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Anybody serve Turkey for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas?

jcmods Dec 11, 2013 12:06 PM

I kinda feel it is crazy, but I may want turkey again for Christmas (even though I had tons of leftovers).

Does anyone else do the Turkey for Christmas too? Do you vary the side dishes at all? For instance, I don't know if I would make stuffing for the Christmas version, but I probably would still do green beans and shallots, Brussels sprouts and roasted potatos.

  1. melpy Dec 11, 2013 12:14 PM

    My in-laws. Nothing is different. Same thing for Easter too.

    Dried out stringy turkey
    dried out stringy ham
    cornstarch and water gravy
    mashed potato
    corn casserole
    mac and cheese
    canned sweet potatoes cooked in the skillet with King syrup and brown sugar
    baked beans
    oyster filling
    bread filling
    pickled watermelon rind
    celery sticks
    cranberry "relish"
    fruit salad in juice
    pies (these may vary: coconut custard, shoofly, pumpkin, montgomery, egg custard)

    water or mountain dew

    3 Replies
    1. re: melpy
      Athena Dec 12, 2013 07:41 AM

      @melpy - water or mountain dew - you have my deepest sympathies.

      Thanksgiving is not a holiday here, but many of my fellow Bermudians see it as a practice run for Christmas dinner. I used to make it for my American friends, but two turkey dinners - even though they are very different aside from the turkey – so close together - no.

      1. re: Athena
        LorenzoGA Dec 12, 2013 08:33 AM

        Very interesting about Bermuda--thanks for sharing.

        1. re: Athena
          melpy Dec 16, 2013 09:30 AM

          I like water (a lot), so it isn't a hardship per se.

      2. LindaWhit Dec 11, 2013 12:14 PM

        My parents used to, but once I started cooking in my own home, I asked Mom what she wanted and she agreed, no turkey for Christmas. We've done Beef Tenderloin with Cognac Cream Sauce for many years, but this year, my sister is having Christmas, so knowing her, she'll have a ham (which I'm not overly fond of, but will pick at).

        Sides with the beef are usually roasted potatoes and green beans with shallots and bacon, sometimes another side.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LindaWhit
          jcmods Dec 11, 2013 12:20 PM

          I've done roast beef or rib roast and it is just not as idiot proof as a turkey. Never comes out as good as a restaurant version. I feel like my turkey is better than a restaurant's version as at least I have learned how not to make it dry and I don't have to serve all those marshmallowey/syrupey side dishes that I never even liked as a kid.

        2. f
          foodslut Dec 11, 2013 12:22 PM

          Never ever. And I like turkey. Either suckling pig, cabbage rolls, and other sides (think Eastern Europe); or Danish prune-stuffed pork tenderloin from DH's side... This year, we're doing Christmas Eve dinner (seared duck breast) and Christmas Day (pulled pork) on our own, so yay for variety.

          1. r
            RedTop Dec 11, 2013 12:24 PM

            Raises hand to affirm.

            1. a
              acssss Dec 11, 2013 12:25 PM

              I like to have each holiday separate with regards to the foods, what we do during the holiday, the decorations, etc. That way, when my kids are older (and I am dead) every time they eat a certain food they'll remember and say... "oh this is what we ate during xyz"... if it's just turkey all the time, they'll only think of me once.

              1. w
                wattacetti Dec 11, 2013 12:30 PM

                Yes, but Canadian Thanksgiving (the good one) occurs in October so there really isn't that much overlap. Some side dishes change depending on market availability.

                1. c
                  ChiliDude Dec 11, 2013 12:45 PM

                  My wife is not a person who craves turkey. When our 3 kids were living with us and she was working at a corporate job, she would buy a big bird. The whole bird was roasted for Thanksgiving, but half of it was put in the freezer for Christmas.

                  We now have different meals for Christmas. Seven fishes on Christmas Eve is not one of them. All though she is of Italian descent, Chicago was not a seafood area when she was a kid, and seafood was not readily available because it was not flown in from the East Coast.

