This is the time to start preparations for Thanksgiving dinner! I thought it would be fun to share with you what goes on at our house during this time of year. Usually all my family and sometimes a few friends come to our home to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.
It’s wild around here with kids, grandkids, and dogs running around in and out of the house. Although at this time I only have Brisket, my Basset Hound, my kids can’t stand the thought of leaving their dogs at home so there are often several extra dogs. There are grandkids chasing dogs and dogs chasing kids and it gets rather hectic!
Everyone seems to congregate in my kitchen before dinner … we drink wine and I usually have a simple appetizer to keep everyone out of the food. It takes lots of planning and preparation on my part to get all the food cooked and on the table for 15 -25 guests each year.
Weeks before I plan my menu…it actually doesn’t vary much from year to year. When our friends join us I always make Stuffing along with my Dressing. The week before Thanksgiving I will do my food shopping and then pick up my ordered turkey on Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The week of Thanksgiving I start preparing my food on Monday so that I will be ready for our big family meal!
This is my menu, shopping list, and schedule…
Thanksgiving Dinner Menu
Citrus Roasted Brined Turkey with Stuffing
Cornbread Dressing with Gravy
Smoked Country Ham Orange Cranberry Sauce
Crunchy Pecan Sweet Potatoes
Sautéed Green Beans with Onions and Bacon
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Baked Corn Casserole
Honey Wheat Rolls
Caramel Pumpkin Pie Fudge Pie Pecan Pie
Russet Potatoes Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans Corn Garlic
Red and Green Peppers
White Sugar Brown Sugar
Milk Heavy Cream
Cream Cheese Sour Cream
Make bread and biscuits for Dressing and Stuffing
Wash Thanksgiving plates and glasses
Bake sweet potatoes
Bake pumpkin for pies
Bake cornbread for Dressing
Put turkey on to brine
Bake pies and cake
Put together Sweet Potato and Corn Casseroles
Crumble breads for Dressing and Stuffing
Make hot roll dough
Make Dressing and Stuffing
Make Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Bake casseroles and dinner rolls
So there you have it…what to do and when…have fun in your kitchen!
What you hear about chicken math is true! It’s just not possible to keep yourself from getting more. Less than one week of purchasing 8 chicks I went back and bought 4 more…so now the flock is an even dozen.
You would think that would be enough… especially in view of the fact that I didn’t even have a chicken coop. A dozen chicks living in your bathroom is a reality one should question….but not me…I live in the moment.
No, I must confess, it wasn’t enough that I bought the chickens before the coop. While at D & L Feed Store I made the mistake of asking if they ever sold male chicks. They told me occasionally they re-homed roosters returned by customers who only wanted female chickens. I gave them my name and phone number asking them to let me know if they had a Barred Rock rooster that needed a home.
Six weeks later I listened to a voicemail on my cell phone stating that “my rooster” had arrived at D & L. They took my request to heart and just ordered me a little Barred Rock rooster!
The news was thrilling to me but the problem was how to explain this to JR, my short-tempered and neurotic husband who is known for his obsessive compulsive behavior. His lack of patience was on the brink of meltdown concerning the fact we shared our home, literally, with a flock of chickens. This man who lives to vacuum and clean…how would I explain that now there would be one more? And not to mention the fact that it really wouldn’t be fair to the little rooster to expect him to live with 12 chickens that were twice his size.
Biting the bullet and expecting a temper tantrum, I broke the news to JR. He took the news well… much to my surprise! Resigned to the fact…that I will have chickens…he must have given up the fight. Apparently, he’s knowledgeable about this concept of chicken math.
Shelby and I went back to Denton to the feed store picking up the little rooster we had already named Pepper. While we were there… we just went ahead and bought 2 little female chicks, an Easter Egger, Lucy, and a Silver Laced Wyandotte that we named Lola. We didn’t want Pepper to be lonely!
The new chicks had their own brooder box. As a precautionary health measure, we kept them in quarantine from the older chicks for about three weeks. After the 3rd week we introduced them to the flock, keeping them separated in their own little pen in the backyard. It was at this time that we built a temporary coop in the yard and moved the chickens into their own quarters. It really worked out well as we kept the little ones separated in the coop but they were right there with the older chickens.
Over the next few weeks the little “Three Musketeers” integrated with the main flock and finally were allowed to free range throughout the day with the big chicks. About a month ago they started all sleeping together in their coop.
Welcome to the flock…Pepper, Lola, and Lucy.
Just to let you know…this chicken math is bad news! In less than 6 weeks I have purchased baby chicks on 3 different occasions for a current count of 15 chickens. How in the world am I to resist temptation when each time I go to D & L to buy feed and they have new chicks? I feel it coming on…enticement too powerful to ignore…Chicken Math!
Anticipating the future…I’m counting my chickens…and making my list!