Life Needs A Hefty Bag

Something that will hold everything, expand beyond comprehension, and still not split at the seams.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Proud Thanksgiving Day

I feel so accomplished today! I had Wednesday and Thursday off from work, my kids had those days (and today also) off from school, and their father never called to meet me for their visit with him, so I didn't even have to travel! YIPPEE!! So, I thought Wednesday I'd take the day and do something I'd never done before....bake up batches and batches of cookies in preparation of Christmas. So about noon I took the two older boys and we set out to finish shopping for the things we needed to pull this off. First though, we stopped at our church and picked up the donations from our final day of our food drive at Sunday School, and donated them to the local food pantry. That was kinda cool! There were families in there that day, the day before Thanksgiving, receiving donated food. One lady in particular stood out, as she had two small children with her, and another was coming in as we were leaving who was carrying a baby, couldn't have been a year old yet. It made me grateful for all that we have, and even more proud of our Sunday School kids that they helped out our local families in need, especially around the holidays. I made sure to point out the lady with the baby, since we were in the car and it wasn't horribly obvious what I was talking about, and reminded them that the food they helped donate would help families like hers and little kids like them, and I think they felt a certain pride after seeing that, too :o)

Then, it was on to Wal-Mart. We picked up odds and ends that we needed for baking, some stuff for our Thanksgiving dinner, and odds and ends for around the house. Then, we headed home. It was 2:30 already!! We wasted no time getting started, and we kicked off our bake-a-thon with Russian Teacakes. I love these nutty little sugar puffs...but I'd never made them before. To my delight, they turned out perfectly!! Next came peanut butter kiss cookies. I didn't realize I was going to wind up with 300 of these! Okay, not that many, but it was a LOT! And the left over chocolate kisses wound up mysteriously disappearing by the time we had Thanksgiving dinner the next day LOL That's okay, it's all part of the fun! Then came sugar cookies, so that way they could chill for a few hours before we baked them. Guess I shoulda started with those first, huh? Oops...guess I'll know for next year!! Finally, snickerdoodles came to join our little party. I decided at 9:00 that one of my best friends might like some of the cookies, particularly since they were all compatible with her daughter's special diet. So I brought over some of each, which she was happy to receive, and I was happy to give...cuz we sure don't need ALL of those cookies hanging around here! We sat down and chit-chatted for awhile...a LONG was 3:00 AM before either of us thought to look at the clock!! So I hustled home and hopped in bed, knowing I had an early morning coming to kick off Turkey Day!! Successful first bake-a-thon...YAY!!

Yesterday, 7:30 AM came, and I guess my body figured 4-1/2 hours of sleep was plenty cuz I was AWAKE! Or maybe I was just really excited about starting my first real Thanksgiving dinner ever. Every other year we've gone to some relative's house, and I've either helped prepare things there or brought something (like cookies!) from home to add to the feast. But yesterday I tried my hand at baking a turkey. I set the stove at 250 and put the bird in after putting in a broth, lots of butter, and an apple in the center (I read somewhere that the juice from the apple adds moisture to the turkey, sweetens it up a bit and gives it just a hint of flavor...which it did!) I made cuts all around the outside of the apple so the juice from the inside could steam out...just made sense. Then came the waiting and basting part. So we basted, and we waited, and we basted more and we waited more. At about 3:00 it wasn't done yet, so I turned the stove up to 350, and at 4:00 I took the cover off and let it go the rest of the time uncovered so it acquired the coveted "golden" look without getting all dried out. After that it was Bubba's turn with it...the slicing, dicing and serving of the meat. Apparently this job was fairly easy since, as he put it, the meat just fell off the bones. YAY!!

Also at 3 I sliced up the jelled cranberries (figured they'd be more appealing to the kids than the actual berries at this point) and stuck those in the fridge, and Trey and I started making the potatoes for mashed potatoes (they have to boil for a long time here...DH hates lumpy potatoes), started the corn soaking in butter, salt and sugar (tastes like corn off the cob...delicious!) and then my body decided that it needed a nap. So I took a quick half hour nap from 4 until 4:30. Then started the real work. Mashing the potatoes so they were creamy but not soupy...DONE! Boiling up the corn and peas...DONE! Warming up the gravy...DONE! Warming up the biscuits...DONE! Turkey cut and on the table...DONE! Cranberries ready...DONE! Stuffing ready to serve...DONE!

With all of that finished, I went and set the table. I pulled our our tablecloth, and the red taper candles. I just can't see a celebratory table without candles. Then I started putting the food on the table, making sure that none of the kids' favorites were near them for fear of them eating only those and nothing more. Evil, I know LOL I had also picked up a set of 4 wine glasses and some sparkling grape juice because I wanted the kids to have something special, and I love the elegance that wine glasses add to a table. Especially a table with candles LOL

Before we ate, I had everyone share one thing they were thankful for. Talin was thankful for the turkey (which he had drowned in gravy, along with everything else on his plate...he loved the gravy I guess! LOL), Bubba was thankful for family, Trey was thankful for parents and I was thankful for each and every one of them because they're all super special to me. Sappy, but true. Then we said grace and dug in! Everyone ate a little bit of everything, no one turned green and I was thrilled!! Everything tasted AWESOME!! I was, and am, so proud of myself for pulling off our first actual Thanksgiving here at home! I will post pictures later today of our table...I was thrilled with how it looked, and I'm sure I'll refer to this on days I'm feeling a little low.

You're probably all wondering why Pumpkin Pie wasn't mentioned in there. Well, when we were shopping Bubba had picked out a pumpkin pie by Sarah Lee that looked awesome. So I had that out and thawing during the day while I was cooking our Thanksgiving meal. When Bub went to slice up the pie, it was THEN that he realized that it needed to be baked, as filling sloshed out of the shell and on to the counter and down his shirt. Oh well...had to be one hangup for the day, didn't there? LOL In fairness, I hadn't read the instructions either, so I guess we'll just keep that in mind for next year :o) Along with making sugar cookies first ;o)

Hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday, and that the "official" beginning of the Christmas season brings all of you happiness and contentment even through the stressors and frustrations that can accompany this time of year. I'll be sure to get that picture of our table up ASAP. I also have one of the turkey, but it's on the camera itself, not the card, and the USB cord for the camera is MIA right now. Have a good one!!

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Put a Pin on the Map View my Guestmap
Free Guestmaps by