                  1. Jacquilynne Dec 11, 2013 01:04 PM

                    In my parents' home, Turkey was always served on both Christmas and Thanksgiving, but we're in Canada and early October is much further from Christmas than late November is.

                    Mind you, occasionally we'd have turkey on New Years Day, too, and that's way closer to Christmas than even American Thanksgiving. Though usually that would only happen if we went to my aunt's for Christmas dinner and thus didn't have leftover turkey of our own.

                    1. SaraAshley Dec 11, 2013 01:10 PM

                      I can't remember every year, but I'm almost certain that my Mom does at least most years. Thanks for reminding me! I should talk to her about maybe changing the menu for this year. A rib roast or beef tenderloin sound great. She does switch it up for New Years, though and the tradition is always pork and sauerkraut. For Easter it is always a ham.

                      1. p
                        pine time Dec 11, 2013 03:17 PM

                        As much as I love turkey (Mr P tolerates it, sort of), we nixed it for Christmas ages ago. Played around with other ideas, mostly beef (standing rib roasts, prime steaks), but we've settled on country ham for Christmas, which also is our standard Easter fare.

                        1. j
                          jbsiegel Dec 11, 2013 05:46 PM

                          Oh yes...I do! In fact, I hate to admit that it's basically the exact same meal. The only difference is dessert. Thanksgiving is something pumpkin, and Christmas is Christmas Pudding from Fortnum & Mason in London.

                          1. Gio Dec 11, 2013 06:04 PM

                            Nope. Not here. Different holidays require different menus. They might be repeated from year to year but they usually don't follow each other down the line. Turkey, etc., for Thanksgiving is a given.

                            Christmas Day is entirely up for grabs. Through the years we've done lobsters, goose, venison, ham, rabbit, and anything else anyone wants. Standing rib roast with Yorkshire pudding always was the favorite, though. In the Weber, no less.

                            1. fldhkybnva Dec 11, 2013 07:05 PM

                              I'm pondering it. My family always has turkey at both holidays though there are always other meat options as well.

                              1. n
                                nothingswrong Dec 11, 2013 10:48 PM

                                My family does turkey and beef tenderloin (or filets) at Christmas. With mashed potatoes, stir-fried garlic/ginger green beans, roasted asparagus, and whatever else people bring. It's definitely not Thanksgiving round 2, there just happens to be a turkey and mashed taters on the table. I personally love it.

                                1. d
                                  deputygeorgie Dec 12, 2013 03:59 AM

                                  We do. Both my family and my boyfriend's family. We never have turkey throughout the year except deli slices. We essentially have the same meal for Christmas as Thanksgiving. We also have a ham.

                                  1. Davwud Dec 12, 2013 04:25 AM

                                    That's how I was raised. As has been posted as well, for Easter.


                                    1. j
                                      Janet from Richmond Dec 12, 2013 07:43 AM

                                      Nope....the once a year turkey is one too many for me.

                                      Christmas is for beef and seafood.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                        LindaWhit Dec 12, 2013 08:15 AM

                                        You SURVIVED!!! ;-)

                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                          Janet from Richmond Dec 12, 2013 08:43 AM

                                          I did!

                                      2. m
                                        mwhitmore Dec 12, 2013 08:33 AM

                                        My Mom used to. Same sides, maybe the pie was different.

                                        1. g
                                          gourmanda Dec 12, 2013 08:44 AM

                                          I have done turkey for both, simply because it's easy and doesn't need babysitting. Dressing, potatoes, green beans usually on the side.

                                          1. DockPotato Dec 12, 2013 09:48 AM

                                            Turkey for Thanksgiving, yes. Our family get together usually includes ham with kolbasz, various sides and stuffed cabbage. This year we've reverted to an earlier tradition - I've ordered a Goose which my sister promises to do very, very crispy.

                                            We'll bring the drippings back with us though.

                                            1. s
                                              sheetz Dec 12, 2013 10:23 AM

                                              It's actually funny how so many people hesitate to eat turkey more than once a year but gladly eat chicken more than once a week.

