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November, 2011

The last holiday in October, Halloween, is followed by the most celebrated holidays of the year... starting with Thanksgiving.

Pumpkins

The last holiday in October, Halloween, is followed by the most celebrated holidays of the year... starting with Thanksgiving. Every year, on the fourth Thursday of November (this year it is November 24th,annual tradition brings families and friends together for a feast of thanks. Originally a thanks to God by the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony who survived a brutal winter safely, the first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days and provided food for 53 pilgrims and 90 Native Americans. Today’s Thanksgiving feast has many similarities in the foods that were served: berries, fruits, pumpkin and squash. Melissa’s has some new and delicious serving suggestions to enhance your current day Thanksgiving feast; Our newest grain called Freekah can be used as an ingredient in your stuffing, or as a side dish. Add fresh or Dried Cranberries and you have a delicious healthy side. Other fun appetizers are Dragon Fruit slices placed on top of a Starfuit slice, then topped with a dollop of yogurt. Try simple Melba toast rounds topped with Melissa's Sun Dried Tomato Pesto mixed with cream cheese. Everyone will love it and it is fast and simple to make.

Planning ahead is important for a successful holiday meal. Prepare your turkey early in the morning and cook it all day to get the aroma in the air. Use a turkey "bag" to insure a moist turkey and it basically takes care of itself (no basting). You can even toss your veggies in the bag with the turkey. Use plenty of Baby Fingerlings, Baby Carrots and even Pearl or Boiler Onions to serve as a tasty side dish. Melissa’s new Steamed Carrots are delicious served sprinkled with cinnamon and a dash of sugar. Fresh cranberry sauce and fresh mashed potatoes will be perfect sides, along with the green bean casserole that everyone loves and looks forward to every holiday season. Make is simple and easy, but tasty and filling.

After Thanksgiving, Hanukah and Christmas are right behind. This year the first night of Hanukah is December 20 at sundown. Generally a family feast is served before the Hanukah menorah is lit. Potato Latkes (or pancakes) are served with sour cream and apple sauce. Children play spin the dreidel and anxiously await opening a gift for the first night. Christmas is Friday, December 25th this year. The night before Christmas is also a very popular family gathering when many families go to church together. Christmas Day families gather for fun and food, and often a large feast similar to Thanksgiving.

Be sure to serves plenty of fresh Vegetables before and during your holiday meals to help offset all the wonderful sweets you will be eating!