Boosted, with gratitude, from Tense Teacher.
Which do you like better: Cooking at your house, or going elsewhere?
I much prefer to host Christmas, so I never gripe about going to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving. In fact, Thanksgiving has NEVER been held at Chez Chili.
Do you buy a fresh or frozen bird?
Chili turkeys are always frozen – MIL buys a frozen bird for Thanksgiving and I buy another one for Christmas (though I’m considering a prime rib roast this year…)
What kind of stuffing?
Depends. My MIL does both homemade and Pepperidge Farms, depending on how on the ball she is. I kind of prefer the PF stuffing; there’s far more consistency, and it can be made better with a little tinkering of the recipe. When I make it, I use PF with the appropriate tinkering, and cook it OUTSIDE the bird
Sweet potato or pumpkin pie?
I make sweet potatoes as a side dish (roasted with just a little bit of butter and maple syrup). My MIL makes pumpkin pie, but I don’t eat it. I’m not a “spicy” sweet kind of girl; I prefer chocolate.
Do you believe that turkey leftovers are a curse, or the point of the whole thing?
I believe that I’ve already CLEARLY established my love of turkey dinner sandwiches.
Which side dish would provoke a riot if it was left off the menu?
Several folks have gotten pretty fond of my creamed onions (I know, I know – don’t knock ’em till you’ve tried ’em). Frankly, if there’s no canned cranberry sauce, I would pitch a fit.
Do you save the carcass to make soup or stock?
No. I did one year – made stock, that is – and ended up throwing the whole lot of it out about six months later in a freezer purge.
What do you wish you had that would make preparing Thanksgiving dinner easier?
More patience. My MIL is a bit of a forgetful cook, but then she can get cranky when Mr. Chili and I commandeer the kitchen.
Do you get up at the crack of dawn to have dinner ready in the early afternoon, or do you eat at your normal dinner hour?
MIL gets up pretty early to put the bird in, but we usually end up eating right around “late lunch” time. This year will be a little later, I think, but not by much.
If you go to somebody else’s house, what’s your favorite dish to bring?
I’m always tasked with bringing the aforementioned onions and a gallon of apple cider. This year, I’m also bringing some alternative dessert – pumpkin pie and plum pudding (shudder!) don’t appeal to me.
What do you wish one of your guests wouldn’t bring to your house?
Plum pudding. (shudder!)
Does your usual mix of guests result in drama, or is it a group you’re happy to see?
Oh, there’s always drama, but we’re good, stoic New Englanders, so we pretend not to notice.
What’s your absolute favorite thing on the menu?
Mmmm. Gravy and cranberry sauce (but NOT together!)
What are you thankful for this year?
Gratitude is a way of life for me.
Share one family tradition –
I don’t know if this qualifies, but there always has to be SOME consternation surrounding the television.
How many Thanksgivings do you attend?
One. We go to visit my people after dinner.
Where do you attend Thanksgiving(s)?
Mother Chili’s this year. Probably Auntie L’s next year.
Do you have turkey, ham, or both?
Name your fave thing about Thanksgiving.
That after-dinner triptophan buzz
Do you use brown gravy or turkey gravy?
I make turkey gravy from scratch. I’ve been doing it since the second year I was with Mr. Chili (they didn’t make me cook the first year), and now it’s kind of a tradition.
Do you help clean up after Thanksgiving?
Usually. When we’re at Auntie L’s, though, she makes a fuss about it, so we try to help in stealthy, sneaky ways.
What is your least favorite dish at Thanksgiving?
Plum pudding (shudder!)
Out of everything you eat at Thanksgiving, what can YOU cook the best?
I am a goddess in the kitchen. Nothing is beyond my magic.
Do you kill your own turkey?
What?! Who does that?!
What do you drink with your Thanksgiving feast?
We start with daiquiris (the REAL kind, with lime juice – not the frozen frou-frou drinks), then move on to wine. Just keep it coming, please!
Has there ever been a feud during your Thanksgiving?
Like I said… stoic New Englanders. We seethe on the inside
What kind of veggies do you have with Thanksgiving?
Green bean casserole, sometimes there’s peas, we always have the creamed onions (I KNOW, already!) and potatoes of several different varieties. Oh! One year I made glazed carrots. I might do that again… they were yummy, as I recall…
Do you have appetizers before you Thanksgiving meal?
There are usually crackers and cheese and veggies, but nothing more than that. Don’t want to spoil dinner.
How many people attend your Thanksgiving(s)?
Only 8 this year, and I think that MIL is a bit put out by that. Oh, well!
Have you ever missed a Thanksgiving?
Do you eat Thanksgiving leftovers?
What kind of pie/cake/dessert do you eat for dessert?
I can tell you what I DON’T eat (shudder)!
Do you ever play games at Thanksgiving?
Oh, GOD, no! It’s polite, stoic, New England conversation over coffee and pie.
What time do you eat Thanksgiving?
Usually “late lunch” time – somewhere between two and three o’clock.
Is there anyone who has normally attended Thanksgiving who will not be there this year? Who?
Yes, and that’s what has MIL so put out. Auntie L’s two children and their spouses will not be in attendance this year, though I think Mother Chili suspects that, were dinner held at Auntie L’s, they would be. I also hate that my sister doesn’t join us, but I TOTALLY get why she chooses to eat her dinner elsewhere.
Which person eats the MOST?
Which person eats the LEAST?
Briefly describe what the women typically do on Thanksgiving.
Which women? I usually cook and try to engage my father-in-law in conversation. Oh, I drink, too – does that count?
Briefly describe what the men typically do on Thanksgiving.
Talk and eat (though Mr. Chili also cooks with me… oh, and he drinks with me, too; he’s good like that).
Do any animals attend Thanksgiving dinner?
Not any more. Auntie L used to have a dog, but he died a while back. Mother and Father Chili don’t keep cats anymore.
If so, do they get Thanksgiving scraps?
Who carves the turkey?
Usually Father Chili, though my husband has taken the task on occasion
Have you ever had to make Thanksgiving all on YOUR OWN?
Not yet. I’ve made most of Christmas dinner all on my own, though; it’s no big deal.
Do you get along with the people you have Thanksgiving with?
Baked turkey or fried turkey?
Roasted. (Baked?! You BAKE a cake; you roast a turkey. Sheesh!)
Do you eat gizzards?
EEEEEWWWW! Mother Chili sets out two gravy boats, and the ickies go in one of them. I don’t take from that one. Blech!
Do you like whipped cream on your pumpkin pie?
If I ate pumpkin pie, I’d say yes. I don’t, so no.
Is your Thanksgiving formal, or do you just do whatever?
It’s pretty formal, actually. We dress up; there are candles and cloth napkins and centerpieces. No one puts elbows on the table and the T.V. never gets turned on.
Is your Christmas tree set up before or after Thanksgiving?
AFTER. We usually wait until about the second weekend in December.
On a scale of 1-10, how much do you LOVE Thanksgiving?
I’d give it about an 8.