October 13, 2017

Ten Things You Might Not Know You Need This Thanksgiving


I think it's important you know right from the start that this post has nothing to do with the latest in turkey basters or brine injection systems.

I'm not going to tell you what to do if your turkey is dry. (Slice it thin and add some extra broth, I think...but I go with an herb-butter basted turkey breast every year and just skirt the dry meat matter entirely.)

On the other hand, if you find yourself needing one of these other Thanksgiving non-essential-but-nice-to-haves, here's what we're thankful to have on hand in our house.

1. If you need a Thanksgiving book that will become a family classic: Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember, by Barbara Rainey. This is our family's go-to Thanksgiving resource. Filled with rich details about the voyage to the new world (condensed version: this was no Carnival cruise), life for the Pilgrims (condensed version: this was no "woo hoo, we got away from jolly old England" vacation), and the history of Thanksgiving as a national holiday (condensed version: Sarah Josepha Hale was one determined woman), this instant heirloom also offers President Lincoln's entire 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation and journal pages for recording your family's personal thanksgivings. 

2. If you need a new appreciation for what the Pilgrims went through: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with The Mayflower Voyagers. Trust the Peanuts gang to tell the Thanksgiving story in their own fun-but-factual fashion. Even my teenagers love to watch this double feature. For one thing, it makes them thankful they weren't Pilgrims.

3. If you need Thanksgiving dinner background music: George Winston's Autumn album. Soothing, somehow seasonal music, and no lyrics to compete with conversation. May possibly encourage your dinner guests to linger at the table for at least a quarter of the time it took you to put the whole meal together. 

4. If you need the world's best pie crust: My mom's pie crust. A couple unusual ingredients push this over the edge into flaky-yet-workable fame. Think you can't make your own pie crust? With this recipe you can..and with this recipe, you'll be glad you did. You could fill this crust with almost anything, and it would give you something to be thankful for.

My Mom's Pie Crust {print}

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into smallish pieces
1/2 cup shortening, cold
1 egg
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Throw in the pieces of butter and tablespoon-sized "portions" of shortening and cut all these into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or a fork or two knives. Whisk the remaining crust ingredients and toss with the flour mixture until it starts to form a ball. Add a couple extra drops of water if it seems too dry. Divide in thirds, form into balls, wrap in plastic, and chill until you want to roll out and use. (You need to at least rest and chill the dough for an hour or so, but longer is even better.) You can also freeze your dough portions for at least a few months. Whenever you use it, roll it out and bake it according to the directions for whatever recipe you're using it with. 

Makes 3 (9") single-crust pie shells 

5. If you need a Thanksgiving banner even a "crappy crafter" (as the birthday card my sister gave me one year put it) can make: this gorgeous Thanksgiving banner from The Deliberate Mom. Truly, if I (personal hashtag: #idkhowtodiy) can make this, anyone can make it. 

6. If you need a plan for when the day doesn't go as planned: this post in which I recall the Thanksgiving I was surprised by good. 

7. If you need an alternative to "let's go around the table and say something we're thankful for": NOT, mind you, that there's anything wrong with doing that! I happen to love this tradition. But depending on the crowd you've got gathered, sometimes it's nice to have an option that doesn't require people to think on the spot. A couple years ago, I made Scripture place cards using the word "THANKS" as my guide. Each Scripture contained a word that started with one letter of the word "thanks." We went around the table, and each guest read the Scripture on their card. A little cutesy, but very Thanksgiving-y. It just so happened we had 6 people to go with the six letters, but you could adapt this idea based on how many guests will be gathered around your feast. And if you need a one-stop-shopping source for Thanksgiving Bible verses, you'll find a lovely collection here at Daily Bouquets

Click here for a printable version of this. 

8. If you need a classic Thanksgiving sitcom episode: "Thanksgiving orphans," from Cheers. (Warning: food-fight alert.) 

9. If you need a lesser-known-but-should-be-classic Thanksgiving sitcom episode: "Thanksgiving Until It Hurts" from Dharma and Greg. I'm already laughing just thinking about it. 

10. If you need a quote about gratitude that puts everything in perspective: "Gratitude gets us through the hard stuff. To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God's accomplishments. To rehearse God's accomplishments is to discover His heart. To discover His heart is to discover not just good gifts but the Good Giver. Gratitude leaves us looking at God and away from dread. It does to anxiety what the morning sun does to valley mist. It burns it up." (Max Lucado)




Now it's your turn: what do I need for Thanksgiving that I don't know I need? 
Please let me know about it, either in a comment or over on my Facebook page
Blessings on all your Thanksgiving preparations!


