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"Thanksgiving Dinner" during rest of the year. Do you?

I was recently invited to dinner at a friend's home and they mentioned, in an off-hand sort of way, that I should drop by when they have turkey and all the Thanksgiving fixings.

She said they make "Thanksgiving dinner" about 3-4 times a month, every single month of the year.

It's just something she likes to do, and the family enjoys eating.

And they go all out. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, creamed corn, and cornbread, pumpkin pie,

This got me thinking ... do other people out there have Thanksgiving dinner during times other than the 4th Thursday of November?

I can't imagine having all that turkey, gravy, potatoes during the dead heat of summer in August or September ...

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  1. My mum does something similar, albeit not that often. She makes a turkey breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce, rolls,...etc. But she usually only does this because she wants a reason to make turkey soup, lol.

    1. I held a "Thanksgiving in June" Party that was such a huge success! It was so fun to have those foods outa season and people really got into the idea that I was pretty much forced to have it become somewhat of a "pot luck". It was Thanksgiving but without the stress for everyone!

      As for having a Thanksgiving dinner about once a week all year around. Ah no.

      1. I'll do a roasted turkey with dressing and maybe another side or two at least three or four times each winter. I think it would be too heavy for the summer months.

        1. Roasted chicken and veg, sure. But not turkey. I really don't even like turkey. I hate pumpkin pie and honestly, pecan pie doesn't tempt me either.

          So no, I don't do this.

          1. More power to them if they like to get together that often, and how nice of them to invite you! I'm sure the turkey may remain constant but the pies and sides may change with the seasons if they like to cook from scratch. Fresh corn on the cob in summer, sliced tomatoes, blueberry pie for example. In my heart, everyday is Thanksgiving Day even if I'm not eating turkey.

            1. Thanksgiving 3-4 times a month is almost an "obsession" in my mind and somewhat humorous if you think about it. What, once a week?
              Where they getting the fresh cranberries?

              5 Replies
              1. re: monku

                "Obsession" and "once a week" brings to mind a cat-lady I know. I don't dare ask how many cats or how old she is. She told me once she cooks 2 turkeys a week. I've been there a couple of times ...* gasp*... truly a magic house!

                1. re: neverlate

                  OK, it's not me because I no longer have any cats, although my 3 greyhounds would love it if I still did the weekly turkey-boil, as I did when I was raising and showing Siamese. I'd buy turkeys on sale at 50cents/lb and keep a bunch in a chest freezer. Whole frozen bird into a 16qt pot, covered with water, and simmered until the meat fell off the bones, then cooled and the bones pulled out, leaving a thick stew of shredded meat, skin, and broth, which helped maintain coat and condition. Took me a while to realize that the meat was moist and delicious; after that I removed a breast half and reserved it for myself, and sometimes poured off the stock, which was a good base for onion soup, when supplemented with beef base/broth.

                  Whole turkey is often the most economical thing in the meat aisle, and supermarkets devote a good chunk of meat case space to them year-round, so clearly there are people buying them on a steady basis regardless of season. It may be a matter of budget rather than preference for a good many families.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    For me both ... love that I get a few meals and it is economical, and I love turkey Win Win Win!!

                2. re: monku

                  Bummer about cranberries only at Thanksgiving huh? I buy bags to freeze for the rest of the year because I love them and like to cook/bake with them.

                  1. re: monku

                    I'm pretty sure they're using canned cranberries.

                  2. While I don't do a Thanksgiving dinner all year long I have served a Weber roasted turkey in August... with a tossed salad. Turkeys are on sale at a local market this week at $.89/lb. I might just have to buy one. An all the fixin's dinner 3-4 times a month is just too much food....

                    1. I did this while my children were growing up....I made dinners every night so this was the norm to cook like this and Thanksgiving dinner was always made at least 6 -8 times a year.
                      It's what I love to do and I was raised the same way....
                      Keep in mind there are places where 'summer' comes just a few days out of the year and sweltering heat and sun isn't an issue. Comfort food is the focus in places like this.

