Make It Monday: Treasured menus

Happy Monday, friends! How was the weekend? I hope the time change was easy on you. I was so delighted when my children woke me up at 6:45 on Sunday (I was prepared for a 5 am wake-up call).

I've got Thanksgiving on my mind. You? I'm just beginning the process of menu planning and decor prep. Since we moved into real life Pars Caeli (our home), we've been the hosts for Thanksgiving, inviting my in-laws and my parents as well as my grandma-in-law and my aunt on rotating years. My hubs handles the big bird, and I tackle the everything-else on the menu.

Do you save old menus? I'm kind of a fanatic about it for big family meals. I have our Thanksgiving and Easter menus and shopping lists from the last 10 years all tucked in a binder together. We have old favorites we repeat (that harvest stuffing is a must), and I try to rotate in some new, even trendy, treats every year. Many of these lists are on calendar planner pages or used envelopes, a few on lined paper or legal pads. Every year around this time I read through them and remember the tastes and delights of our years together.

We have a fun Thanksgiving tradition for all of our guests that I'll be sharing with you next Monday! Today, here is the special family recipe for an amazing stuffing that you'll enjoy for days and days after the turkey and family have left. It's adapted from a 10-year old recipe that Parade magazine published. My husband, mom, and I have made this together almost every Thanksgiving Eve, and the laughter and tears (from the onions) make the stuffing ever more savory.

Harvest Stuffing (that's a little piece of Heaven)

You'll need these to stuff a 15-18 lb turkey:

  • 2 T of vegetable oil
  • 4 C each chopped red onions and celery
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 T dried thyme
  • 2 T dried sage
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, diced
  • 1.5 C each dried cranberries and dried apricots
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 12 C cubed (1 in) bread, toasted

Heat your oil in a large pan, stir in the onions, celery, garlic, thyme, and sage. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Add the bread and fruits. Toss well. Drizzle the broth over the mixture to moisten and season with salt and peppers. Be sure it's cool before stuffing it in the turkey!

So simple and tasty!

What's your Thanksgiving favorite?

XO, MJ

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