Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving recap

I love Thanksgiving at home in Virginia.  I have a big family, and Thanksgiving always lasts several days as various aunts, uncles, and cousins trickle in for second and third meals and lots of leftovers.  Sadly, I've now spent several Thanksgivings too far from home to make it back for the holiday.  But I've learned to love spending Thanksgiving with other people who are far from home.

Pile of shoes means friends are here!

This year Linn and I hosted a few friends here in Minneapolis.  This was the first time the two of us have spent Thanksgiving together, as well as the first time we've hosted people in our home.  It's taken several months to pull the apartment together, and it's certainly not finished, but it felt really wonderful to have a mostly-organized and cozy space to enjoy with friends!

Food-wise, I was in charge of turkey, stuffing, gravy, and an apple dessert (I opted against pie).  Food prep actually started with brining the turkey on Wednesday.  I cannot tell you enough how much I recommend brining the turkey!  It was so amazingly delicious.  I was skeptical that the flavors of the herbs would actually seep into the meat, but they did!  The bird was moist and beautifully flavored.  I used this brining recipe from Gina at Skinny Taste if you want to give it a try.  I used dry herbs and I forgot to add lemon peel, so I just put some lemon chunks in the front cavity of the turkey when I roasted it.

Turkey brining in my trusty canning pot

Thursday morning I made stuffing.  I've been making Thanksgiving stuffing with my mom my whole life.  We would get up, put on the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, and make stuffing.  There are a lot of fancy stuffing recipes out there, but this one, made with generic-brand bread, celery, onion, butter, and poultry seasoning, is the one I will always make.  We never measure amounts, we add poultry seasoning until it smells right, and it's the best.

Look at those gorgeous acorns!

Our lovely guests arrived with more delicious food in hand.  Alyson brought mashed root vegetables with kale and a gorgeous mixed fruit pie with nutty, whole wheat crust.

Christian and Alex brought an amazing, fully loaded salad, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and wine.  Because, really, what do we need besides pie and wine?

After eating ourselves into oblivion, we took a break before dessert to play a rollicking game of Pictionary.  It turns out I'm pretty good at Pictionary.  Who knew?

Then pie and apples sent us into true food comas.  By 9pm we were falling asleep in the living room and folks made their ways home.

At which point Linn and I collapsed on the couch, congratulated ourselves on a successful Thanksgiving, and ignored the dishes.



Richard said...

I'm so glad you had friends to share with. Love the picture of the shoes...

Tía Elena said...

And I love the picture of the smooch on the forehead. Can't help but think the shot of the pictionary board also includes a good view of someone's satisyingly full belly . . . the sign of a truly successful meal.