                      1. If they're making Thanksgiving dinner 3-4 times a month, think about all the leftovers they must have.

                        There must be Thanksgiving dinner fanatics........

                        Diners, Drive ins and Dives featured a restaurant in Santa Rosa, California called Willie Birds Restaurant and besides everything turkey, they have a Thanksgiving dinner entree on the menu. Their business is also selling Willie Bird Turkeys.

                        I've also seen other restaurants on FN that have Thanksgiving turkey dinners on their menu every day of the year.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: monku

                          Our local place also always has turkey dinner on the menu....I think that is pretty cool.

                        2. I wouldn't want to do that, because then Thanksgiving dinner wouldn't be so special. I mean, at most, maybe one other time during the year?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: bayoucook

                            It really depends on the home and the people and the food they like.
                            Even though I make/made 3 meals a day with dinner being special every night and turkey dinners being one of the favorites....
                            Thanksgiving is one of the most endearing holidays and always has been.

                            1. re: bayoucook

                              I don't think it's just the food that makes Thanksgivin special. I think it has more to do with sharing a meal, any meal, with family and close friends.

                            2. Whenever I need to feed a group for several days, I'll make a turkey dinner and change the sides for the seasons. I find it one of the easier meals to make, most everyone likes it, it's relatively inexpensive, and the leftovers make for sandwiches and soup in successive days.

                              Do it all but the desserts - I just don't like to make or eat them!

                              1. Once I had a big party about a week after Thanksgiving, I had homemade meatballs and chili and cold platters of meat. Almost as an afterthought I also roasted a turkey I had bought on sale. I thought the turkey would be shunned but people dug into it like mad. Two families admitted that they hadn't felt like fussing with a turkey for Thanksgiving so they were really gratified to have one after all, only a week late. I usually have a roast turkey early in the fall but not too close to Thanksgiving, I agree with other posters that I want the turkey to be special on Thanksgiving day. I skip the turkey on Christmas and have something very easy like ham, and then I usually have a turkey in January just to have a cheap healthy big meal with lots of wonderful leftovers to play with. So three times a year with the turkey for me usually. But I also like to make roast chicken with stuffing and cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes about once a month also. Yum!

                                1. Personally, nothing would make me happier than to have Thanksgiving more than once a year....but now, all 3 sons are grown, 2 live in Cali...spouse is now (sadly) "ex-spouse"...there you have it...how can I stuff and roast a turkey with just little old "2 of us"? My sister, though, well, I'll tell you...she also has 3 sons who live in her vicinity in NJ...and she damned well DOES cook a turkey more than once a year...though, she does NOT do this in July, I will admit that! She gets free turkeys from one of her grocery stores due to "points." I am SOOOOOOO jealous...well, there you have it...I need to go and buy a turkey breast, stuffing and some other sides and just make that for youngest son and me! *3-4 times a month??? c'mon...surely you mean 3-4 times a YEAR...no???*

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Val

                                    You can roast a breast (or half breast) over stuffing - tastes nearly the same and may solve your sibling rivalry . . .


                                    1. re: alwayscooking

                                      <snerk> You are correct! I'd better do it soon, too! summer comes early in SW Florida!

                                      1. re: Val

                                        Leftover roast turkey breast is great in a summer pasta salad. Growing up, my mom's extended family did a big pot luck Thanksgiving for about 45 people and leftovers were not common. To remedy our lack of leftovers, my mom and I would make a small version of Thanksgiving dinner the week before using turkey breast roasts. I continued that theme with a much larger bird while in college - all my friends in the area came to our place for their turkey fix before driving home for the break. Now, I make a roast turkey breast when I want the flavors of fall. Turkey itself is not just a fall bird in my family - I love using turkey throughout the year without the thanksgiving extras.

                                    2. re: Val

                                      No, I'm almost positive she said 3 to 4 times a month.

                                      They have a large family, 2 adults, 4 kids. So she makes 8-10 pound turkey, has enough for leftovers for lunch the next couple of days, and everyone's happy.