                                              13 Replies
                                              1. re: sheetz
                                                LindaWhit Dec 12, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                I don't hesitate - but the two taste different to me, and I prefer chicken vs. turkey. But I do buy turkey tenderloins on occasion in the stupidmarket.

                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                  Puffin3 Dec 12, 2013 10:55 AM

                                                  I'm roasting a duck this Christmas. 'She who must be obeyed's former mother-in-law is bringing the turkey. I'll say no more.

                                                  1. re: Puffin3
                                                    LindaWhit Dec 12, 2013 11:11 AM

                                                    "Oh, thank you for offering the turkey, but I'm SO stuffed having eaten so much duck!" would be my response to SWMBO's ex-MIL. ;-)

                                                    1. re: Puffin3
                                                      fldhkybnva Dec 12, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                      I'm pondering duck as well. I've never made it but seems like it'd be a nice holiday dinner.

                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                        jcmods Dec 12, 2013 12:52 PM

                                                        I love duck, but I am afraid I will screw it up. It's not all that easy to do. That goes for rib roasts too (hate buying a really nice piece of meat and then mess it up by over/undercooking it). Pork Shoulder/Butt is really easy, but I do that a lot too.

                                                  2. re: sheetz
                                                    pine time Dec 12, 2013 11:02 AM

                                                    If turkey was the size of chicken, I might make it a whole lot more often. Just can't use up all the leftovers for a household of 2.

                                                    1. re: pine time
                                                      jcmods Dec 12, 2013 12:25 PM

                                                      That's where gumbo comes in. I am not from Louisiana, but I don't think my version is half bad (for a yankee).

                                                      Good news is you can freeze single serving portions.

                                                    2. re: sheetz
                                                      fldhkybnva Dec 12, 2013 12:47 PM

                                                      I eat turkey weekly all year round. I actually prefer it to chicken.

                                                      1. re: sheetz
                                                        betsydiver Dec 12, 2013 03:55 PM

                                                        seems to me we did have turkey on both holiday tables with not too much variation in sides; it's not like we would have turkey at any other time of the year, 2x over 2 months seemed not too excessive...

                                                        1. re: sheetz
                                                          Janet from Richmond Dec 13, 2013 07:06 AM

                                                          Chicken has a different taste and texture from turkey.

                                                          Not funny at all.

                                                          1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                            sheetz Dec 13, 2013 07:34 AM

                                                            Of course turkey and chicken are different, but they are more similar than they are to other types of proteins like beef, pork, or fish. Yet I never hear people saying, "Yeah, today I've eaten my quota for pork this year, so that's it for the next 12 months."

                                                            1. re: sheetz
                                                              Janet from Richmond Dec 13, 2013 10:07 AM

                                                              That's because pork tastes good and turkey tastes like turkey.

                                                              1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                                LindaWhit Dec 13, 2013 10:35 AM


                                                                sheetz, believe me - you shall never ever EVER sway J-from-R from her appointed rounds as someone who find turkey distasteful.

                                                        2. b
                                                          brucesw Dec 12, 2013 11:13 AM

                                                          Back when we were doing traditional menus for both holidays, yes. The bird for Christmas would be a bit smaller and there would also be a ham, never present on Tksgiving. The portion of corn bread dressing would also be smaller (and there were never any leftovers).

                                                          There might be some variation in sides if a special request was made but the only other differences would be dependent on which group of relatives was being invited as they would always bring something - a side and a dessert, usually. One aunt specialized in jello puddings, soooooo... Another made a green bean casserole that was better than the standard one (which we never had). We always thought she wasn't a very good cook and that's all she could make but one year she also showed up with some lasagna! There were no leftovers of that either. I think she was holding out on us but she brought store bought pies.

                                                          One dessert that would appear at Christmas but not turkey day we knew as 'Toasted Coconut White Christmas Pie.' Living close to the Texas coast we never had a white Christmas so that was a nod in that direction. The filling was white rather than yellow but, spoiling the white Christmas theme, it was topped with shredded toasted coconut. And there was a layer of Triple Sec on the baked pie crust, under the filling. That was my favorite coconut pie but I've never had a recipe.

