Family Stories: “2020” Thanksgiving for Two!

Like everything else this year… large family dinners have been frowned on, but even though it’s only the two of us… we still have to eat. I’m not as crazy for cooking anymore, but I still like to eat! After giving it more though… I told hubby that I really need a cook… I received no response!

Last year’s Thanksgiving was spent in Florida with my son, daughter-in-law and our three beautiful granddaughters. What’s best about being there for fall and winter holidays is… you’re able to eat outside! They have an enclosed back porch where most meals are enjoyed unless it’s sweltering hot, but Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually eaten outside. We enjoyed Thanksgiving there and even celebrated Christmas on Saturday before leaving. The granddaughters were treated to an early Christmas as they opened our presents while we were there.

Turkey dinner with my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughters in Florida (2019)

Anna patiently waiting at the table! Someone was hungry!!!

And finally…. we sit down to dinner on the enclosed Florida porch where you always eat Thanksgiving and even Christmas dinner!

Now this is the sign of a great dinner… and typical of a Thanksgiving meal! (one of my favorite photos of 2019)

This year I opted for a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey. Hubby always suggests the breast each year and I usually balk, saying “well, I can save the dark meat to freeze for pot pies.” The problem with that is, too many times I’ve never used it… later to only be thrown away. This year I caved in…. and as we had turned off our basement fridge, I didn’t want to be turning it back on anytime soon. Two people “shouldn’t” need two refrigerators, plus a separate freezer.

In preparation this year, I began cooking on Tuesday as my granddaughters were coming for Wednesday… and I have difficulty cooking with anyone in my kitchen; I tend to lose concentration and forget ingredients. Just ask my kids, and they’ll tell you how I always shooed them out of the kitchen! I feel bad now, as they don’t have those memories of baking with me… only of being shooed out of my kitchen!

Tuesday’s work consisted of making our favorite Broccoli Casserole with cheddar cheese and lots of crushed Ritz crackers on top. I used to layer Velveeta cheese on top of the broccoli, but lately I have tried using shredded cheddar as I always have it in the fridge… and the Velveeta is so pricey.

Next on my list was sweet potato souffle, and as I had more potatoes then needed, I decided last minute to make a sweet potato pie. I had to call my daughter to bring me pie crusts as the ones I’ve been shuffling all around in the freezer, didn’t smell like dough… guess I’ve been shuffling them around for a tad too long! And the old saying of “if in doubt, throw out” definitely applied to them. For the brown sugar topping, I substituted regular pecans for a bag of chopped cinnamon pecans that I bought in Perry last year… figuring they should be perfect!

I even sauteed my trio of celery, onions and mushrooms for my stuffing; after I fry the sausage on Thursday, I’ll add them into the stuffing mixture. I’m so looking forward to eating my stuffing this year… in eating out it’s just never the same when it’s not your own! I’m adding a new ingredient of cranberries in my stuffing this year… hope I remember. Last night I read that you should let them plump up in water before adding; I’m sure it’ll be tasty as we enjoy cranberry sauce on our plates.

My last veggie dish will be cooked on Thursday morning as it’s an easy peasy dish… my “Cooked to Death Green Beans“. I learned to cook them from my mother, but I’ve changed it up a bit from her way of using canned green beans. I like using the frozen Italian flat beans the best… and just recently I’ve learned that they are actually called Romano Beans. If I use canned beans, which I’m using this year, I always drain off the water they come in and rinse, then add to a pan with low-sodium chicken broth with a few slices of bacon cut in pieces, about half a cup of chopped onion, and lots of pepper. I never add salt because I’m simmering them in chicken broth, but I taste at the end to see what’s needed. If you’re wondering what the funny name of “Cooked to Death“… it’s because you simmer them to death on low, for the flavors to meld together and become very soft. It’s the only way I enjoy green beans other than a summer cold green bean and potato salad. This is a true Southern dish along with my sweet potato souffle… but many all over the country now make them! Thanks to the Food Network channel, many Southern dishes have gained popularity.

Two of my favorite pies… Sweet Potato and Chocolate Lemon…. I opted to buy the lemon as who has time to bake everything!

Our Thanksgiving for Two

    • Turkey Breast
    • Stuffing with cranberries
    • Sweet Potato Souffle
    • Broccoli Casserole
    • Cooked to Death Green Beans
    • Cranberry Sauce
    • Desserts:
    • Lemon Chocolate Pie
    • Sweet Potato Pie

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving… and no matter where you are, or who you’re eating with… family and friends are thinking of each other, even if we can’t all be together this year. Let’s all pray that 2021 will be a better year for us all!


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© 2020, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

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This entry was posted in Daily Writings and funnies..., Family Recipes and Memories, Family Stories and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Family Stories: “2020” Thanksgiving for Two!

  1. GP Cox says:

    Help – my turkey got away!

    Liked by 1 person

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