                                    3. 3-4 times a month is a bit much, but I do make it a few times a year. I don't do stuffing (neither I nor DH like it), or pie (don't need it) but I typically do turkey, corn, mash, and a green veg, along with gravy and cranberry (from a can - the horror!). I just did it the other day, in fact. Our butcher does a deboned turkey breast, and the leftovers are perfect for sandwiches.

                                      1. Yes, we have it at least a couple of other times in the year.
                                        We have some close friends that love turkey dinner, and we just prepared it again about two weeks ago. Sometimes we have turkey for easter and at least once in the summer - usually July.
                                        It's too good not to enjoy more than once a year.

                                        1. Three or four times a MONTH? No way. There's too much other types of food out there to warrant having a full-on Turkey Day dinner that often.

                                          Maybe one other time a year - but only in cold months. Thanksgiving first, and then *maybe* in February or March. But I agree with you - no way would I want that type of food in the heat of the summer.

                                          1. I have it or a smaller version every couple of months. I do cook turkey maybe once a month. Easy and great leftovers and can use it in a lot of dishes.

                                            Sometimes I'll make stuffing and potatoes, usually potatoes for sure but sometimes different sides. I love to make roasted beets (reminds me of cranberry I guess). I don't make the pie, but some of the traditional sides. But only every 2-3 months. But turkey yes. I love getting small ones and then having some that night and the rest makes great 2-3 other meals. I love turkey tettrazinn.

                                            I also make a casserole with wild rice, white and green asparagus and wild mushrooms in a light cream champagne sauce. It is a favorite of mine. I think I make turkey just so I can use the leftovers in this dish.

                                            So YES for me. Not quite as elaborate, but thanksgiving a few times a year is great!

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: kchurchill5

                                              Do you have a recipe for that casserole with a cream champagne sauce? :-)

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Yep, let me look it up and will post. It is yummy and simple but looks really good too. Give me just a bit to find it. Don't have it electronically , but will do.

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  I use about 2 1/2 - 3 cups of leftover turkey just diced is fine
                                                  1 box 6 cups of wild rice (when it is just me store bought wild rice is fine); company, I get
                                                  some rice from whole foods. I still don't get minute stuff even from the grocer.
                                                  1 bunch of each white and green asparagus (if white is not available, don't worry)
                                                  1 small onion thin sliced
                                                  1/2 split (the small half bottles) champagne
                                                  3 cups bechemel sauce (butter, flour and cream)
                                                  3 tablespoons butter and flour, 2 cups milk
                                                  Fresh thyme 1 tablespoon, dash of nutmeg (for the bechemel), parsley to garnish
                                                  1/4 cup almonds
                                                  Bread crumbs as a garnish (I like them)

                                                  I prepare the asparagus by cutting off the very end (I like the asparagus whole) and make the rice (add the almonds to the rice right at the end. (I like to blanch my asparagus; Just in the micro for 1 minute, very easy and quick) Then in a large pan melt butter, add turkey and onion and toss to coat. Add flour, cook a minute or two and then the cream, thyme, salt and pepper to make the sauce. Then add the champagne and stir well.

                                                  Now add the rice to a Pam sprayed 13x9 pan, top with asparagus. I alternate the colors, it is pretty and they have a bit of a different flavor so It tastes good. Top with the "creamed turkey" in champange sauce. I like to top with bread crumbs and parsley.

                                                  Sounds like a lot but not much. Great flavor. It serves 6-8 easily. It is rich and yummy, comfort food. This is great served with a roasted beet salad. Just posted one. http://www.chow.com/recipes/18709
                                                  One of my favorite salads, but serve anything you like


                                                  FYI ... forgot, but if serving for a party .. great to serve in small individual dishes. I have just some simple corning ware plain white. Had them forever and use them all the time. Just makes a pretty individual serving. Great dinner for friends, Not too expensive, elegant with a great salad or even some great bread or fresh rolls. To me some honey and thyme butter on fresh baked rolls. Can't get much better.

