By Stacey Little
Folks, I don’t know about you, but it’s been quite some time since we’ve needed Thanksgiving as much as we need it this year. Whether you’re gathering with your entire family or keeping it more intimate, I bet you’re looking forward to it just as much as I am.
In our neck of the woods, Thanksgiving marks that time when summer heat is finally behind us, cooler days are setting in, the beauty of fall is in full swing and our hearts are craving time with those we love most. With that in mind, I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes for a delicious and memorable meal.
Turkey is the star of any Thanksgiving table, and each year, great efforts are made to avoid a dry turkey. My Spatchcocked Turkey recipe will yield the absolute juiciest turkey you’ve ever tasted with gorgeous, crispy skin in under two hours! I know it sounds too good to be true; your guests won’t believe it either, which is all the more reason to add this to your menu this year. Future generations will thank you! To make sure we don’t overcook our turkey (which can cause drying), you’ll want to have a meat thermometer on hand. They are available in most grocery stores and are relatively affordable.
Squash casserole is a requirement on my Thanksgiving table and has been for generations. While it’s hard to improve on a classic, Ultimate Cheesy Squash Casserole does just that. I’m not asking you to take my word for it; this is coming from my own grandmother.
Last, but certainly not least, I can’t wait for you to try this kicked up cornbread dressing! The mushrooms, green onions and bacon really give the dish a punch of flavor. Don’t like mushrooms? Leave them out. Don’t like green onions? Omit them. This recipe is easy to customize to your family’s taste, but the core ingredients and flavor still hold true to that traditional cornbread dressing we all love and anticipate.
I hope you’ll consider adding one or all of these recipes to your menu this year. But more than that, I pray you are able to have the Thanksgiving your heart longs for. It’s so easy to be consumed by all that is going on in the world today, but a few years back, a dear friend shared some timeless wisdom with me, “What you water grows.” I keep this in mind when it comes to what I give the most attention. If I focus too much on the problems of the world, they can easily occupy the bulk of my thoughts throughout the day. It is vital that I use intention when it comes to making sure my family knows how much I love them. Therefore, when the people I love are near me, they are all that matters. The news is turned off and the cellphones are put away as my focus is on living in each precious, irreplaceable moment. I pray this Thanksgiving we all are able to focus on — water, if you will — the true blessings in our lives: family, friends, health and home.