(I'm attempting NaBloPoMo this year, where I write a post every day in the month of November. Miss Zoot has graciously provided some prompts, and the other day was Family Memories and yesterday was Thanksgiving. I'm combining the two.)
Given that it's November, and that Thanksgiving is nigh, the first family memories that come to mind revolve around turkey day and spending time with my cousins, aunts and uncles. We were lucky to have the holiday at our house in the Chicago suburbs for many years, and our Wisconsin brethren even trekked out to Pittsburgh for the brief time we lived in the Steel City.
My favorite memories were hanging out with my two older girl cousins (the daughters of this amazing lady), and trying to be all cool and grown up around them. We always seemed to end up painting our faces, and I'll never forget the year they made me their little doll and did my makeup and hair.
|Over 30 years ago! I'm maaaaybe 8 or so here?|
And of course, the best Thanksgiving memories are of food: my Aunt's crescent rolls from scratch (she recently mailed me a copy of her recipe!), and my cousin's shredded potato casserole (which we do a Cooking Light version of every year). Mostly it comes down to mom's food. My mom's stuffing had soooo much sausage, diced apples and just the right amount of moisture to crunch ratio. Her Nuts and Bolts were met with much anticipation by our whole clan. It's basically Chex Mix with Cheerios and other amazing goodies like French Fried Onions and one year she decided to add BUGLES! Does anyone remember Bugles?? So good. She'd make them in these huge batches, mixing the ingredients in large trash bags and baking them in two enormous roasting pans. The house smelled AMAZING.
And even more anticipated than any other food, (the main event, my cousins can probably confirm) were the Salami Stacks. There is just something so unique, addictive, and everything that is wonderful in the world wrapped up in them. No matter where I am for the holiday, I must have my stacks. During my first pregnancy, I was really freaked out that I might not be able to eat them because of the blue cheese involved. Thankfully my very understanding doctor assured me that any cheese that I buy in a grocery store has been pasteurized, and I breathed the biggest sigh of relief. You know you wanna make them, too: here's the recipe.