity of it; just family, food and fellowship.
Family Board Games - Rebecca's pick
My mom decided many years ago when our family started expanding with in-laws and grandchildren that we would have a set date for celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. For Thanksgiving, it's always on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And, for Christmas, it's always on the Sunday after Christmas (so the NINETEEN of us can all go to church together). This was a stroke of genius because it has eliminated any hassle of juggling travel schedules and multi-family events. I especially like Thanksgiving because 1.) we eat yummy food and 2.) we always play board games after the meal. Some of the cousins play games upstairs while a few more cousins play with the adults downstairs. It's a sweet time of laughing and connecting. I absolutely love it!
Leftover Turkey & Stuffing Panini - Tammy's pick
Growing up, the meal after the meal was one of the highlights of the day for us kids. All the leftovers would be pulled out of the fridge and placed on the kitchen counter. A loaf of bread would be added and then the piling would begin! Two pieces of bread, a spread of mayo, some turkey meat, a slab of Mom's homemade dressing (stuffing), and a healthy spread of cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving meal all in one bite! Yum!
Family Recipes - Rhonda's pick
My family's thanksgiving tradition is truly a T R A D I T I O N. Meaning it's been done this way forEVER. Before Daddy died, it was always Daddy, Mother, me and my family, sister Libby and her family, sister Lisa and her family and sometimes even another random brother-in-law or visiting college student. We gathered at my house for many years and then we started going to Mom's or one of my sons' house. Two years ago Mother was having problems getting around so we had our noon meal at her house so we wouldn't have to try to transport her somewhere else. This year she's in a nursing home so we have decided, once again, to have it at her house. Someone will bring her home for the day and we can have Thanksgiving at least one more time as we did in the past. Mother always cooked the dressing but last year, and I suppose from now on, that task will fall to me. Unless a daughter-in-law or niece wants to take over, and I will gladly pass the mixing spoon to her.
I am including my crock pot dressing recipe. This has been reprinted in several local church cookbooks but mine came from Old Friendship Baptist Church in Chester County.
CrockPot Chicken and Dressing
1 stick butter
2 eggs well beaten
2 C onion, chopped
1 can golden mushroom soup
2 C celery chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 large skillet of cornbread
2 C chicken broth
1 tsp poultry seasoning
2 tsp sage, or to taste
1 tsp salt
2 C cooked chicken
1/2 tsp black pepper
Saute onion and celery in 1/2 the butter. Crumble cornbread and mix all ingredients in crockpot, adding chicken last. Cook in crockpot on high for 45 minutes. Stir and continue to cook on low for 4 hours.
Note: I have found its much easier to mix all this in a very large mixing bowl, and I'll be honest with you - I use my hands! Then, pour it in crockpot. Very moist dressing! Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste.