For the past 4 Thanksgivings, we have joined our dear friends Troy and Chelsea, and Damie and Stephanie and their children to give thanks. It's an open invite, so some years there are other families who join in the fun. And it's topped off with games like cranium, or Twister. We look forward to it every year and have such a grand time. But there is something I must confess: Our Thanksgiving fun is somewhat marred by the rigid rules enforced by our friend (let's use the letter T, to protect his name), T.
T is very adamant that the Thanksgiving menu be traditional, pure and simple. No spin-offs on the traditional pumpkin pie...no gluten free stuffing (thank goodness for that one!), and definitely NO replacing the turkey. It doesn't even matter when we tell him that the first Thanksgiving table was adorned with not turkey, but venison or wild fowl. It went further last year, as the place cards featured the traditional pilgrim attire for each man and woman. I think we were actually asking ourselves: Are we supposed to go home and change? Even so, I must say, this "rule" makes Thanksgiving even more fun for a couple of different reasons:
1. We get to tease him.
2. I've always liked the challenge of perfecting a certain dish, and having set parameters to go by.
Even so, I have to admit to feelings of smugness, as I have subtly added in a family favorite to this feast for 2 years in a row now...and thus, it is now considered part of the Traditional Thanksgiving Feast. I've even tricked myself into believing that The pilgrims were smitten with jello. Is it really that far-fetched?
This recipe is from my sister-in-law Tami. I'm not sure when she created it, but she did! She amazes me with her culinary creativity. In fact, one of my favorite gifts from our wedding, was a stack of 30+ handwritten recipes from her! This one was included:
1 .6oz package of cranberry jello (raspberry is great if you can't find cranberry)
1 small bag of fresh cranberries, crushed in a blender or food processor
1 small can of mandarin oranges
2 C. cool whip
Directions: Add 2 cups of boiling water to jello. Stir until dissolved. Add 1/2 C. mandarin orange juice (drained from can), and 1-1/4 C. cold water to jello. Let it sit in fridge until syrupy, not quite set. Then add 2 cups coolwhip, oranges, and 1 cup (or to taste) of the crushed cranberries. Stir well and pour into bowl. Refrigerate until set.
Go now and get the ingredients!!! This is a MUST. It's so good and kids love it, too. It's also a great replacement for the traditional cranberries. :o) Try it this Thanksgiving!