Happy Thanksgiving from the Logistics Gang at AMT
Heading into Thanksgiving.
Things have changed a lot during 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic and a bruising presidential election. Some state governments are upping their regulations, closing restaurants and bars, and creating mask mandates while others seem committed to letting the virus run its course. Either way, folks are spending more time at home which has accelerated the growth of e-commerce. Logistics providers have been working hard in an uncertain and ever-shifting environment.
Right now, we all need a little Thanksgiving. But it’s very likely that some of you are going to see some of your traditions change. Travel is more difficult now as are large family gatherings, and while many of us have conflicting opinions on the upheaval, most of us are heading into the holiday season with hope for a little normalcy.
Here at AM Transport, we are pretty good at adapting. If you’ve been in logistics as long as we have (30 years and counting), you have to be. But even with all the change, some things remain the same–our gratitude for the customers and carriers we work with day in and day out. And we’re grateful for each other and our families. So as we head into Thanksgiving, we thought we’d share some memories, menus, and a recipe or too.
For someone who enjoys cooking, Thanksgiving is the Super Bowl. In my earlier years, I think my family got a little frustrated with me because I always like to try something different. Sure, I would cook some sort of turkey. It just wasn’t the same turkey, shoved in the oven with the same old seasonings year after year. But now, they get kind of excited about what I may be cooking.
Through all the cooking experiments I’ve conducted over the years, there are a couple of things I think people should know. One is, don’t be afraid to brine your turkey. Now, I wouldn’t recommend this if you are deep frying–lots of water and hot oil don’t mix well. I don’t really use a recipe, but the brine my family prefers consists of fresh limes, lemons, oranges, apple cider, peppercorns, salt, thyme, onions, and garlic. The citrus seems to be a hit. The second thing is this: Never cook your turkey in an oven! Not that it’s a bad thing, but you just miss the opportunity for flavoring.
For those not all that confident in their grilling skills, you can still put a turkey on a gas grill and use a meat thermometer. Most gas grills have multiple burners and using the burners not directly beneath the turkey works well. You can add some great flavor by wrapping up some wood chips (hickory, apple, cherry) in some foil, poke some holes in that foil for the smoke to get out, and put it on the hot side of the grill.
Don’t be afraid to try something different. Even if you do it on a small scale while sticking with what you are confident on for the big piece. Then next time you can apply what you learned. For those of you who like to stick with recipes, I suggest you find the November 2017 issue of Southern Living. It features some great recipes with a little twist.
This year, I’m trying to get my kids involved. We butchered a hog earlier this year, and I rendered the leaf lard to use. We are going to make some pies with fresh leaf lard! We may even try to tackle some other pastry crusts with it!
I LOVE THANKSGIVING! I can’t wait to eat all this yummy food. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Here’s an excellent Thanksgiving menu!
Green Bean Casserole
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
My favorite item on the turkey day menu is definitely party potatoes. You can find the recipe here!
My ideal plate will have no less than 3 slices of turkey, some pork loin, a heaping pile of party potatoes, corn, noodles, and of course, a roll. If you’re an experienced Thanksgiving eater, you’ll then need to double down on this plate and go for round 2 before falling into a deep coma during football.
My favorite thing to eat is my mom’s dressing, and in particular, the corner pieces. Along with that, it’s funny that Bridgett and I often face off on who gets the corner piece. I’ve been at a severe disadvantage since being married, we usually arrive after the main meal and I am at the mercy of the folks who dish out the leftovers. I’m hoping that this year, Bridgett can make sure a corner, or at least an edge piece, is saved for me.
Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.
When I was growing up, my aunt and uncle who lived in Florida would come up and spend a week with us over Thanksgiving. This made the holiday so special. They always brought our Christmas gifts and they’d do all the fun activities with us that our parents tended to not be too interested in. We’d set up the Christmas tree with my aunt every year as well.
Another thing that makes Thanksgiving so special is the food. I am a person who thinks about food 24/7. I love the turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade noodles, rolls, and pie. I think about Thanksgiving food all the time.
Last Thanksgiving was pretty special. I recently got engaged and my future step-daughters were able to travel to my mom’s with us. Watching them in the kitchen with my mom, helping with the noodles and other food was very touching. Also, just adding to the family, in general, makes it feel so much more special and full.
Growing up, we alternated going to one of the aunts’/uncles’ houses or having the celebration at our house. All of my cousins would be there, and it was always crowded, noisy, and so much fun. There was usually something that caught on fire. Tables were spread all throughout the house in order to fit everyone in.
After the cleanup, Grandma had Bingo ready to go with prizes she had accumulated throughout the year. It was great fun, and I miss those big get-togethers.
One time we were making a turkey at my grandma’s house and a squirrel got in a transformer box outside, so the whole neighborhood lost power. We had to transport a half-baked turkey and all the other food to my aunt’s house on the other side of town to continue making Thanksgiving lunch. It was complete chaos.
Thanksgiving = parade and snacks all morning, then an afternoon full of football and naps.
My mom was cleaning the knives used to carve the turkey a few years ago, and she accidentally cut her hand pretty badly. A few of us ended up spending a solid handful of hours that Thanksgiving at the hospital while she got stitches.
Every year for Thanksgiving day we get a couple of boxes of clay pigeons and shoot after our meal. My granddad started this tradition, and I always look forward to it. For the last five years, we go out to Walmart on Thanksgiving night for shopping. Every year my sister tries to steal something out of Kacie Rodgers’ (Sam’s wife) shopping cart. It always catches her off guard and is hilarious.
Spending quality time with my family is always one of the best parts of Thanksgiving. But for me, it’s tough to beat the foot ball games (though my wife would tell you that’s a regular Sunday for me).
Since our extended Family is wisely laying low this Thanksgiving, we’ve hit on a plan for the three of us (my wife, daughter and I) in our immediate family. On Thanksgiving, each one of us will make a spectacular meal–my daughter breakfast, my wife lunch, and I was awarded dinner duty. I guess what we’re lacking in camaraderie, we’ll compensate for with even more calories than usual.
Looks like this group is going to have a great Thanksgiving as usual. And that’s what we wish for all of you reading this today. I’ll leave you with a tip for the best Thanksgiving mashed potatoes ever. Two words–bacon fryings. Add a couple of teaspoons of your saved-up bacon grease, and your potatoes will have depth and richness. Seriously, you’ll be surprised. My grandma made the best mashed potatoes in the world. She always told us it was the bacon frinds. Yes, for years I thought there was a thing called bacon frinds. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I realized it was fryings not frinds. So if you save your bacon grease give it a try. You won’t be sorry.