A Day of Thanks

by | Nov 27, 2016

I am sitting here today pondering all the things for which I am thankful just as many of us do at this time of year. My list this year is quite long but I will share a few things with you.

I am thankful that I was able to retire from a job that was very fulfilling and that I very much enjoyed for the past 14 years.

Retirement allowed me to spend some much needed quality time with my sister, who lives too far away. Judy and I were able to spend seven un-interrupted weeks together for the first time since I was a teenager. What a blessing that time proved to be for the both of us. We laughed, we cried, and we laughed some more.

And we cooked and we ate delicious food and we spent three weeks with Jen and her family where we laughed and cooked and laughed some more!!

I was then able to spend a week in Los Angeles with my niece, Jeannie, where we ate incredible food at amazing restaurants and talked a lot about cooking but then would go out to another amazing restaurant and eat more incredible food. Did I mention that I came home with three new cookbooks from three of the amazing restaurants we visited? (Please don’t tell hubby as they will be under the tree for him come Christmas.)

I arrived back home just in time to shop and prep for Thanksgiving. At our home, the Thanksgiving meal is somewhat sacred. What I mean is that we don’t really experiment or try new things without making sure that all the old favorite dishes make an appearance. The goal is to make sure that everyone can enjoy delicious, familiar food so that we can spend our time and energy visiting and hanging out together and catching up with each other.

My husband and I have a pretty good formula for putting together this meal that has been successful for many years. He and I do the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and roasted vegetables; my brother and his family bring some type of bread or rolls and are in charge of bringing pumpkin pie; my nephew and his family make the vegetable casserole and bring another desert of their choice which this year was a decadent chocolate cream pie. We have wine, and beer, and this year a super tasty raspberry spritzer with Proseco.

We take our time and enjoy the prep work and when the food is ready, we eat. No strict time table or schedule to meet. Sometimes I set a fancy table with special Thanksgiving dishes and crystal, but more often, it’s a simple table with simple dishes and I use my collection of locally hand blown glass pumpkins, gourds, and acorns, along with candles to create a pretty tableau down the center of the table.

It’s always a beautiful holiday spent enjoying good food, but I especially like spending the day with my family, recounting memories, hearing about the school year from the kids, making plans for Christmas, laughing and being together.

Here is our traditional Thanksgiving menu:

  • Roasted fresh Diestel Turkey stuffed only with fresh herbs, a head of garlic, onion, and lemons, rubbed with olive oil, salt, and pepper then blasted at 500 F for about 90 minutes
  • Cracked Wheat Sourdough stuffing with mirepoix, pecans, dried cranberries, sautéed mushrooms, water chestnuts, melted butter, and stock
  • Roasted butternut squash, green beans, cauliflower, romesco, snap peas, all tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • Mashed potatoes with butter and heavy cream
  • Mixed vegetable casserole with cream of mushroom soup, cheese, egg, mayo, and cornbread stuffing topping
  • Pan juice gravy
  • Dinner rolls
  • Purchased desserts (this year)






I’m Shirl and I’m part of the Tillie Moon trio. The other two partners are my sister, Judy (13 years my senior), and her daughter, Jen (10 years my junior). Together we make up one terrific team. Each of us has our own singular talents and skills and what one of us may lack, the other two more than make up for. Read More

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