                                                  1. re: kchurchill5

                                                    sounds good, thanks! I'll have to keep the link for the next time I make turkey (which isn't all that often). But this would be a good way to use up the leftovers and give my mom a few small dishes she could take out of the freezer and heat up for dinner.

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      It is great for that. I usually make a big casserole for dinner and 2-3 other seperate ones to heat up. You can use broccoli too if asparagus is too much. Did that a couple of times. I just like the asparagus. A few artichokes are also good in this, did that once. but usually just the asparagus. Good comfort food. I actually made a turkey 3 weeks ago, small one, dinner with stuffing and potatoes and then had 4 bags leftover. This will be one this week. Also my turkey in quesadillas. some cranberry sauce, fresh brie, herbed cheese and carmelized onions. Fantastic quesadillas or do the same mix on a croissant. Fantastic flavor.

                                                      Then Turkey chili. Why not. So needless to say I love turkey.

                                                      1. re: kchurchill5

                                                        With the broccoli, very much like a turkey divan. Which was a standard "how to use the turkey leftovers" when I was growing up. :-)

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                          Absolutely, I just love asparagus and very elegant in some way but hey it's vegetable. I love them all.

                                              2. I don't do it every month... but I really like roasted turkey so I stash at least a couple of turkey breasts in the freezer when they're selling them for the holidays. That way I can make us a nice roast turkey dinner when I feel like it. And turkey wouldn't be turkey without sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce!

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Kajikit

                                                  no mashed sweet potatoes, baked yes, sorry ... but cranberry absolutely.

                                                  Ok, here is one, a turkey, sweet potato, cranberry and gruyere panini. Yes. It is yummy

                                                  1. re: kchurchill5

                                                    I like my sweet potatoes roasted with some balsamic vinegar or else baked whole. sweet potato casserole is good, but only as a dessert! lol!

                                                2. This is actually a really good idea, well, except for doing it so often. I do feel like that would kind of take away from the actual Holiday, but in my house it'd be a nice surprise for my SO. As a bonus, it'd give me a no-stress chance to perfect some of my dishes and try some of the more avant-garde dishes that the traditionalists always seem to shrink from. Good tip, thanks for passing it along, I'm definitely adopting it in my house.

                                                  1. Whenever it's on sale, whole or breast. Usually about once a month, mostly winter though. All the usual side dishes but no stuffing or dessert, unless I have some left from Thanksgiving and freeze it in small portions.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: coll

                                                      Try summer for turkey, I make it different with a big salad or turkey salad or quesadillas. All lighter fare.

                                                      Also when I grill the turkey I make a light wild rice and citrus stuffing with a white wine gravy and some simple fresh chilled vegetables. A bit different. Some light stirfrys easy salads. Summer can be great for turkey, spring rolls, anything.

                                                      1. re: kchurchill5

                                                        But it's not on sale in the summer!

                                                        1. re: coll

                                                          Turkey was just on sale last week here and I bought one. I buy small ones, around 10. Still leaves me with leftovers.

                                                          1. re: kchurchill5

                                                            I do often buy a few in the spring when the sale is good, and end up making one in the summer. Just never grill them. I wait until it's the hottest day of the year, crank up the air co and make it with all the fixings. Or save it for just after Labor Day, as an ode to fall. Right now I couldn't fit a pea into my freezer, although I am working on it, but I've had to pass up a couple of sales lately. Sad.

                                                            1. re: coll

                                                              Thanksgiving last year ... Cranked up the air cuz it was 80 outside, just so I could light a small fire in my fireplace for atmosphere. And also after cooking all day it was a little toasty in the kitchen :)

                                                              Luckily I have a friend very close by that travels 90% of the time and also happens to have a very large chest freezer in garage which I have adopted and use quite a bit. FYI, I think I have room for maybe 2 peas in my tiny fridge.

                                                    2. For me, at least, Thanksgiving dinner is a LOT of work. We do it at most twice, the second being Christmas. 3 - 4 times a month (which, by the way, is once per week), seems downright crazy. Unless they have a family of 15, there are probably leftovers for several days, so that would have them eating turkey 50% of the time???

