"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving/Christmas Dinner

It is not my turn to host the Thanksgiving Dinner this year nor last year. So I am not hysterical at the moment...I will come Christmas time. Haha! But since we have basically the same menu for both Holidays, it is like having a preview before I actually have my turn to host.

Anyway, this post is about the traditional Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner our family has...We cannot deviate from the basics...we can only add if we want anything new, but there should always be the following:

Roast Turkey & Gravy with Stuffing
Bread (usually white bread)
Mashed Potatoes
Boiled and Mashed Turnips
Boiled and Mashed Onions
Cranberry Salad
Fruit Salad
Bread & Butter Pickles
Pitted Olives

No we are not pumpkin lovers, so there are no pumpkins here.

We usually get 20++ lb turkey for a gathering of 14 people. The stuffing is cooked with diced celery and onions sauteed in butter. Some stuffing is stuffed into the turkey cavity, and some kept warm in a slow cooker.

My in-laws love the boiled-mashed-buttered turnips and onions (I tried, but they don't appeal to me at all, and they laugh about it, being smug that they found out something I would not eat!).

The cranberry salad is something my SIL Stacey makes, a mixture of cranberry and marshmallows and whipped cream, but I do not know the recipe. I like it, but not so much that I want to learn the recipe.

I love the fruit salad, but my MIL and FIL make that using their own canned fruits (peaches and kiwi in particular came from their own trees, which they canned right after harvesting, and the only fruit here that they get from the store is the cherry topping).

Bread & Butter Pickles is a must for my FIL.

Pitted olives from the grocery store is part of the tradition.

White Bread is made using bread machine/breadmaker.

[Now my frustration is, the same menu is what we have for Christmas. I would want to deviate, but my husband and in-laws are such traditionalists, so I cannot. Ham is for Easter. I can add other desserts, but I cannot change the entree.]

What we are thankful for? That we have a happy and closely-knit family. No one is antagonistic to others. No one is envious or jealous. Everyone is supportive, warm, and loving. The youngest generation, for the most part, behave how they should behave. And of course we are thankful for generally good health for everyone, and all the blessings we receive.

Here's wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!


  1. a bit of everything for everyone.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, ManangK!

    Funny the things we do for tradition. My kids aren't crazy about turkey either but if I suggest cooking something else they all scream, "NO! it's tradition!" LOL! They said it would not feel like Thanksgiving without the Turkey.

    Christmas and New Year, I'm free to deviate :)

    Have a great day!

  3. HI foodbin...yep, everybody was happy!

    JMom, happy Thanksgiving to you too! Lucky you, you can deviate on Christmas and New Year!

  4. HI Manang! Glad to hear that you had a wonderful celebration. Pasensya na at di nakakadalaw dito.

    Was your friend able to get the Hamonado recipe?

    Have a great day!

  5. Hi Lizaa,
    Yap!She was! Said she would check out the link I gave her.


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