Twas the weekend before Thanksgiving …

My cousin Eydie and Uncle Steve … I will miss them this year!

Dear Friends,

For most, Thanksgiving will not be the same this year. I know, that’s stating the obvious. Many will not gather with their families and friends, and those that do may gather in smaller groups. This year will certainly be different for us. We won’t see my family for our annual Oyster Roast at my sister’s on Wednesday night. There are just too many of us. We won’t get together to celebrate my brother’s birthday. Our niece and her fiancé can’t join us on Thanksgiving day in Pinehurst. Truthfully, I feel sad about all that won’t be.

Yet … I also feel very grateful for all that Thanksgiving will be. Our children and at least two of our SO’s are coming home and will begin arriving on Saturday. You know how excited I am when our family comes home! And you also know that I like to prepare in advance. Preparing in advance = Effortless later. I’m making my menu and grocery list … similar to my July 4th planning, but a lot less complicated.

Thankfully, Liz, my sister-in-law, will knock it out of the park on Thanksgiving day like she does every year. I only have to prepare a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for four, then six, then eight by the end of the week. Still under the NC state mandate of 10! Our dinner table will be full and as Lisa Saunders says, this is where we will find, community, forgiveness, encouragement, and love. This week’s newsletter offers some ideas for the days before and after Thanksgiving when we all may have a few extras under roof.


I really don’t do breakfast. I like to provide what people need and let them fend for themselves. My top go-to is the Egg and Sausage Casserole, page 260.  Prep in advance, even cook in advance. It reheats well.  You can also prepare in muffin tins for a real grab-and-go. Another quick tip is edthedad’s breakfast cup. Scramble two eggs in a cup. Mix into the eggs whatever you’d like … crumbled bacon, sausage, cheese, pimento cheese (on the blog), salsa … the sky’s the limit. Cook in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir again. Cook an additional 30 — 45 seconds. Done! Just have the ingredients on hand, and everyone can fix their own. Make sure you have toast, avocado, fruit, and maybe Blueberry Muffins, page 269 or Poppyseed Bread, page 262. You’re all set for a DIY breakfast.

Lunch …

Reubens and any other sandwich grilled on a griddle and served with Chicken Chili, page 252, Brunswick Stew, page 244, or Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, on the blog. I already have these in my freezer and ready to go. For the Reubens:  pastrami or turkey pastrami — YUM!, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing (make your own — it’s easy!), rye bread, or my favorite Dave’s Thin-Sliced Good Seed Bread. Butter the bread and grill on the stovetop or a griddle. Any variation of this will do … roast beef and provolone, ham and swiss, pastrami and swiss, or how about just pimento cheese (on the blog). Honestly, what’s not to love. You will be a hero! Whatever you do, don’t buy low-fat cheeses — they are terrible. And don’t forget the chips!

Presto Grill

My favorite electric griddle for sandwiches and chocolate chip pancakes.
Easy to use and clean.
Available here

Dinner …

Make it easy on yourself and keep it super simple.

Beef Tenderloin (on the blog), Pork Tenderloin, page 146 or 191. Roasted Chicken, page 231 … all on the grill served with simple sides. Seasoned Vegetables, pages 148, 155, 184, 193, Rice Blend, page 131.
Make some Brownies, pages 140, 195, and Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies, on the package, to have on hand for dessert with a little Talenti. Of course, always good to have a little Chocolate Sauce on hand too … page 288. A favorite ending to any meal and perfect with after dinner Canasta, Dominoes, or Spades.






Thanksgiving is truly about being together. Never will my heartstrings be pulled more for those who can’t be, and never have I been so grateful that we can. Let’s keep the meals simple and easy, and let’s keep the focus on each other.

EE will be taking next week off. I must say, our graphic designer, Jenny Mey, and our administrative assistant, Rosalyn Cox, continue to work for EE (and others) and oversee the education of their elementary-age children. I add them to my list of blessings and commend all the parents of school-aged children. Bless you!

And blessings to you and yours for a happy and grateful Thanksgiving,

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