Thanksgiving Eve

Did you know the holiday exists?  No it isn't official, but it's been an unofficial tradition for our family and with Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow, I wanted to share a few fun Thanksgiving Traditions.

Whether  you have lots of family in town or just your own little family, this is still a fun way to kick off the holiday.  On Wednesday evening when school is out and the family is all gathered, we always have a yummy evening of soup and rolls.  For us, it is usually Clam Chowder and He-Man Soup {fondly named by my Grandma in a way to convince the little boy cousins to eat it so they could be strong like He-Man!}.  We gather with cousins {although last year it was just our own little family and we still loved it} and play board games or our favorite card game, Rook .  An epic Rook Tournament takes place each Thanksgiving Eve. My sweet grandma always made her infamous chocolate chip cookies and my Aunt Leah had ice cream with HER infamous chocolate sauce.  The evening usually rolled into watching a movie and as much family time as possible.

Some other fun weekend traditions were renting an entire rollerskating rink with all of our cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles; going to a movie every Thanksgiving weekend; Our Annual Turkey Bowl (Football Game) at the park; A trip to the local penny candy store {That over the years creeped up to more than a penny}, and shopping with the girls.  This year, my heart strings have been tugged a little as I am missing grandmas and aunts who have passed on. But the traditions live on, luckily.

I hope you are gearing up for some great family time this week.  Please share your traditions back in a comment!  We'd love to hear. And in the meantime - here are the recipes for some of your favorite "Thanksgiving Eve" foods.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Clam Chowder
2 cans minced clams
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely diced celery
2 cups finely diced potatoes
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1 quart milk or half and half
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar

Chop vegetables.  Drain clams and put juice over vegetables plus enough water to cover and cook in liquid.  Simmer about 20 minutes.  Make white sauce by melting butter and adding flour.  Then add milk and stir until hot and thick.  Add vegetables with liquid, clams, salt, pepper, and sugar.  Don't let it boil after it's all together.

He-Man Soup
Break up 1 lb. extra lean ground beef (raw) into little chunks and put into 2 quarts boiling water.  Add 1 large can tomato or vegetable juice; 1 pkg dry onion soup mix; 1 bay leaf; and ome savory, vegetable spice, or Mrs. Dash.  Add sliced carrots, potato cubes, and chopped onion.  May also add 1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables and 1 cup frozen peas.  Cook until vegetables are done.  Optional: Add 2 cans Campbells minestrone soup.

Grandma's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 3 dozen
3 c. flour
1 TB soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups chocolate chips
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups coconut
2 cups nuts (Optional)
1 TB baking powder
1 TB cinnamon
1 1/2 cups soft butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 TB vanilla

Mix together.  Use hands to mix chocolate chips, coconut and nuts.  Mix until dough is stiff.
Bake in 350 degree oven approximately 15 minutes.

Hot Fudge Sauce
1 cube margaine
1/2 pkg semi sweet chocolate chips
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix first 4 ingredients in sauce pan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes.  Add vanilla and serve.

Check out our Thankful Turkey and Gratitude Tree for other fun Thanksgiving Ideas!

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