16 Days

16 days.

That's all I got. 16 days to learn to cook a turkey.....and clean my house.

Thanksgiving is at my house this year. What? I've never ever had a holiday at my house before. Come to think of it, I've never had ANYTHING at my house before. My house was full right after my kids were born, but I hardly call that entertaining. That is more just sleep deprivation mixed with people to wait on you hand-and-foot for a couple of days. I am not blessed with the gift of hospitality at all. God blessed me with lots of things, I know, but I am 100% sure that hospitality is not one of them. So, even though this is for MY family...this is still taking about all I got to hold it together!!

With my parents in the middle of their move, their house is off the docket for holiday hosting this year, so my sister and I are splitting up the get-togethers. She has Christmas; I got Thanksgiving.

So, I'm really excited about everyone coming, but I'm beginning to get a little nervous. Not sure why I'm nervous, since it is just my mom, dad, sister, and her family, but still a little anxious. I think it is my crazy need for perfectionism. It is never going to happen with this crew, but still. It's Thanksgiving....I want it to be just great.

So, in order for Thanksgiving to be all fine and dandy, I need to figure out this whole food situation. Here's the deal....I don't cook. At least not like that. My idea of meal planning is what one vegetable (which comes in a can) goes best with the mac-n-cheese (which comes in a box). Seriously. So, the thought of endless pots and bowls and platters is a little daunting to me.

I also have to figure out sleeping arrangements, entertainment options, and, oh no, menus for all the other meals. I think everyone is going to be here for at least 3 nights, possibly 4, so things are going to get really interesting around here really fast!

If you have have any suggestions or tips for holiday hosting or any super great recipes, please send them to me....I need all the help I can get! If you just want to send me your condolences...I'll take those, too!!


mer@lifeat7000feet said...

You can do it, Amber. Cooking a turkey is really pretty easy! I also have a great recipe for cornbread dressing...I'll email it to you.

We usually have:
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Rolls (Sister Schuberts are terrific!)
Green peas or green bean casserole
Cranberry sauce (homemade, and EASY!)
and lots of desserts

I'll send some recipes your way!

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

How fun!!! The years that my mom and dad lived in Ft. Worth we celebrated Thanksgiving at my house...my crew, mom, dad, brother, two step-sisters and their families.

We usually have:
Turkey--super easy...get a large foil pan for easy clean up and I recommend a turkey with the pop-up thingy that tells you when it's done and I use those roasting bags.
Hashbrown casserole-church cookbook--easy
Lazy Green Bean Bundles-very easy
Rolls-I'm with Mer-Sister Schuberts
Canned cranberry sauce
Dressing-I don't make good dressing so don't ask me although last year's wasn't bad. I want Mer's recipe!
Desserts-Mrs. Smith's pies--the pecan and the Apple Crumb are delicious! All you need is ice cream. Or buy a cheesecake sampler from Wal-mart.

Are you doing your big meal for lunch? If so, don't plan anything for supper because you'll have plenty of leftovers.

The hardest part is timing when to put stuff in the oven because you can't cook it all at once.

Jo said...

First thing....get out your handy-dandy Edwards' Favorites cookbook and scan for some scrumptious recipes...most of them are fairly easy. You have to kind of plan what to fix when, to make everything come together at a reasonably similar time. I'm sure though, with your mom and sis there during the major cooking time, everyone will pitch in and it will all turn out just fine.

Besides, it's not like you have to fix the "perfect" meal or have your house in "perfect" order...it's about family, and enjoying one another and the reason for the holiday.

It's gonna be great, girl! I know it!

Love ya!
Aunt Jo

Mandy said...

I agree, the turkey is easy. My advice would be to make as many dishes ahead as possible.
As for cooking for the other meals, think crock pot. Vegetable soup and cornbread, Frito Chili Pie, baked potatoes. Easy stuff that people can add what they like and just make a huge salad.

Stephanie @ My Answered Prayer said...

The turkey is really not as bad as you think. I'm with Mer but my cranberry sauce was out of a can.

You may try honeycomb or dino's to see about desserts to help you out. Dino's has some awesome cheesecakes.

Also, the school is doing a fundraiser and selling those big delicious school cinammon rolls. Let me know if you want some...you can freeze them. They are 6 for $6. They are huge!!!!

Mich said...

You worry too much! I said I would help!!!

As for cleaning...I totally understand...just pick up the floor, that you can see, we will glance at it and then the kids will trash it in five minutes.

Sleeping arrangements? You have a couch don't you? :)

It's going to be fun! Love ya!

Becky said...

You can do this Amber! Believe me, I am NOT great at the big meal thing. Just ask Mer and Steph...I forgot the chicken in the CHICKEN spaghetti once and also forgot to boil the macaroni for mac'n'cheese one time. Nothing like getting ready to add cheese to boiling water!

However, I did pull off a Thanksgiving meal w/part of Justin's family one year. I also managed a Christmas meal w/my Dad's family one year. Great thing about family is that they don't care about perfection!

Turkey really is easy. Mashed potatoes, Sister Schuberts rolls, Stove Top stuffing, Green Bean Bundles (just toss in all the ingredients and don't worry about bundling...it tastes the same and saves time), can cranberry sauce and dessert. I know you like to bake so dessert should be the fun part...besides it is the best part!

buscher3 said...

We have a smoker you can borrow if you want. Then you can claim you slaved over a turkey for 8 hours while the smoker does all the cooking for you. It even has flavored wood chips if you want to stick that in there for some added flavor. That's always how we cook our turkeys and we're going out of town this year.

As for recipes, look on www.allrecipes.com and they always have featured meals on the front...most of which this month have to do with Thanksgiving. Type in thanksgiving and I'm sure it will give you a ton of stuff.

Jennifer said...

Here's a couple of my fav. Thanksgiving recipes:
Crockpot Dressing
1-8 in. pan of cooked cornbread
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
2 cans chicken broth
4 c. bread of left over biscuits
1 onion, chopped
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 tsp. sage or rosemary
Coat crock pot generously w/ cooking spray or butter. Crumble cornbread and biscuits. Mix all ingredients together, place in crock pot and dot with butter. Cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours. Check every 45 minutes and stir if needed or add more chickne broth. Pre-cooked chicken or turkey may be added to the recipe.

Sweet Potato Souffle
2 c. mashed sweet potatoes
2 beaten eggs
1 c. evaporated milk
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. melted butter
Mix well and pour into greased Pyrex. Bake 20 min. at 350 degrees
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. coconut
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. pecans
Stir all together and pour over potatoes. Bake at 300 degrees until bubbly.

sprocketqueen said...

I am with you totally sister!! If I had to have a holiday at my house we would be eating a Cracker Barrel meal. I only have to cook for Savana and I so big meals are non existent in my house. You will do fine just go to http://www.allrecipes.com they have great recipes!! Good luck!!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...


I posted my dressing recipe here:

I can't find my cranberry sauce recipe right now, but I bet if you googled it, you'd find a million. My husband actually prefers the canned kind, but the rest of my family (adults) are snobs.

Definitely make the green bean bundles...and Becky is right...you don't have to roll them. I even buy those real bacon pieces and put that on top saving you from having to touch raw bacon...ewww!

You can SO do this!