November 17, 2006

Thanksgiving part deux

Well, now that I got my angst-filled mental scream out - let me explain.

I do have twelve people total for Thanksgiving. This includes my core group. Of the twelve, my son will be the only child. Why? Because my sister has decided she doesn't want to be part of our family anymore, and thus has decided that her son cannot be part of our lives either.

Which brings me to why I'm hosting Thanksgiving. She usually does the hosting, but having decided she'd rather spend time with drug dealers and the like, well, I'm stuck with the job.

The group includes, this year for the first time, my inlaws. Yay. Also, included are my "aunt" and my cousin who now lives with us.

The kimchi, comes into play because, well, because I'm 1/2 korean. We have kimchi all the time and at this particular time, I have it in abundance.

Ok, now, my "aunt" is not really my aunt at all. When my mom moved to Western Pa with my dad in January 1977, she didn't speak much English and I was not quite 1. Obviously, she didn't know many people aside from our immediate family. Shortly after moving here, she met Un Hwa. Un Hwa and her three children lived nearby. Her husband lived in Korea, cause he couldn't get a job as a preacher here - so he went back.

For the last 29 years, my mom and Un Hwa have been friends. The only two Koreans in my school district. She's been a part of the family. My dad did odd jobs for her - he was fixit man, chauffer and friend as her English is not so good either.

Last year, as you many have read, my mother's Sister came to visit and her visit ended with a trip that I took a trip to Korea. While here in the States, she and Un Hwa began to talk - they are more close in age than my mom and Un Hwa. They discovered they were from the same extended village destroyed 55 years ago during the war.

That cannot be! Only relatives are from the same village. So, more conversations, more memories, more names were discussed, and lo and behold, we are related! Distantly, as someone from Un Hwa's family married someone from my Grandmother's family - so a distant cousin of a cousin . . . Hmpf.

For 30 years my mom and Un Hwa have been friends - like sisters. To think, that all this time they were actually distant relatives was phenomenal.

This Thanksgiving, Un Hwa will be with us as she is most holidays. She and my mom enjoy kimchi with every meal, even turkey. We will have, among the other dishes upon my table, a dish of kimchi, possibly some seaweed and rice as well. It is a pretty dish, and will likely compliment the table. My worry is that my in-laws, may not be so fond of it. Specifically my f-i-l who despises all things Korean (likely including my family) - he was stationed there for 2 years with the Army and likes to remind us that it was a miserable time for him.

Luckily Un Hwa's English is still not that good after all these years. Or, better still, she and my mom can tell each other what an ass he is in Korean.

So, this Thanksgiving I'm starting a new tradition. Thanksgiving will be in my home, and everyone is welcome. The menu doesn't change much through the years, but here it is:

-Brined and herb roasted turkey
-red-skinned smashed potatoes and gravy
-classic sweet potato casserole
- a roasted vegetable (tbd)
-baked ham
-tossed salad
-pumpkin pie

Pretty well-rounded. I may even throw some other things in there too. Who knows.

Posted by Oddybobo at November 17, 2006 11:37 AM | TrackBack

I was always taught as a rule of thumb, 1lb of turkey per person.

So 12 people, 12lb turkey.

I am still trying to figure out why I have a 12lb turkey sitting in the fridge while there will only be 2 people at my house.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at November 17, 2006 12:16 PM

I was always told a good rule of thumb was 1 pumpkin pie per person.

So 12 people, 12 pies.

I am not having a problem with too many pumpkin pies in my fridge, although I wouldn't mind that problem.


Posted by: Ogre at November 17, 2006 03:48 PM

Uuuuhhhhhh I *personally* would go with a bigger Turkey. (no offense mean,t QW) Mine is 17lbs to searve 8. Otherwise, it sounds like you have a lovely celebration planned.

Too bad your Sis is having issues with celebrating with your family this year. I hope that it gets better with her soon...

Posted by: Richmond at November 17, 2006 06:47 PM

We will celebrate Thanksgiving this year with family and extended family (one grandson, Tee, my two nieces are with their father this year) and six adults. Jane and I originally hoped one of our children would host the meal because Jane and I leave for Gettysburg, PA. at first light on Friday - but they all wanted to come home. I have not had Kimchi since my mother died in 1984. My father served in Korea during the war and taught mother how to cook it. I can honestly say that my father having flown combat missions in WWII and Korea, never held a grudge. Our last tour of duty was in Japan where I attended school from the 8th to the 10th grade with the 11th in Germany. So have a grand time and Iíll be thinking of your Grand Kimchi.

