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November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Menu and Holiday Cooking

Mashed potatoes and gravy
Harvard beets
Cranberry sauce
Pumpkin pie

My "cookbook" is a 3-ring notebook. I like it much better than 3x5 recipe cards; I can photocopy a magazine page, or print a recipe from a website or email.

The Beverages section of the binder was completely empty until one holiday season a few years ago. We use the same basic menu every year, with recipes from several sources. Tired of looking in the index of yet another cookbook, I decided to start a Holiday section in the binder.

I typed/printed the recipes for each dish, even the ones in real cookbooks, along with directions for roasting the turkey, what kind of cranberry sauce hubby likes best, my piecrust recipe, and any modifications I make to a recipe. I noted how many people it would feed, if it required a pan I use only once or twice a year and if so, where it's stored. I put down on paper my mother's fruit salad recipe that's been stored in my head all these years. All this info is now in one place.

Our daughter asked me yesterday if I am going to make "those yummy rolls". I had to stop and think about it, but then I remembered that the recipe is in the binder. I didn't realize the rolls were special to her, and might have disappointed her with a different recipe if I didn't have it all printed out for me, or not even have bothered to make them this year since there will only be three of us around the table.

There's no thinking involved at this point; I just do what the binder tells me to do. Having everything in one place is a good tool for someone whose memory can be a bit weak at times too (senior moments).

What are your holiday meal traditions?

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