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I am Thankful for Pillsbury!

This Year, I’m Thankful for Pillsbury.

For me, Thanksgiving is about preparing a day of warm celebration for my family. My favorite ones have been in my own home, and trust me, they are steeped in tradition. For example, I like to start the day with a special breakfast of “hot rolls”. Now before you think I’m kneading dough and creating a homemade delicacy, I’ll let you in on the family secret. I’m talking about the those Pillsbury cinnamon rolls that come in the tube in your local dairy case. I make them once a year, but they reflect years and years of family memories for me:

“HOT ROLLS” my mother would yell, and I, and my siblings, would jump out of bed, race to the kitchen table and just hope we would be the one to get the gooiest cinnamon roll strategically located in the center of the round pan.

My children and husband don’t really grasp the sentiment of the Thanksgiving morning cinnamon rolls, but it puts a huge smile in my heart. Now, if the time works out, my family is enjoying their “hot rolls” while watching the Macy’s parade. To be honest, I don’t really care if I watch the parade, but I love to hear the sound of it in the background while I start making preparations for the traditional meal…it’s simply the sound of Thanksgiving. Over the years, a new traditional has developed in our household: a battle over watching the dog show or the football game after the parade. I vote dog show.

But let’s get to dinner: We always have turkey, but I have experimented with different ways of preparing the bird over the years. There was roasting, bagging, and brining, but I have settled for the turkey roaster for the last few years with great success. This year I’m trying a special rub. The important and fun thing to know about the turkey in our house, isn’t the method of cooking – it’s all about the name. I usually have the honor of naming the turkey each year, but I am always open to suggestions. The turkey is named after the one person outside of our family, who was the biggest turkey – affecting our family in a negative way. As I type this, I realize how juvenile this sounds – but it is so satisfying to close the oven door (or drop the roasting pan lid) on that turkey after a long year of frustration. We keep a list of all turkey names that includes ex-boyfriends, girlfriends, employers, co-workers – well you get the picture. The list by the way, is kept in a very secret place, only to be reviewed at the Thanksgiving table each year. It’s a great conversation starter.

SOOOOO, along with our traditional turkey we always have mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and an absolute must – CRESCENT ROLLS. Now I am not a dairy case kind of girl, really I’m not, but it’s the story of the crescent rolls that keeps me coming back each year. Also, I like to bring something new to the table each year and the only thing that has stuck and became a tradition is my homemade cranberries that replaced my Mom’s traditional canned cranberries. She would present them freshly “slid” from the can on a crystal serving dish (still shaped like a can with the indentations in the middle – she thought it was pretty). Any way, let’s get back to the CRESCENT ROLLS, and what has become my very favorite family tradition:

This tradition takes place with all my siblings, whether we’re together or not. Please note that if we are apart, we call each other and report in. So what must happen at the end of the Thanksgiving meal, is a poll of what was the favorite “taste on the plate”. Everyone’s response is recorded, and the winning taste is posted in an ongoing log book. It’s a delight to hear that the mashed potatoes won in Illinois, while the stuffing took the honors in Oklahoma. A bacon-wrapped turkey got an honorable mention in Kansas a few years back.

Now, lest you think I’ve forgotten about the CRESCENT ROLLS, lets go back about 25 years. My family is sitting around the table after an incredible spread of food. Keep in mind that, like most families, we go all out with the side dishes, so picking your favorite taste was even more of a challenge. This particular year my oldest niece had brought her boyfriend to dinner. My sister-in-law, Mary Ann had prepared the majority of the meal (cooking for days), and she did a fabulous job. It was a daunting task to fill my mother’s shoes, and she stood strong. As the family went around the table, different responses to the “favorite taste” were heard: “turkey” “pistachio salad”, “mashed potatoes”, you get the picture – and with every response, Mary Ann’s smile of satisfaction got wider, until it was “the boyfriend’s” turn, and he proudly declared the Pillsbury CRESCENT ROLLS to be his very favorite taste. Mic Drop. And that is why we continue to have CRESCENT ROLLS every thanksgiving – to remember the biggest “Turkey of the Year”, and have a good chuckle.

P.S. We never saw “the boyfriend” again, God bless him!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Please comment and tell us your “Out of the Ordinary” Thanksgiving tradition!

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