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: bnemes3343

                                                        I am making turkey tomorrow, probably make a potato dish, some roasted veggies and some gravy. 10 lb and will be enough for dinner, 3 baggies of dinner I will freeze for a later date. A little for sandwiches the next day and then the bones for soup.

                                                        Besides so simple, turn on oven, rub with olive oil s/p and put in oven, cook. I don't do all the fixings but do make some simple potatoes, I roast and lightly mash and also make some gravy of course and then some vegetables. Easier than most meals

                                                        On top of that.

                                                        Open face hot turkey sandwiches
                                                        My champagne and wild rice casserole
                                                        Turkey tettrazinni
                                                        and of course turkey soup a couple of weeks later.

                                                        To me it is a excellent meal to cook and enjoy the leftovers on nights where time is of the essence. I just took a turkey dinner to a new mom. Made a lighter potato side and some great roasted veggies and a cornbread stuffing. I did make gravy. They loved it.

                                                      2. Growing up we were allowed to request our favorite meal for our birthday. My sister would always request a full on Turkey dinner in July. Mother always complied.
                                                        My aunt serves turkey for a late October birthday in the family. It is always very welcome.

                                                        I roast a turkey to take when someone dies or is ill or hospitalized.

                                                        1. No, because I'm not crazy about traditional Thanksgiving food in general. I don't even have it during Thanksgiving.

                                                          1. There are two supermarkets in my area selling turkey parts year round -- packaged on trays just like chicken parts. These parts are not frozen, although they could have been at one time. One market has small half turkeys as well, so it's not such a big production for a small family. Enjoy your turkey without too much left over.

                                                            1. Wow! 4 times a month is a lot. But hey, if they all like it, why not?
                                                              While I've never done it myself, I've heard of other people doing this.
                                                              When I went to summer camp as a kid, they used to have a Thanksgiving style meal once or twice during the session.


                                                              1. I would still do and continue to do turkey, but I make lighter sides, maybe a nice rice or a light potato dish and some roasted veggies

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                  I make a wild rice salad with dried cranberries, pecans, and scallions.

                                                                2. Nope, once a year is plenty, except if I bag a wild turkey, then it's a whole different animal. So good.

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                    Is it true that they are covered with fleas? I had a big flock of them that lived on my property, and used to joke about having them for dinner, and a hunter told me don't go near them as they are always infested. Or did he just want them for himself? They were sort of like pets anyway,silly things.

                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                      Oh, they might have a few critters, but dunk 'em in boiling water before plucking; santitizes and makes for easier pluckin'. Shore iz good eatin' though. Warning, though; you'll never be happy with a Butterball agin.

                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                        As a kid, we used to get our Turkeys from the Hutterites. They raised some of the most delicious turkeys. My mother still buys her eggs and chickens from them...they are hard to beat.

                                                                    2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                      I saw a wild turkey roaming around up in the Four Corners a couple of years ago....
                                                                      It was awesome to see and I've always wondered how their taste differs from the turkey we're all accustomed to.

                                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                                        I've heard they're tough, but what do I know. I just think they're cute.

                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                          Wild turkey has lots of dark meat; even the breast is darker. One must use a larding needle however when cooking. Thirty five years ago was hunting turkey in the Grants-Gallup area, elk too. Here in Maine, my wife won't let me stick my 22 out the bathroom window when a flock of turkeys are in the backyard, but she is enthusiastic about feeding them, so I can legally hunt them more easily.

                                                                      2. My dad's cafeteria used to have turkey and dressing every Sunday. They had turkey breast that they baked, and turkey thighs that they baked, and then they made dressing in a separate pan (it's dressing, not stuffing; we don't put it inside a bird, no sir, not ever). Then they'd put it in the pan for the line: a scoop of the dressing, a slice each of dark and white meat, and then cover it with gravy and heat it up.

