Wednesday, November 26, 2014

An Easy Thanksgiving, Right?

I recently read an article in Better Homes and Gardens magazine about Thanksgiving entertaining. The concept sounded lovely. Yes, it made me want to entertain guests in my home for Thanksgiving weekend.

According to the article, all I need to do is knit slippers for each guest; leave lists directing guests to first aid, fire extinguishers and t.v. remotes; cue Netflix up with Thanksgiving movies; make gourmet popcorn; buy guest toothbrushes with the word "guest" engraved on them; create serenity in the guest room; make snacks for their trip home; and cook Thanksgiving dinner. 

Sounds totally reasonable.
Wait, does it?
Not really.
It sounds like Thanksgiving on steroids.
We have a no 'roids policy around here, so here's what's really gonna happen...
  • There is no work or school, so my children will be awake and ready to play around 4:30a.m, which means I will be awake at 4:30a.m.
  • I will start cooking and realize I've forgotten to buy at least 3 key ingredients. This will lead to an hour long Google search for ingredient substitutions with a side of pre-Black Friday browsing.
  • My mom and I will be working in the kitchen together. We have very different cooking styles, so things may get a little harried. Did I mention we've been living with my parents for the last four months? Take a moment to let that sink in.
  • I will assign the kiddos the job of making place mats for the guests. They will want to use glue, glitter, scraps of wire and draw super heroes killing bad guys. They may even throw a couple Pilgrims into the battle. I guess that counts as Thanksgiving-ish.
  • It's now 10:30a.m. and I have been up since 4:30, so technically my day is half over already. I think this qualifies me for an extra cup or two of coffee. Or a piece of pie. Or maybe an adult beverage.(My tech support guy read this and thought I may come across as an alcoholic with this statement. For the record, I'm not.)
  • I will come up with some festive party games to which all in attendance will grumble about. Think Turkey Tag or a Turkey Trot.
The great thing about Thanksgiving is that whether you're going the the BH&G route(and I truly admire you if you are), or you're celebrating with homemade place mats and party games we all have a lot to be thankful for, and I, for one choose to remember those things today and everyday.

Among my most precious blessings
My 4:30a.m. wake-up call
My current house mates
My tech support guy

Needless to say, we're keeping it simple at the Zimmerman/Prince household this year. Read on for the easiest, most beautiful cranberry recipe you'll ever make.

10 Minute Cranberry Sauce

1-2 cups sugar, to taste (I used 1 cup because I like to keep the cranberries tart)
2 cups water
5 cups fresh cranberries
1 cinnamon stick(optional)
zest of half an orange(optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla(optional)

  1. Put sugar and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Add cranberries.
  4. Boil without stirring for an additional 5 minutes. When all of the skins have popped remove from heat.
  5. Pour into a container and let cool.  
This recipe can be made up to 2 days in advance and is great with any, all, or none of the optional ingredients. Use whatever you have on hand. 

Extra cranberries? Use them as a filler around pillar candles in glass containers or jars. Or as a cocktail garnish. 


  1. Love the story and the recipe. Thank you and hsve a great Thanksgiving

  2. Yumm! It's on the stove right now. I used my own vanilla extract in rum ;-)