Bloggers spend a lot of time making holiday food before the holidays actually occur and staging it and taking pretty pictures with natural or professional lighting, so I thought it would be nice to share what we actually ate for Thanksgiving – complete with snapshots of our food crowded table without a tripod in poor lighting. You know, just our real Thanksgiving.
Steve and I have Thanksgiving with my parents, and it is just the four of us as all of our children go to either the other side of the family or in-laws or friends or somewhere other than our house for Thanksgiving. As you can see from the photos, we had way too much food for four people and are still eating it.
Steve deep fried a turkey that you will read about on Monday and cooked collard greens in the slow cooker. I made dressing, cranberry salad (my grandmother’s recipe), sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, and gravy. My mother brought squash casserole and her famous pecan pie. Both Steve and my dad are diabetics and diabetes runs in my mother’s family, so this is way too much starch and sugar, so I modified the cranberry salad and sweet potato casserole a bit. The cranberry salad has flavored gelatin in it, so I substituted the sugar-free version. Without getting into a health discussion, I have figured out that you can use about half artificial sweetener or stevia and half real sugar without making a difference in taste. So, the sugar free gelatin mixed with the cranberry sauce was undetectable. For the sweet potato casserole, I left all the sugar out of the sweet potato part, and just put it in the topping. This was so good. I liked it better than the sugar sweetened version, and it saved a ton of calories and sugar grams. I will have to do it again and write it up for you.
The mashed potatoes were a new experiment that worked really well. I cooked them and mashed them entirely in the slow cooker. I definitely need to perfect that (as in write down what I do) and share it with you because it keeps you from trying to keep them hot and mashing or whipping frantically at the last minute. So, many things that I cook for the family are like the mashed potatoes in that I really don’t have a recipe. I mean I know I used about four pounds of potatoes and stick of butter, but I also used a little water (no idea how much) and milk that I added until they were the correct consistency, but I couldn’t tell you how much milk I used. I really need to take those everyday kind of things and measure them out and share them with you.