**This post may be been shared at some of these blog link parties.**

25 comments:

  1. We're big fans of that Charlie Brown around here! And I'm still so happy you introduced me to George Winston!

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    1. Aw, another sweet thing we have in common! Many, many Thanksgiving blessings to you this season, my friend.

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  2. My mom's crust recipe sounds really similar to your's; we love how flaky it comes out!

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    1. Isn't that the best? Really, if you have a good pie crust recipe, that puts you ahead of so many games in life. ;) Happy Thanksgiving season to you!

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    2. Happy Thanksgiving season to you too. Thanks for sharing with us at Love to Learn; Pinned.

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  3. I love this roundup- I'd add the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm absolutely counting down until I can "officially" start watching those Thanksgiving sitcom classics! Have a blessed Thanksgiving season, filled with laughter (and pie). :)

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  4. Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing this great read at Blogger's Pit Stop :) Deb

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    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Deb! I LOVE the Blogger's Pit Stop...in fact, as a blogger, it's one of the newest things I'm most thankful for! :)

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  5. What a lovely post! Happy Thanksgiving! I am listening to George Winston right now. Thanks for the pie crust recipe. I've never been successful with pie crust, but maybe, just maybe, this will be the recipe that works! ;-) -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    Hopping over from Bloggers Pit Stop

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    1. Well, Marci, what a lovely comment you've left as a gift for me here! Thank you so much! I certainly understand fear of pie crust, but I do have to say my mom's recipe can be a game-changer. Even if it doesn't look perfect when it's rolled out (mine never does), it tastes amazing...tender and flaky! Oh, my. Okay, must calm down. ;) I'm over on your absolutely delightful site right this minute...so glad I "met" you today via the fabulous Bloggers Pit Stop!

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  6. I made this pie crust last night. It is wonderful!! Thanks again for the recipe!! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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    1. AHH! Marci! Wow! You weren't kidding when you said "maybe, just maybe..."! :) I love that you jumped right on it, and I'm SO happy it worked for you, and I'm SO, SO grateful you took time to tell me about it. This just makes my heart happy...among other reasons, because everyone needs good pie in their life, and let's face it: that starts with the crust. Happy pie eating to you!

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  7. A yoga session. Take some time to breathe and relax before jumping in to the busy day.

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    1. What a much-needed reminder! I'll do my best to check this off my list as Thanksgiving Day gets closer! Thank you for this wise addition!

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  8. To go for a walk.
    I think it is great to get the family outside for fresh air and exercise after Thanksgiving dinner. It's so easy to mindlessly sit in front of the TV to watch football while in a food coma after eating. It's more meaningful to do something together where you can visit and reflect. A walk is perfect for this (plus it's helpful given all of the turkey and sweet potatoes that were consumed).

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    1. Great addition, Shannon! :) I also start my Thanksgiving Day with a long walk/prayer time, as I do every day...it helps me get heart and mind in the right place and makes me feel I've already gotten something accomplished. Blessings on your Thanksgiving season!

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  9. Shamefully I cannot recall ever having attempted a homemade pie crust... Sure I'll make you some pies-- I made an apple pie just this past Sunday (which may have had to cook longer than usual because someone didn't pay attention to the fact it was a deep dish crust..ahem...) but the crust thing has always been a mystery! And I would add The Middle's "Thanksgiving VII" to your sitcoms to watch :) I also now want to host Thanksgiving... in my tiny kitchen with only 2 chairs.. (don't ask) because all your suggestions seem so lovely. Not that my sister-in-law isn't a gracious host...it's just more grab and growl over there than come and dine... :) Happy {early} Turkey Day Elizabeth!

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    1. NOT shamefully, girl! It's just that I can't make all the pretty things YOU do, so I make pie crust instead. Also, you should totally host Thanksgiving and please someday tell me the story of your two chairs. Also, "grab and growl"?! BAHAHAHA!!! xoxo

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  10. Oh, what a fun list of things! I just love all the Peanuts specials. I really need to own them.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    #thisishowwerolllinky

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    1. Hi, Lauren...thank you so much for stopping by! I have to say YES to owning the Peanuts' collection...we have Valentine's, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Election Day, and even as old as my girls are, we still love watching as a family. :) #timelessclassics

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  11. So many great ideas!! Thank you for the link to that album, that will be perfect background music! :)

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    1. Thank you, Jamie...glad I could fill in one piece of your Thanksgiving dinner puzzle! ;) Have a lovely holiday, filled with gratitude and celebration (and pie). :)

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  12. You've got everything I do need right here. Love #10! Congrats, you're featured on the This Is How We Roll Link Party.

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    1. Oh my goodness, thank you SO much, Susan!! I am completely honored! And #10 is my favorite, too. Blessings on your Thanksgiving!

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!