Thursday, November 28, 2013

Welcome to Chicago Where It's a Thornton Thanksgiving!

I love the musty smell and the crunching sound under my feet when I walk through the fallen leaves on my front lawn. It reminds me that my favorite time of year is just around the corner, and soon the hustle and bustle of the holiday season will begin. Thanksgiving is a great way to start the holidays, as it is about being grateful for the year that is ending and catching up with relatives we do not often see. Our family is busy making plans to meet in Chicago, and everyone is looking forward to it.

I have been spending time on Pinterest looking for ideas for easy appetizers and desserts that the entire family can get involved in making.  I love creating holiday memories with my children, and the kitchen is one of the best places to do this.  Sometimes I can still remember the smells of the holiday baking with my mom on special occasions.  I have found it is best to keep it simple, as things seem to go smoother with less clean up after.

Here at the Thornton household, we still insist on preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  We all look forward to the special once-a-year meal that always includes turkey and mashed potatoes and definitely some baked stuffing.  I can’t always convince the kids to try the cranberry sauce, but my husband loves it.  I have decided to be adventurous this year and found an article on Gogobot’s blog that share gourmet delights that luxury hotels are serving guests for their Thanksgiving meal.

I have my fingers crossed that my family will appreciate the scrumptious gourmet treat I am preparing for our starter dish. The Waldorf Astoria in Orlando will be serving a pureed pumpkin and lobster soup, and it sounds delicious. I think a pumpkin entrĂ©e makes a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving meal, and a warm and creamy soup is the perfect dish to warm your heart and your hands on a crisp autumn day. 

I always create an activity to remind the Thornton family that Thanksgiving is not just about a big meal. This year I am making a gratitude tree. I bought a bunch of reeds from a garden store and got my children to cut out leaves from construction paper. We leave markers on the table with a note for everyone to write at least one reason to be grateful this year and then tie the leaf on the tree. After dinner, we will all pick a leaf and read it aloud. Another year, I put a paper tablecloth on the table and had all the guests write something they were grateful for when they walked in the door. It created a fabulous backdrop for all the food we had prepared. 

I am sure you have many ideas for your Thanksgiving traditions, but please accept any of the Thornton family traditions as your own, as we love to share our ideas for a memorable day. Have a wonderful holiday, and create loads of memories to treasure for years to come. 

Guest Post by Kendra Thornton

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