I've always been grateful for food, but this was my first time making a Thanksgiving Meal to show it! I am tickled to say it turned out well. We had the in-laws over and John's sister, who flew in from Idaho. It was nice to be in our home for its first Thanksgiving, and even more wonderful to share it with family.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Turkey
Mashed Creamy Potatoes (Pioneer Woman)
Cauliflower Gratin (Real Simple Magazine)
Craisin Pecan Apple Dressing (Real Simple Magazine)
Mango White Grape Gingerale
Pumpkin Pie (Mom-In-Law)
Cherry Pie (Mom-In-Law)
It actually wasn't that bad to prepare. I set the alarm for 3:50 AM to turn on the slow cooker for the turkey. We decided to do just the turkey breast, which fit nicely in the Cuisinart slow cooker that we got for our wedding. I was worried I wouldn't be able to sleep after being up that early. You know how excited you get at Christmas? I get those same butterflies when I think of a huge feast! Luckily, I crawled back into bed next to a warm man and fell back to sleep. By 7:30 AM, I was up and at 'em again to finish the meal. I first made the Cauliflower Gratin but waited for the breadcrumb topping until just before oven time to prevent it from getting soggy. I then made Pioneer Woman's Mashed Spuds, which I saw her win against Bobby Flay in last week's Throwdown. Who doesn't make mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving?! Later, these would be coined the "best potatoes ever" by my husband. Next, I made the Craisin Pecan Apple Dressing, which made my heart go pitter-pat. It was so heavenly. All three of these dishes had to share oven time, but they got along and didn't fight too much. We ate dinner around 1:30 PM after the men folk were done adding doors to my sideboard. Spoiler Alert: yes, my husband is making me a sideboard! I mixed up the Mango White Grape Gingerale concoction that was super yummy and made the dinner even more enjoyable. People got up for seconds and then thirds...so my self-esteem was boosted while watching loved ones chow down on my food. It was delicious. If I may say so, it was the best Thanksgiving Dinner I've ever made!
Later on, when our stomachs were ready for more abuse, we ate homemade pies for dessert. It was incredible. I was slightly worried that I wasn't allowed to make dessert, since the mother-in-law offered. It happens to be my favorite thing in the world to make! But her pumpkin and cherry pies were heavenly and made even better with vanilla ice cream and homemade vanilla whipped cream on top. I am drooling now just thinking about it!
The evening ended with some losses for me in cribbage. I don't want to talk about it. Then we played Scattergories, in which I totally redeemed myself, and we finished with Kings in the Corner before calling it a night. It was such a nice day! Any day revolving around the gross consumption of food gets my approval!
Perhaps the best thing of all is that I am now officially entitled to play Christmas songs and put out Christmas decorations. I wait eleven months for this glorious day...