One of the things I missed most about the years I spent living outside of Texas was holidays with family.
Newspapers publish every day, and I usually ended up working, which made it nearly impossible to get home for Thanksgiving when I lived 1,000 miles away.
My first Thanksgiving away from home, I enjoyed a meal with friends and co-workers who couldn’t get home either.
We all brought our favorite traditional Thanksgiving dish, which made an interesting buffet that blended several cultures.
It was the first time I ever had turkey, egg rolls and Swedish meatballs at the same meal.
My contribution was broccoli casserole — the one item that makes my holiday meal complete.
While the gathering — also my first introduction to tofurkey — kept me from feeling lonely, it just wasn’t the same as time spent with the people I love most.
Since I moved back to Texas in 2008, I’ve hosted my family’s Thanksgiving dinner so we can eat lunch before I head to work.
Now, I get the best of both worlds — time with my family to reflect on all the things we’re thankful for while we enjoy a feast of ham, turkey and all the trimmings, and an excuse to avoid washing dishes.
Whatever your tradition may be, have a happy Thanksgiving.
- 24 ounces chopped broccoli (I buy it frozen to save time, but if you buy it fresh, you need about 4 cups)
- ½ pound reduced fat Velveeta cheese, cut into
- 1-inch cubes
- 1 stick butter
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- Steam broccoli in microwave until tender, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt cheese and stick of butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
- When broccoli is cooked, mix it with the cheese.
- Pour broccoli and cheese mixture into an oven-safe casserole dish.
- Melt ¼ cup of butter and mix with crushed crackers to make a topping.
- Spread it over the broccoli mix.
- Bake at 350°F until crackers are golden and mixture is bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Note: To save a little time on Thanksgiving, the ingredients can be premixed and refrigerated overnight, baking before the meal is served.