Posted by: Edd at November 17, 2006 07:52 PM

I think your celebration will be so 'American'! That's what America should be...eating whatever you want for Thanksgiving!

Posted by: Mrs_Who at November 17, 2006 08:04 PM

My mom once served cow's tongue for Thanksgiving.
Not in addition to turkey... instead of turkey.

We've never let her forget it.

As long as you have turkey, you can serve anything else you want to.

(And I would even try your kimchi if I was there.)

Posted by: Roses at November 17, 2006 09:12 PM

This is a very delicious, and pretty salad. My Father who does "not eat salads", will actually eat this one. It also looks lovley in a crystal bowl on your Thanksgiving table.

-I think the last time I prepared this I used sliced almonds instead of cashews. I also used grated Romano, instead of Swiss. It is such a delicious and versitile salad have fun.

-Also I mix my dressing in "old mayonaisse jars, just shake well....."

-One more thing, as always dressing can be served on side.......

1 large bag of pre-washed Romaine lettuce (more if serving a large number)

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 cup cashews

Ĺ cup craisins ( sweetened dried cranberries)

1 red Gala apple (cubed/not peeled)

1 red pear (cubed/not peeled)

Dressing (Mix in a blender)

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2/3 cup oil

1 tablespoon poppy seed

Mix the lettuce with the cheese and craisins. I mix the apple and pear in the dressing so they donít discolor and add just before serving. Also add the cashews just before serving so they donít get soggy. Might not need all the dressing. It depends on how much lettuce you have. If you increase the lettuce, increase the cheese etc. The ingredients for the salad donít need to be exact except for the dressing ingredients.


DH wants your kimchi recipe...thanks

Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at November 17, 2006 10:16 PM

Oh what a wonderful list of goodies you have. Just ignore and don't let grumpy grandpa dampen your day. He would be grumpy in the most perfect happy setting it seems.

love, family and giving thanks is what the day is about for me. You've got 3 or 3 so the rest is gravy!

May it be fun and joyous.

Posted by: michele at November 17, 2006 10:41 PM

I think you should serve whatever YOU want, who cares about the in-laws, as YOU are doing the cooking! and anyone who says anything about it, should be politely and firmly told that they didn't cook, therefore they have no say.

I think the menu looks fantastic!

And I cook a bigger turkey so everyone can take home leftovers.

Posted by: Bou at November 18, 2006 01:29 PM

Ohhh darlin'. I think your menu sounds wonderful, something for everyone.

As for your FIL not liking kimchi, he doesn't HAVE to eat it so he shouldn't mind that it's on the table. My rule has always been I'll make a lot, I'll make a variety, you don't like it - don't eat it. More for me!

Posted by: Tammi at November 19, 2006 07:31 AM

Sounds like you have a lovely meal planned. For a group that size - you need a 15-17lb turkey so you have enough of each type meat. I did a 12lb for the 3 of us (because that's about as small as whole turkeys come)... and I have enough left over for 5 more meals at least. The smaller turkeys are more bone than meat - this works out well for less people. I'd do only a breast, but I like dark meat.

As for the FIL - I'd have something to say to him about his mother teaching him to be polite in company... *grin* No one is making him eat kimchi! Good grief what is with people. In any case, if he wants to sulk, just ignore him... that'll teach him. LOL.

Personally, I'm not a fan of kimchi, (I'd tell those who like it - that leaves more for them *grin*) but I do love Korean bbq.

Posted by: Teresa at November 20, 2006 01:17 PM

Sounds great. Can I come over?

Posted by: Jerry at November 21, 2006 12:20 AM

One of these days, I'm going to have to actually try kimchi.

What's it like?

Posted by: Harvey at November 22, 2006 09:51 AM

Harvey, Kimchi is salted and rinsed cabbage (usually) and radishes which have been marinated in hot peppers and other seasonings and which then is allowed to ferment or age. It will burn the pupils of your eyes out! Tastes wonderful!

Posted by: oddybobo at November 22, 2006 10:09 AM

Hey- what about the bulgogi? (Okay, so I'm kidding)

Hope you have a wonderful, family-filled thanksgiving! It sounds like it will be memorable. :)

Posted by: Rave at November 22, 2006 10:26 AM