It would be hard to tell how many Thanksgiving dinners I have cooked during the time I have been a married woman as that will be 40 years in December. In our family, the tradition is kind of that your Mom does the honors until you marry or begin to keep a home of your own and then the "rite of passage begins."
This of course is precipitated by the fact that your Mother, who has now been doing this for years, is quite over it and would like to be a spectator of the sport rather than continue to enjoy the "full contact" experience. By definition this means that you have looked at the food and mucked about with its preparation so long that you would like to beat the turkey to death and throw all the food into the side yard.
Now, as some of you will appreciate who have to work at least some of the Thanksgiving holiday.... getting this load of food together with only hours before the herd of eaters lands when you have had to work half a day requires coordination, planning and mission readiness that even NASA would envy.
I feel your pain so I am going to be putting forth some tried and true recipes that I have done ahead of time and will produce good results so that at least some of this chaos can be avoiding hopefully leaving you wanting only wanting to slap the turkey around a bit but not dismember him...At least until the appropriate moment.
Scrumptious Squash Casserole: Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees
4 cups yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 sleeve of Ritz or Townhouse crackers (Crush, but not too fine)
1 cup of excellent quality sharp cheddar (excellence in, excellence out)
2 large eggs beaten
3/4 cup of milk
2 T. butter melted
1 T. Fresh Tarragon
1 tsp. salt
ground pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of butter
In large skillet melt 2 T butter (no margarine.) Place sliced squash and chopped onion in skillet. Cover and cook on low until the squash is tender (5-10 minutes)
If you need to add a bit of water (2T) that's fine. If the squash is very fresh the water content in the squash will likely make this unnecessary. Buy local if possible to enhance this possibility.
Drain when squash is tender if there is fluid in skillet. Place contents in large bowl. Mix eggs and milk in small bowl. Mix the cheese with about 1/2 the cracker mix. Add to the squash mixture and stir. Lastly, add milk mixture and stir.
Add salt,pepper and tarragon.
Spray a 13"X 9" pan and spread squash mixture into it. Top with the remaining cracker crumbs. Dot with a bit of butter.
Bake about 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast