It’s Time to Give Thanks – How to Make Your Thanksgiving Special

When I was growing up I always thought Thanksgiving was a bit boring.  For me it was Halloween and then bring on Christmas!  But as I got older I gained an appreciation for Thanksgiving and what it stands for.  Of course there’s the turkey and all the fixings, but it’s much more than that.  It’s a time to come together with family and friends and remind ourselves of our blessings and give thanks.


When I moved to Australia almost twenty-three years ago I wanted to continue my family’s holiday traditions.  I’ve hosted Thanksgiving almost every year since moving here and friends and family alike look forward to our American holiday.  There are a few staple items that I serve every Thanksgiving.  In other words it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without these dishes!  I’d like to share three of my favorite recipes with you.  The first one is my Mama’s Dressing:


The next recipe is for Sweet Potato Casserole.  Many years ago when working for a defence contractor in Jackson, MS a co-worker gave me this recipe and I’ve made it ever since!  It doesn’t have the marshmallows that many sweet potato recipes have.  Have a read and see what you think:


The last recipe that I would like to share is my Aunt Carol’s Pecan Pie.  It is THE best!  I actually make it all of the time because it’s my son’s favorite!


When deciding on my Thanksgiving menu, in addition to these staple items, I like to include recipes that can be made ahead of time and/or cooked slowly in a crockpot.  You want to make sure that everything doesn’t have to be in the oven at the same time (unless you have lots of ovens!).  I have a warming drawer (which is THE best appliance I’ve ever owned) so that helps tremendously.  I also like to make out a schedule of what needs to be put in the oven or stovetop and when.  This is based on what time I plan on serving dinner.  In my menu I am sure to include hors d’ oeuvres, but only something light.  You don’t want your guests filling up before the main attraction!


I like everything to be special for my guests when I’m entertaining and over the years I’ve discovered several little touches that accomplish this, such as setting a beautiful table and buffet.  I like to set up my buffet on the kitchen island because it’s easier for everyone to serve themselves.  Some decorative elements I like to include are flowers, a framed menu (so guests know what they’re in for) and a table runner.  It’s also a nice option to create different levels on your table or island.  You can do this by stacking books and then covering them with a table cloth or runner.  This will give your table interest and dimension.


Second in importance, after the meal of course, is the table.  In my post “Tablescapes…Making Your Guests Feel Special” dated 10/22/18 I’ve depicted several different ways to decorate your dinner table along with ideas to make it special for your guests.   These range from special place cards (I like to make my own), a decorative item on the plates and snazzy napkin placement and/or folding.


No matter what you serve or what your table looks like just remember two things… your family and friends are happy to be all together and to give thanks for all that God has provided.










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