Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. This is my favorite holiday with all of the essential elements of joy: food, friends, and football. As a Bears fan, I get to watch the Packers and the Lions compete today and I am guaranteed to leave a winner.
We are also celebrating Chanukah with my wife’s family — a twofer for the day!

Of course, we begin with our own game. We are starting the day with the 47th annual Turley Turkey bowl. As always, it is the Bears against the Redskins. I am the coach of the Bears and John Rice is the coach of the Redskins. While the Bears have a long unbroken record (at least here in McLean), Rice is an ever-creative coach and Redskins are expected to be a fierce team this year. However, our Bears team remains injury free and will be ramped up with donuts and hot chocolate. In honor of Trestman, we will be trying out our new West Coast offense style.

I am also making our traditional two Turkeys — one in the oven and one smoked on the grill. Both will have an apple-sausage-cornbread stuffing and Waldorf salad. We will have 16 and three dogs over for the dinner.

Now it is off to the gridiron and the annual appearance of the McLean Monsters of the Midway. I will update on the game for those of you who cannot see us on cable.

Until then, Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

UPDATE: The Monsters of the McLean Midway triumphed again in a spirited game. The final score was Bears 21, Redskins 14. The last play was particularly exciting with an intersection, a recovered fumble, and Redskins touchdown with just 30 seconds remaining on the clock!

120 thoughts on “HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!”

  1. Thank you Blouise…..

    Tonight on PBS is the living artist of the 60s kinda cool….. But the sound is not as perfected as studio…. But hey…. Some good memories….

  2. I absolutely love horseradish. I used to grow my own but before you do that know that the root system spreads like crazy and you’ll have horseradish popping up all over the yard.

    I used to grate it then add vinegar … sometimes a little sugar and salt. Now I use a food processor … the longer you let the ground up root sit before adding the vinegar, the hotter it gets. Be very careful about getting to close to the prepared mixture … it’s potent and can burn your nose. And store it in glass, not plastic.

    When I go to do horseradish I’ll make the prepared stuff but I’ll also add some of the plain ground root to mustard and it’s great to add a little of the ground root to sour cream when serving roast beef (the ground root will keep well in the freezer which is how I store it for use in sour cream etc.)

    Also, a touch of prepared horseradish in deviled eggs is out of this world and of course, just a dab in a bloody mary is heaven.

    The ratio I use for prepared horseradish is one cup horseradish, 1/2 -3/4 cup vinegar (depends on the kind of vinegar I’m using), 1 – 2 teasp sugar (again determined by the vinegar) and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I just use the root and the vinegar. Remember the longer you let the ground up root sit before adding the other ingredients, the hotter the finished product.

    BTW … bread and butter pickles in a brine containing horseradish are a wonderful addition to the relish tray or beside a grilled cheese sandwich.

  3. AY,

    Unfortunately, I don’t have my grandmother’s recipe for homemade horseradish. I do know that there were times when she used beet juice to tint it pink.

    BTW, sometimes her horseradish was really hot and sometimes it was much milder.

  4. leejcarroll and Blouise,

    Like my grandmothers and mother–I don’t have exact recipes for many of the dishes that I make…except for desserts that are baked. One needs to be more specific about those.

    1. Even for cakes and cookies. I just make it up as I go long. To compensate for not knowing if it’ll work I put a tiny bit in the microwave, nuke it and if it comes out as cake or cookie, if it does it gets baked. If not,I throw in more flour, egg, milk, etc until it comes out right in the microwave. Sometimes I end up with gigantic cakes because I have had to add so much more of one thing then compensate with another egg and so on. ((*_*))
      Like that idea of beet juice to pink up the horseradish and Im with Ay the hotter always the better

  5. leejcaroll,

    You’re in good company for, from what I understand, that is a problem encountered by some of the world’s greatest chefs. The advent of the iPod, smart phone, or other small tablet they can carry on their person, has been a godsend for those fine folk as long as they remember to type as they cook.

    A friend of mine’s son is a highfalutin chef in D.C. and he records his experiments on his iPhone … there’s probably an APP for that. 😉

  6. leejcaroll,

    It is pretty cool … I changed the lard to shortening and much earlier my mother had changed “sour milk” to buttermilk. Her mother had added modern day measurements and later in her life oven cooking degrees and length of time to bake so we have 2 copies from her.

    Because the original recipe is marked with my great x4 grandmother’s name, date and village she was living in, everyone who has made changes has marked down their name, date, and place of residence on the copy they made. There were no changes from great x2 grandmother so her name is not attached to a copy but my great x1 grandmother marked it down on her copy … I like to think she didn’t want her mother left out of the tradition even though she had made no changes.

    1. Blouise, That is great that she took the time, or over the years folks took the time, to turn it into a ‘real’ recipe with actual measurements and cooking times. What a wonderful tradition.
      (That is the problem with cooking by feel and creativity. I often asked to make something again and have to refuse because I have no idea how I made it the first time. (: )

  7. Elaine,

    I bet your grandmother and Tex’s grandmother would have made a great team in the kitchen.

    The barshch, really it was called a white barshch because there were no beets in it, was the dish she assigned to me after 2 years of training. Basically it’s a 5 day fermenting process in a crock using oatmeal, flour, water and rye bread. For Christmas which is meatless, one boils mushrooms in water and adds the mushrooms and stock to the fermented mixture to complete the soup. At Easter one boils kielbasa in the water and adds that broth to the fermented mixture … also at Easter one cuts up kielbasa, hard-boiled eggs and slivers of horseradish into the bowl then ladles in the white barshch.

    It is definitely an acquired taste but I loved the stuff the first time I tried it which endeared me to his grandmother’s heart and thus I was given the unheard of honor of preparing the barshch for years to come. (It really stinks up the house while fermenting so the honor is somewhat dubious to my mind!)

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