This was our ninth Thanksgiving in Michigan. It took a few years before we really settled in to our own family tradition. There were a couple of Thanksgiving dinners shared with friends, some with DW’s parents and even one at a restaurant, I think. But at least the last five years or more have been spent hosted in my home with my parents. It has always been a day of cooking, with the exception of the turkey and ham which we order from Burgers’ Smokehouse in the Ozarks, an annual gift from my parents. My mom is in charge of the pies (pumpkin and brownie), while I am in charge of most everything else. (Don’t worry, I have mastered the art of delegating).
Last year was a little different in that both of my brothers and my sister-in-law joined us for the first time, but the menu remained the same: turkey, ham, cream cheese mashed potatoes, sweet potato streusel, traditional green bean casserole, corn-bread stuffing, white cheddar and pepper biscuits, Waldorf salad and homemade cranberry relish. However, this year only my middle brother M came with my parents. We also added a couple of cousins. One of my cousins is a Vegan, and that was a challenge.
Or so I originally thought. It actually turned out to be one of the most healthy and tasty Thanksgiving dinners I think I have ever concocted, even starting with breakfast. There are just too many recipes to include in one post, so I’ve decided to divide this up into breakfast and dinner. Unfortunately, there will be no recipes for the non-vegan pies because we ate them too fast. However, you can find the blueberry/apple crisp recipe we used for my cousin’s dessert. The only difference was substituting a Vegan Butter Alternative for the butter in the oatmeal topping and serving it with frozen vanilla coconut milk instead of ice-cream.
For breakfast, instead of our usual egg and sausage taco bar, we had an Irish Oatmeal bar. And since this recipe cooks in the crock pot overnight, there was virtually no cleanup.
Makes about 8-10 servings
*Use a small to medium slow cooker, lightly greased.
2 cups steel-cut oats
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups water
In prepared slow cooker, combine oats, salt and water. Stir well. Place a clean tea towel, folded in half (so you will have two layers), over top of cooker to absorb moisture. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or overnight. Stir well. Serve with raisins, maple syrup, nuts and non-dairy alternative.
*We also had sliced bananas, toasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, brown sugar and soy nuts.