                                                                        Since we ate at the cafeteria nearly every Sunday after church, at that point I had turkey and dressing--along with pumpkin pie, frequently--3-4 times a month back then. And I certainly wasn't the only one; it was a very popular item. (I have a feeling it came about because dressing is a wonderful way to dispatch leftover bread, and there was always plenty of that on hand.)

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: revsharkie

                                                                          Never knew dressing and stuffing were different, now I know.

                                                                          1. re: monku

                                                                            Technically, there's no difference. Some call it stuffing when it's cooked inside the bird, and dressing when it's cooked outside the bird. I think it's more called "stuffing" north of the Mason-Dixon line, whereas it's always "dressing" in the South and Midwest.

                                                                            Whatever you call it - if you like it, it's all good. :-)

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              Nobody in my family has ever made dressing inside the bird. It's weird, and my grandpa used to have a poultry house so they know how to process it properly, but we have always, always cooked it in a separate pan. I'm not sure I'd even know how to stuff it inside. We are from the South and the MIdwest, but I always understood that it was dressing because it wasn't stuffed into anything.

                                                                              1. re: revsharkie

                                                                                I use a stuffing "sack" specifically made for putting stuffing into the turkey. I have also used cheesecloth.

                                                                                I enjoy the stuffing cooked inside the bird so much, seldom touch "dressing" baked separately.

                                                                        2. used to have a tradition of a 2nd TG dinner every year, that has sadly fallen by the wayside. It started in college - because everyone would scatter for thanksgiving to their families, we would have one with our chosen family of friends a week or 2 before thanksgiving. later after we were all out of college, it continued , although some years came after, rather than before. it got to the point where it was 30 or so people every year. went on for a good 15 years. and then suddenly - stopped. i don't know why.

                                                                          1. I want to make a turkey with a bikini suntan this summer. Saw a picture of one in google images. You can serve it on a beach towel, surrounded with summer drinks with paper umbrellas. Takes it out of the usual Thanksgiving mindset.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: neverlate

                                                                              Yes, it most DEFINITELY takes it out of the usual T'giving mindset! LOL


                                                                            2. I actually don't do "Thanksgiving" in the traditional sense for religious/personal reasons. However, my family/friends and I do "Black Friday Dinner". We figure that since turkey is cheap, all of the fixings are on sale, and the rest of the city is out Christmas shopping (yet another holiday we don't do), we stay in, cook together, and pile up in the kitchen for food and funny conversation. We've been doing this for about 3 years and each year more people come as our social circle gets bigger. It totally works-all of the togetherness, none of the stress.

                                                                              1. I'll roast off a half (or whole) turkey about once every other month. Sides include mashed, gravy, peas & onions, and stuffing ("dressing.") Other veggies are seasonal.

                                                                                The Chinese staff who work in our restaurant -- as well as personnel of other nationalities -- all skip their breakfast employee meal when they know there's a turkey in the oven; they wanna have room for *all* the trimmings. Occasionally, to mix things up, instead of a conventional brine for the turkey we use soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a little rice wine. Boy, is that turkey tasty and moist when we do that!

                                                                                I'm a sucker for restaurants, even diners, that offer a turkey dinner that even slightly resembles Thanksgiving's feast. So I eat turkey dinner even more frequently than I cook it.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: shaogo

                                                                                  Shago, the soy brined turkey sounds wonderful what sides might you serve with that?

                                                                                  I make a turkey or the breast at least once a month. I just can't make myself shell out $7.99# or more for good deli meat. Most often we do traditional sides for the first diner but this summer I did a potato salad, herbed bread and cranberry jello that was comforting and still cool.

                                                                                2. Last Sunday I made a full Thanksgiving style meal. I love turkey. My mother roasted a turkey about every 6 weeks.
                                                                                  I make one about 5 times a year.
                                                                                  This does not include a turkey breast roasted weekly for sandwiches,

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                    Once a year, that's it. I don't eat leftover turkey.

                                                                                  2. I have never heard of anyone doing this, and I think it's bizarre.