Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Like many, I enjoy the idea that Thanksgiving is still relatively the same as that historical first Thanksgiving so many years ago; to gather with family and friends, old and new, to share the bounty of the season and to give thanks for the blessings in our lives.
When I am hosting Thanksgiving, I love to decorate my home for my guests and I love to cook! I want my guests to “feel” Thanksgiving as soon as they enter my home, therefore, paying close attention to entrances, porches, foyers and hallways is important! Pumpkins and other squash and gourds, corn stalks, dried wheat and fall flowers like Mums often blend together to create a lovely, welcoming feeling. There are numerous ideas on Pinterest and beyond. Here is one of my favorites:
Just as I want my home to be inviting and warm, the Thanksgiving meal is not one to be rushed. In this hectic world, it may be one of the few times during the year that families can sit down together to enjoy each other’s company and the food should be savored. I’m a traditional gal, so you will always find some version of a Roast Turkey, Potatoes, Squash, and Cranberry Sauce at my table. The one thing that never changes is the stuffing. I have served the same Sausage-Nut Dressing, from Better Homes and Gardens since 1983 and it’s a crowd pleaser!
A note: Please be careful; my brother cut his finger pretty badly one year slashing the chestnut shells. After that I started buying them in jars from Williams Sonoma https://bit.ly/2z4BUMb and they are even better!
½ pound fresh chestnuts
1 cup pistachio nuts in shells
1 ½ pounds bulk pork sausage
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
6 cups dry French bread cubes
¼ cup snipped parsley
1 ½ teaspoons poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup light cream or milk
To roast chestnuts, slash shells with a sharp knife. Roast on a baking pan in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes; cool. Peel and coarsely chop, set aside. Shell and coarsely chop pistachio nuts; set aside. In large skillet cook sausage till brown. Drain sausage, reserving 1-tablespoon drippings. In same skillet cook garlic, onion and celery in reserved drippings till tender but not brown. Remove from skillet. In large bowl combine the chestnuts, pistachio nuts, sausage, vegetable mixture, bread cubes, parsley, poultry seasoning, thyme, pepper and a dash of salt. Toss till well blended. Drizzle ½ cup cream over the dressing, tossing lightly till mixture holds together. Stuff turkey with dressing or cook as a casserole.
Preparing for Thanksgiving can be almost as fun as the day itself. Create a Thanksgiving to remember with your décor and deliciousness!