Our weekend company is gone, and the guest room bed changed and made up again. Having an extra set of flannel sheets for that bed means I can put the room back into crafts/office mode right away, without having to rush wet sheets out onto the clothesline in gale-force freezing winds. The turkey carcass was cooked into soup last night (with barley, carrots, and mushrooms), and the leftovers are slowly disappearing. The last of the Thanksgiving Orange Stuff made a great lunch today.
Orange Stuff is one of those really retro recipes. I first tasted it more than 20 years ago, as a regular dish at my mother-in-law's Thanksgiving table, and I'm sure she'd been making it since the 1950's at least. It never really even had a name - it was just that orange stuff she always made. It's a regular on my Thanksgiving table now too.
Thanksgiving Orange Stuff
16 oz cottage cheese
8 oz Cool-Whip (thawed)
3 oz box orange Jello (dry powder)
15 oz can mandarin oranges (drained)
Mix everything together and chill until serving time.
My Texas cousins gave me their church fundraising cookbook, and this type of "salad" appears in quite a few variations - drained pineapple with lemon Jello, or miniature marshmallows with pistachio instant pudding powder. It's good enough that I always think I should make it more often.
I tried something different this year, that really ended up being a hit. Wednesday before Thanksgiving, my sister's family is on the road from California, and I'm trying to decide what to do for dinner when they get here. I need something quick, easy, that everybody will like. The refrigerator is full of food for the next day, including the brined turkey air-chilling, so there's no room for leftovers either. So, how do I feed a vegetarian, two hard-core meat-loving men, two picky but hungry teenage boys, and an omnivore (me). How about make-your-own pizza? My pizza dough recipe makes enough for two 12" pizzas. Figuring half-a-pie per person, I increased amounts by half again to feed six people. That evening, the dough divided into six equal balls, we set up a dough-rolling station, opened up a jar of tomato sauce, shredded a mountain of cheese, and sliced up a variety of topping choices. We could cook two pizzas at one time, so everyone was in the kitchen. It turned mealtime into a fun event, everybody happy and well-fed, and no leftovers. Everyone agreed that ideas's definitely a keeper.