|This year our Thanksgiving group gathered near Squaw Valley at Lake Tahoe.|
The weather was glorious, and we spent most of one day at this beach. Some even took a dip.
Leftovers, that unlike turkey, which disappears into soups, casseroles, sandwiches within a week, will continue forever. How could I ever forget this picture of grandson Noah "smiling" for the camera with his uncle Chris trying to match his enthusiasm? And so many other great moments.
|Here we are, recovered from Thanksgiving-feast comas and ready to play beach games.|
Renting a place to accommodate 20 -25 is a challenge. Having a great time with that number, however, is no problem. We long ago progressed beyond the one-day celebration and are now up to three to five days. Heavy feasting. Immoderate wine drinking. Tireless dancing. Animated conversation. Hiking. Spirited ping pong. A horseshoe-like game called washoes. And whatever outdoor activities the weather or terrain allows. All make for a colorful whirl of time spinning, reckless, on fast forward.
This annual gathering, and also friendships and traditional celebrations that have gone before, remind me of what matters: honesty, friendships, old and new; family, whether blood-related or not; zest for life; traditions, both established and developing; flexibility; and maybe most important, recognizing that although the universe doesn't give a crap about you, your friends and family do.
And you care about them. Big time. What's more important than that? (Maybe zest for life, if you can manage that on your own.)
Here's a compilation of photos from this year's Thanksgiving celebration with credit to Steve Lambros and Laurie Gerloff (and me) with others from Lauren Frank, Gail Frank, Paula Stone, Chris Korbulic and Tom Landis.
The GoodsHere's that pretty dang good and super easy recipe for leftover turkey. Cooking is a shared responsibility at Thanksgiving, and PK and I were in charge of turkey this year. We brought two; one fresh, one smoked, around 19 pounds each. We ended up with mostly smoked turkey leftovers—a good thing! Because I used smoked turkey for this casserole, I didn't add any salt. If your turkey isn't brined or salty, you may need to add a little punch.
All ingredients are leftovers. I brought the artichoke/jalapeno dip and raw broccoli for appetizers that didn't get used. As usual, we had way too much food despite our pledge to go light. Ha! For a similar result, you could add YOUR leftovers and tie it all together with a pre-made sauce or dip, such as the artichoke jalapeno concoction.
Turkey Snap - Broccoli, Artichoke/Jalapeno Turkey Casserole
Serves four. Bake in a 9X13 casserole at 350 for 30-35 minutes to bake. FIVE MINUTE prep.
- 2 (approximate) cups Costco's Stonemill Kitchen's artichoke jalapeno dip (1 carb for 2 TBSP), enough to cover the casserole bottom.
- Sliced cooked turkey, enough to cover the dip. Turkey may be smoked or roasted. I used smoked. HAM could be substituted.
- 2-3 cups raw broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces. (Save time. Buy precut and trimmed in a bag.)
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- Grated cheese, cheddar, Parmesan, or whatever you have on hand, enough to spread on top of the casserole.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Note: If you use smoked turkey or ham, additional salt could be overkill.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Spread enough artichoke jalapeno dip in the bottom of the casserole dish to cover it with 1/4 to 1/3 inch.
- Arrange sliced turkey or ham generously atop the dip.
- Mix remaining dip with the raw broccoli and diced onions. The mixture should be visibly covered with the dip, but not thickly. If the mixture seems too dry, and you ran out of the dip, add mayo. Too little is better than too much.
- Spread the broccoli/dip mix atop the turkey slices.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and uncover. Top with grated cheese and pop back into the oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove when cheese is melted, and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
Note: The broccoli will still be al dente after 25 minutes. If you like broccoli more tender, give the covered casserole another 10 minutes in the oven before melting the cheese.