As I searched through the recipes here on my blog to find some of the traditional Thanksgiving foods, like cranberry sauce and pumpkin crunch, I found the recipes attached to photos of previous Thanksgivings where the table(s) groaned under the weight of the dishes. More than once, another surface had to be quickly cleared to find a place for more dishes as the last families arrived with their contribution to the meal.
Like so many of you this year is not going to be that kind of day. We will be having turkey for two. And we surely won't have that many choices of casseroles to fill our plate. I am working on the basics today. Fingers crossed the turkey turns out okay tomorrow. It's a little one. I am never the one cooking the turkey so we hope it will be edible.
Yesterday I heard from friends and family whose plans were still changing. Plans were aborted at the last minute when people thought really hard about traveling, or sharing a restaurant meal. And one sweet friend planned a celebration of life service this week instead of a Thanksgiving dinner. So what is there to be thankful about this year?
|One of the tables at last year's feast.|
For me, high on the list is the huge store of Thanksgiving memories of large gatherings with so much food you never tasted it all. Decades of Thanksgiving memories like that are in my head. And I'm thankful for Zoom so that we can share dessert tomorrow with the littles. Am I thankful that I won't have as many dishes to wash in the morning? Maybe a tiny bit. It was always a lot of work to get the food cooked, packed up and make it to the destination by noon. But it was great fun.
Maybe you are still having a big gathering. Maybe you are home alone. Maybe it's a small group sitting around tables outside. Maybe some new traditions will be started. I, for one, am just thankful for another day.
If you have never tried this recipe I'm posting it again. It isn't new. We've been making it for years. But I took it to my book club last fall and it was the surprise hit that made it to several Thanksgiving tables last year. Even the non-pumpkin lovers enjoy this one. It's easy. Can be made the day ahead.
Mine is cooling right now. This year I only put nuts on half of it. (Daddy-O and nuts do not get along well.)
15-oz. can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
12-oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 box yellow cake mix
1 and 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1 to 1-1/2 cup chopped nuts
Mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, and cinnamon thoroughly and pour into a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
Sprinkle dry cake mix (straight out of the box) over pumpkin mixture. Pour melted butter over cake mix. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake 1 hour at 350º. Let cool completely
1 8-oz block cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar
1 8-oz container Cool Whip
Using a hand mixer, blend cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in powdered sugar. Then mix in whipped topping. Spread over cooled pumpkin cake. Refrigerate. Cut into squares to serve. Can sprinkle lightly with cinnamon or chopped pecans to garnish. (I never do this part.)