Life is full of wonderful surprises, especially for this Thanksgiving traditionalist. As long as I've been cooking my own turkey, I've dutifully delivered our family's tried-and-true crowd pleasers to the table -- dishes that might sound familiar: Roast turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, piping hot white-bread rolls, green bean casserole, candied yams, and cranberry jelly (whose mold bears an uncanny resemblance to, well, a can).
In my family, there has always been, and will always be, a crystal bowl filled with large, pitted black olives, which has to be replenished at least once before dinner is served. The instructions for eating said olives are as follows: Locate olive bowl on table. Loiter aimlessly within arm's reach of said bowl. When no one is looking, swipe a handful of olives. Stick index finger inside hole of first olive. Wiggle finger. Repeat with other fingers until you run out of olives or fingers. Wiggle fingers. Eat olives. Repeat.
Like many of you, the recipes I'll use this year have been passed down through the generations of my family with little or no alteration. This year, though, I'll be adding the veg-all dish that's new to me, but is a Standard-Bearer for my husband's Kentucky family around holidays. For those of you with the good taste and courage to join my coup, here's how it goes:
Nevalyn's Flabergastingly Yummy Veg-All Casserole
2 cans veg-all
1 finely chopped medium-sized onion
1 or 2 chopped celery sticks
1/2 cup of mayonayse
1 can of water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 stick of butter, melted
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together all the casserole ingredients, and pour into an oven-worthy pan. In a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter and crushed crackers. Sprinkle the cracker mixture over the top of the casserole. Bake 35 minutes total: Covered for the first 25 minutes; uncover for the last 10 minutes.
Marvel. Serve. Enjoy.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.