Cooking: Thanksgiving 2012

Is there any holiday where we cook more, than Thanksgiving?

I mean, food is an important part of almost every holiday, but even more so on Thanksgiving. Ever year, I set all kinds of goals and make plans to keep things simple.

I'm not at all adverse to buying much of our dinner, but it never ever seems to happen. Maybe it's that old habits die hard. Or, perhaps it's that I am way more like my mother than I thought. She makes EVERYTHING from scratch. I mean... EVERYTHING.

And, I love that about her.

This year, I'm happy to report that we are having a partially store bought dinner. After having a baby (she is 8 weeks old now. Boy, how time is flying by!), I need to do whatever I can to make our dinner fantastic but without all the work. So, I did procure/purchase/barter a few of the items on this years menu.

Here's what we're having:

A few things were added to the list (sauteed green beans, carrot cake, pecan pie, and crack pudding) and a few things were eliminated (apple and chocolate pies). The turkey is cooking away in a crock pot, and the ham will be popped into another crock pot in a few hours. I canned cranberry sauce and cranberry jam last week, and traded a jar of cranberry sauce for stuffing mix (YAY! For the North Forth Worth Food Swap!). My brother-in-law and his girlfriend are bringing the macaroni and cheese. The pumpkin and pecan pies were purchased at Trader Joe's (LOVE that one finally opened up in Texas!!) in addition to the carrot cake (though I make a MEAN carrot cake!). So, compared to years past... I am WAY ahead of the game and didn't make everything from scratch. Hoooray!

I don't think there will ever be a year where I don't make mashed potatoes or rolls. In our house, I can't possibly make too much of either one of them. Even Freddy says that mashed potatoes are one of his favorite foods... because "Mom, I'm an Ales!". Oh that boy makes my heart smile!

Tell me... what is something you NEVER change about your menu? Is there something you ALWAYS make from scratch every year?