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Editor's Notebook: Food fun on Thanksgiving holiday

Happy Thanksgiving, Kane County!

I hope you and yours are enjoying the holiday and reflecting on reasons to be thankful.

As I write this – a week in advance of the holiday – I’m thinking I’ll be thankful if the meal I’m planning for 20 people at my house all comes together.

It will. … I just know it will!

I’ve hosted Thanksgiving for my family two times before, and I’ve made food to bring to other family members’ houses a number of times. It’s pretty funny to reflect on some of the “issues” that came up those years.

The first year I hosted at my place, I bought a huge frozen bird and I didn’t start defrosting it early enough.

My sister and I ran warm water over that thing for quite some time, but – at a certain point – we had to get it into the oven, so it would (we hoped) cook in time.

And it did. A Thanksgiving miracle! That’s one situation from which I’ve learned.

Another time, I was tasked with making mashed potatoes for about 25 people at my aunt’s house.

Now, mashed potatoes are my favorite Thanksgiving food, so that likely factored into how I wound up making mashed potatoes for about … 50 people. Yeah, I made a lot. (But I sure had fun doing it!)

I was kinda stoked that I had a ton of mashed potatoes to bring back home, but it was horrible timing to have so much leftover food. See, I was going on a cruise shortly after the holiday, and there was no way I could eat all of those leftovers.

So, I turned the mashed potatoes into potato pancakes and froze them. Wasn’t quite the same as nice, warm, freshly made mashed potatoes. But I hate wasting food, so I had to do something.

This year, I’ve asked those coming to my house to each bring a dish. That should make the whole affair a little easier for me.

I wish all of you the best this holiday. I hope your gatherings – and meals – turn out great.

Kathy Balcazar is weekly group editor for the Kane County Chronicle, Elburn Herald, Sugar Grove Herald and Suburban Life Media, and is a member of the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association Board. Contact her at or 630-845-5368. Learn more about NINA at

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