Get Pat and Jim Robinson’s four children and their families together plus Pat’s four siblings and their families, and you’ve got a good 50-60 folks. That’s a heck of a crowd to host for Thanksgiving dinner, but Pat’s always up for the challenge.
With the help of her two daughters, Fran McMurray and Elizabeth Langley, and daughter-in-law Lynn Robinson, Pat puts on a Thanksgiving feast fit for royalty.
Naturally, the spread includes your traditional turkey, but at the Robinsons’ Thanksgiving gathering, the most in-demand entrée will be, not the turkey, but Pat’s melt-in-your-mouth Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts.
“We all eat turkey, too, because that’s what you’re supposed to do on Thanksgiving,” daughter Elizabeth says. “But this chicken is everybody’s favorite. We have to make sure we have plenty of it.”
Which they always do, along with a gracious plenty of other delicious family favorites, like the ones in the recipes that Pat, Fran, Elizabeth and Lynn share with Neighbors readers this month. Included in this holiday collection are Pat’s Cornbread Dressing recipe, which she learned in her high-school home economics class and has faithfully followed ever since, and her mother’s recipe for that much-maligned holiday classic: fruitcake. If you’re a fruitcake fan, Pat says you’ll love this brandy-soaked version.
Actually, big gatherings aren’t unusual for the Robinson clan. Pat and Jim, whose farm is in Stroud in Chambers County, actually live in Roanoke, as do Fran and her family. The two Robinson boys, Jimbo (Lynn’s husband) and George, live in Stroud; Elizabeth and her crew—who, you might recall, won the Federation’s 1996 Outstanding Young Farm Family Award—live just 30 minutes away in Chambers County’s Camp Hill community.
“When they all come for Sunday dinner, there’s 20 of us,” Pat says. She isn’t complaining, though; having her family close by is one of the many blessings she’s counting this Thanksgiving season.
From the Robinsons, Langleys and McMurrays, and from all of us at Neighbors, Happy Thanksgiving.