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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Crockpot Days, Thanksgiving, Macaroni and Cheese

Saturday, I put seven boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot with a stalk of celery. When they were cooked, I put in a frozen hen. Both were seasoned with ground sage, salt and pepper.  My Thanksgiving dinner may include one or both of these poultry offerings.

That was followed by two pounds of carrots and an onion and a stalk of celery.  Since I am using the much smaller crock pot, I cannot put in so much. However, it is working out.

There were no potatoes at the Farmer's Market and I failed to go to the fruit stand, a permanent structure that carries flowers, too. A trip to WM was in order for potatoes. Okay, I went to WM and paid almost $5 for a tiny bag of potatoes. The two pounds of carrots I used cost me a quarter last week.

Three days of cooking in the crock pot should yield: 7 chicken breasts, one hen, 4 lbs. carrots, 5 lbs. of red potatoes along with the celery, onions, and garlic. I will put the rest of the potatoes in as soon as I remove the potatoes and carrots in there now, mid-afternoon on Sunday. I am going to search for something else to put in the crock pot to maximize the amount of cooked, ready-to-eat food and minimize spoilage.

People talk about using poultry seasoning on poultry. Today, I smelled my poultry seasoning and prefer to use just sage. I'm not sure why I have this, but I must have decided to try poultry season in the past few years.

Right now, two breasts are in the freezer. Four breasts await me. Well, I think there are four. Five? Did I eat one? They will be the basis of dinners and lunches and snacks. I see chicken sandwiches, chicken salad, chicken casserole, chicken in sandwiches in my future. Plus, the chicken can be part of a meal of cooked vegetables. For variety, I will have a can of tuna in a salad and pimento and cheese.

Even though I have an invitation for Thanksgiving, I will probably just stay home. I have formulated simple cooking plans. I will try for the traditional home-cooked dinner. However, I have choices. Stovetop stuffing, a jar of turkey gravy, and canned cranberry sauce will be here just in case I don't get around to the real deal. Diced boiled eggs can be added to the gravy.  YUM! I have cans of green beans, frozen broccoli, and other vegetables. When I make pumpkin pie and apple pie, I may make them without a crust.

Now, for the most important subject: macaroni and cheese. At home growing up we never had macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving--EVER! I don't understand the importance people assign to it as a tradition.  I have never served it for Thanksgiving and never will. People say this is a Southern thing. Not in my experience!

As a matter of fact, I never remember my mother making macaroni 'n cheese. She may have gotten the blue box for my brother who is much younger and there long after I left home.

Your turn
What have you cooked in your crock pot lately?  Are you planning on a big Thanksgiving dinner? What time of day do you serve it? Is macaroni and cheese part of your Thanksgiving? Do you, as I do, think it is a strange item to serve? Are you from the South and think this is a Thanksgiving tradition?


  1. Never heard of mac & cheese for any holiday ever. Lived in the South, New England, Midwest & Sicily. No mac & cheese for holidays. Sicily had some pasta dishes for Christmas but then, they had pasta everyday.

    1. Tom,
      Thank you sir! For several years I have heard mac n cheese hailed as the ubiquitous, must-have-dish for Thanksgiving. I don't get it.

  2. Tradition or no tradition, I love a good mac and cheese, so would welcome on my holiday table. We had several crock pots going for a soup making day at a friends. A nice variety to take home, and hours of great company, plus hours of time savings this week when I can have the hubs and daughter pick and heat their favorite for the night.

    1. SAM,
      That sounds like a fun party that keeps on giving. I would be perplexed if anyone brought mac and cheese for T day.

  3. We have a huge extended family Thanksgiving where everyone brings several dishes. There is always a pan of mac and cheese but usually just the kids eat it. Son1 and his family are coming for the first time. He was telling here how large the gathering will be and she asked if there would be an entire table devoted to food. His reply "No, there will be an entire table for desserts. The whole kitchen is for the food" We will have turkey, ham, smoked pork, and usually roast beef along with just about every vegetable or casserole you can think of, with the exception of parsnips and turnips (roots not the greens, the greens will be there)

    1. Anne,
      It sounds like everyone will be well-fed! I love casseroles. Thanks.

  4. No mac and cheese here. Not sure why because everyone loves it. You are very smart to cook this way. On days you dont feel well you can still be nourished. My slow cooker last cooked a batch of tomatoes for sauce.previouslytwo whole chickens.

    1. carol,
      When I next cook tomatoes, the crock pot will be my pot of choice. I just took out the last of the potatoes and carrots. I am putting pints of carrots in the freezer. My big crockpot that I broke would hold two chickens. This smaller yard sale crockpot won't. I feel well enough today to try to go to the thrift store. I will take the lid to make sure I get the right crock. I have lots to do this week, so having things ready to eat will be great. Plus, exbf is coming on Friday, so he will enjoy this, too. Plus, dinner will be done, and I won't have to cook, just heat for him.


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