This year we made our own Thanksgiving. We realized we've never actually pulled off our own, complete Thanksgiving meal. We've always contributed to a Thanksgiving... bits and pieces... but never, ever made every single thing... I felt a little heady at the thought of it.
My fabulous friend Carrie went home to Utah for Thanksgiving... which made us sad because her turkey is the only turkey I've been able to stomach... willingly, and happily. We were going to go to my parents home, but they have a no mess policy, and since we didn't find a dog sitter in time, we decided to make our own awesome feast on the fly.
I was happy to do without turkey... but my hubby decided the afternoon before Thanksgiving, that he wanted to try and deep fry a turkey. Apparently he'd heard about it on the radio commuting to work, and thought, why not. So we gathered all the materials to deep fry the turkey and it was all him. I wanted nothing to do with it... except for the constant reminders to have a fire extinguisher ready.
I've only made turkey once in my life. That was in 1995 when I was a freshman at BYU. It was for a ward dinner, or something. I remember it vividly because I'm not much for touching big, hunks of raw meat. So since I had to clean out the innards of the turkey, I simply put plastic bags over my hands to remove the neck and all the other giblet stuff from the turkey. Great times...
My day began at 9am... and I don't think I sat down until nearly 4pm. I think my hubby got up around noon... Granted I did do some prep work ahead of time... I mixed up the dough for the crescent rolls, chopped up the veggies for the stuffing... and I think that is it. I had the girls create place cards and they helped with setting the table. They spent most of the day watching some holiday themed shows, dancing in their ballerina outfits to Christmas music, drawing, singing, and... in general were fabulous. There were a few... arguments to be broken up... but man, I am so grateful that I have such sweet daughters...
I think the best part of all of this was how excited they were. That made all of this so worth it.
Hubby was in charge of the turkey and ham. He also made his from scratch pumpkin pies, which he roasted pumpkins for and a perfect graham cracker crust.
...and since I am a devoted fan of Ina Garten... you could call this my own, Ina Garten Thanksgiving, as most of the recipes are from her. I am going to ask Santa for a chance to hang out with her in my lifetime.
I've included all the recipes I can find online, below.
Our menu was, as follows:
1. Snap Peas with Pancetta from Ina Garten's new cook book How Easy Was That?
I loved the fresh flavor, the simple vinaigrette, and the crunch from the pancetta.
2. Mom's Butter Crescent Rolls - yep, my Mom. Not yours. ;-)
This is a staple in our home. It never fails to please.
3. Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes from Ina Garten
...it's the holidays, so I'm going to enjoy every fattening morsel.
4. Gravy from Ina Garten - I didn't have turkey drippings, as my hubby deep fried the bird... but I did have dripings from the Costco ham... and it worked wonderfully. I ran out of yellow onions, so I added red onions and some shallots I had sitting around. Seriously such GREAT gravy. I don't think I've ever had such perfect gravy. Ina Garten recipes never fail.
5. Smashed Sweet Potatoes from Ina Garten
Loved the citrus and nutmeg flavors... tastes like fall.
6. Garnet Yams w/Maple Syrup and Maple-Sugar Streusel from Bon Appétit. I have made this recipe three years in a row. We love it. This is how you class it up from the marshmallow yams of yesteryear.
7. Sausage and Herb Stuffing from Ina Garten
Love the mix of the sourdough, with the sausage, apples, savories, herbs... cranberries... I have to remind myself there are carbs... or else I will try to finish the entire pan myself.
8. Honey-Glazed Ham (costco)
I love Costco - 'nuff said.
9. Fried Turkey
Hubby's first go of it... he injected the bird with Shrimp & Crab boil... and then rubbed it down with a mesquite rub. It was good... but I think he should have listened to me about brining the bird first. Good news... Christmas is coming... we'll have another go of it...and this time he will brine it!
10. Pumpkin Pie with fresh whipping cream - my hubby's creation. He roasts pumpkin and makes a graham cracker crust...and the filling is just dang good. My 4YO requested the pie for breakfast... and you can see her finger divots in the center of the pie... so my 6YO and I joined her in the pie for breakfast this Thanksgiving morning.
11. Easy Cranberry Apple Cake also from Ina Garten's new cook book, How Easy Was That?
I love how easy this is... I love how tasty...and tart it is too. I swear, every time I took a bite I was happy...and also singing Ina Garten's praises.
I love this... you mix all the fruity stuff... then make the batter... pour it over and bake... so easy!
...I think we made food enough for us for... at least a week.