                                                          1. k
                                                            Kontxesi Dec 12, 2013 12:10 PM

                                                            Sometimes we do turkey, sometimes ham. Either way, our sides are almost identical to those served at Thanksgiving.

                                                            One year, when I was maybe 17 or 18, I did a pork tenderloin with cinnamon/nutmeg/etc and fried apples. It was delicious. If I didn't already have a turkey in my freezer, I would consider doing that again this year.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Kontxesi
                                                              Jacquilynne Dec 12, 2013 12:16 PM

                                                              Care to share your recipe if you have one?

                                                              A few years ago when I was home visiting, I did a tenderloin for dinner one night for the family -- cut it flat, added cinnamon, etc and rolled it back up and baked it -- and everyone raved about it and my mom always asks me to make it when I'm home, but, uh, "cut it flat, added cinnamon, etc" is about what I remember about what I did, so I've never managed to get it to be as good again! Would love to see more specific instructions for one other people also liked.

                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne
                                                                Kontxesi Dec 13, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                                You know, I'm not sure I had one, honestly. I was working at convenience store deli at the time, kind of shadowing the cook. She told me how to do it.

                                                                1. re: Kontxesi
                                                                  Jacquilynne Dec 13, 2013 12:21 PM

                                                                  Ah, well, I shall keep trying it again every time they ask for it, and one day, I will hit on a version that's as good as the first. Maybe better!

                                                            2. firecooked Dec 12, 2013 03:03 PM

                                                              We usually have turkey for Christmas, especially if there is a family gathering. Typically T-day is at my brothers, and Christmas at my house, so at least I don't have that "just finished eating the turkey leftovers" feeling.

                                                              1. n
                                                                nami54 Dec 12, 2013 08:25 PM

                                                                Oh yes. Huz loves turkey and all the trimmings and we would have it twice a week if it were up to him.

                                                                That, and SIL won't eat other forms of protein save chicken or turkey.

                                                                Thanksgiving is co-hosted at friends' home, Christmas dinner is only 4-6 of us. And we love our cozy, tiny Christmas dinner! We often do a half-turkey on the Weber. The first half we cook some time Thanksgiving weekend so we can have leftovers like everyone else.

                                                                1. s
                                                                  sandylc Dec 13, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                                  I don't serve turkey for either one! I have made exactly four turkeys in my long life and may never make another! So there! Feisty today. Sorry.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                    Janet from Richmond Dec 15, 2013 01:41 PM

                                                                    You are my hero!

                                                                  2. a
                                                                    Ama658 Dec 13, 2013 01:52 PM

                                                                    Yep, growing up we did. These days, as long as the holiday favorites (there really is a list...) are made & served between thanksgiving & New Year's Day, I can do what I like.
                                                                    And I'm the menu decider ;)

                                                                    1. t
                                                                      thingmaker Dec 13, 2013 02:43 PM

                                                                      Mr. TM and I are mad about turkey, so it's turkey for both holidays. :). I vary the side dishes somewhat and the turkey recipes.

                                                                      My go-to turkeys are: Apricot Glazed Turkey with Roasted Onion and Shallot Gravy from Bon Appetit , Roast Turkey Wayside Inn from the Vincent Price cookbook and Ina Garten's Accidental Turkey if I'm feeling lazy. ;). These recipes are so different that it really doesn't feel like a repeat meal.

                                                                      1. b
                                                                        barefootgirl Dec 17, 2013 09:37 AM

                                                                        We used to. Our family rule was that you got to pick the meal on your birthday. My grandfather was born on Christmas Day and his favorite meal was turkey. Not as many sides, but always mashed potatoes because he loved those. And my grandma's low-and-slow turkey that we called "roadkill turkey" because it would fall apart in the pan.

                                                                        The first Christmas after he passed away we did a prime rib, trying to change things up on a difficult day, and we've continued to do that. But we really had to research what other people had for Christmas dessert -- we'd always had birthday cake!

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