For the fourth year in a row, we successfully put a turkey on the table for our family to enjoy. Hosting Thanksgiving is not a task one would normally volunteer for, but I believe the ability to pull off a day of cooking while entertaining both sides of our family is an important skill to master. I would say this year was the most successful yet! I followed Martha Stewart's recipe for the Perfect Turkey, which was lovely. The outer skin was a little tough, but I think I may have overcooked him slightly...
That's my family's Shiba, Milo, who made it to another holiday season. So thankful he got to spend some time, at his appropriate distance, with our pug Chloe. He secretly likes it.
For the first time, I actually was prepared in advance of the holiday (first time not working retail beforehand!). The prep work went as follows:
- Several Months Out: Communication with family that we will, yes, once again undertake the task of hosting Thanksgiving in our modest-sized townhouse
- 3 Weeks Out: Determine recipes (YAY Pinterest!) to create a good balance that will fulfill everyone's vision of the perfect Thanksgiving meal
- 2 Weeks Out: Reserve turkey and research the likelihood of finding exotic ingredients... research alternatives (always have a back-up plan!)
- 0.5 Weeks Out: Purchase all ingredients, record oven cooking time for all recipes, create timeline (yes, I make I timeline for anything possible)
- Thanksgiving Eve: Bath time for the turkey in the brine
- Thanksgiving: Wake up in enough time to prep the first item to go in the oven before the parade starts!
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a major tradition in our family; we have many. My brother and I both marched in the Seattle parade the day after Thanksgiving. Any excuse for festivities and merriment, we're there.
After dinner we played a card game that my hubby's family would play at family gatherings. It was the perfect way to end the day (almost) all together, while incorporating both family traditions (we lost my brother to tryptophan before dessert).
Our menu this year included:
- The Perfect Roast Turkey
- Mashed potatoes
- Stuffing with cranberries & apples
- Harvest mashed potatoes
- Orange ginger carrots
- Green beans with balsamic shallots
- Berry pie
- Pumpkin pie
- Roasted brie with cranberries & pistachios
- Spinach dip with homemade bread (so good, made by my mother-in-law)
- Deviled eggs
- Pickled asparagus, olives & pickles
I hope all of you had a warm holiday surrounded by loved ones. From my family to yours, happy holiday season. Let the seasonal music commence!