Friday, November 28, 2008


Thanksgiving = work

That's what I learned. This is the first year that I cooked the majority of a Thanksgiving meal and let me tell you that while I loved it, I greatly underestimated the amount of work and time our mothers have donated for years and years to make this holiday fabulous!

I am an organized person (perhaps a bit too organized) with my print-out of what was to happen in 1/2-hour increments on Thursday morning -- juggling all the food and timing it all with one oven and one roaster takes planning ahead. I wasn't stressed and all went smoothly, but I hadn't planned on being on my feet in the kitchen from 8:00 AM until 1:00 when we all sat down to a beautiful table full of mouth-watering food. The whole morning was seriously non-stop and I barely had time to shower and get ready before our guests showed up.
Preparation included making pies the night before. Impressed with my perfect pie crust, I couldn't resist documenting the achievement. No, making Thanksgiving dinner did not cause me to drink (that's Martinelli's), but it did call for some Mountain Dew -- my old stand-by for stressful times. I might add that I have been very good about not drinking it over the past year (nothing like last Christmas).I looted Cyndee's kitchen (she's in Iowa) for plates, platters and then I noticed these cute figurines . . . and of course, they wanted to come to our feast as well - how could I resist?

By the time we sat down to dinner, I totally forgot to take pictures of the table or the food, but I will say that everything turned out tasty and I have some awesome recipes that I will file away under "holiday recipes" and they just may become my little family's stand-by recipes that I will hand down to my girlies -- they were that good.

Thank you America's Test Kitchen.

I swear by them. If you do EXACTLY what they say, people will think you're a good cook (I promise). I learned how to brine a turkey without actually immersing it in water and it turned out moist and saltily (is that a word? it's the perfect adjective for this so I'll pretend it is) flavorful. Homemade stuffing was fabulous as well.
I did manage to get a picture of the kids' table. Thrilled to have "big girl plates and cups," they were all smiles and even helped choose their centerpiece for the occasion.

I am grateful that I got the chance (at 31) to finally do a Thanksgiving dinner myself (well, my mother-in-law did bring the sweet potatoes, green beans and jell-o salad).

Someone really enjoyed her dinner (in the nude)! I couldn't resist these pictures of Reagan's first Thanksgiving. She enjoyed gumming all the scraps I gave her (still no teeth, just drool).
The best parts of Thanksgiving were that (1) I knew that Calebs surgery had gone well and he's doing well and (2) Nate's sister, Jill, flew their little brother, Casey, home for a few days so the family could see him before he ships off to Iraq next week and (3) Norma agreed to watch my babies Friday while Jill and I went out to shop together which was fun.

Now, you all may be wondering . . . where is Nate and why didn't he watch the girlies???

He seems to have disappeared.For the last two weeks, this man - slightly resembling my husband - has been in my bed. But after our feast, he left to hunt and should be back Sunday when, thankfully, the beard will be shaved and, hopefully, I will find my husband! I don't like being married to Jeremiah Johnson . . . too scratchy.
Casey and Jessica
The girlies with Grandma NormaChevi missed her Papa - here they are watching tv
and last, but not least, I could just eat up this girl! Is she not the cutest thing ever???