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November 2015 Country Kitchen

November 2015 Country Kitchen

As Thanksgiving approaches and plans are made to celebrate with immediate family, extended family, in-laws and friends, tasty memories of delicious turkey, ham, dressing and cranberry sauce begin to surface.

Thanksgiving, of course, is America’s most food-centric holiday, and tradition is king.

But as much as traditions and turkey are cherished, modern-day families often bounce from gathering to gathering in a short span of time — some may have plans Thanksgiving Day for lunch, have a different celebration to attend at dinner and might even travel over the weekend to visit out-of-town family. That’s a lot of turkey and dressing. 

If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving celebration this year, check with guests to see if they have other traditional turkey-centric meals to attend. If they do, consider a creative alternative — and share the Thanksgiving love with Alabama farm families who provide beef, pork, catfish, chicken and other meats. 

My family always celebrates together on Thanksgiving morning by cooking a huge, extravagant breakfast. After eating together that morning, everyone goes his or her separate way for other celebrations. This sweet time has always been one of my favorite traditions. I love the flexibility and fun of our Thanksgiving celebration.

Please enjoy my dear friend Angela’s foolproof quiche recipe, and feel free to adjust it to your family’s tastes. Add or subtract any of the other ingredients as long as you have eggs, half-and-half and cheese.

If an even bigger event is planned and the weather is nice, as it often is on Thanksgiving in Alabama, host a backyard fish fry featuring Alabama catfish, a shrimp boil with Alabama produce and Gulf shrimp, or start an annual family barbecue competition. 

For small gatherings, try serving a fancy beef tenderloin, roast chicken or lamb shanks. (My husband makes the featured recipe for me on special occasions, and they are fabulous.)

Whatever the choice, remember traditions don’t always have to be traditional. Experiment with one of these alternative meals or create an original feast!