Monday, December 13, 2010

the last laugh

This month has been a whackadoo of a month. Thanksgiving came and went with vengeance. Our turkey may have marked my butt up six ways to Sunday before Thanksgiving, but I got my say and the last laugh on Thanksgiving when I kicked that turkey's butt and made it into something delicious. I've never prepared an entire Thanksgiving meal-- I've never made a Turkey for anything but meat to put in the freezer so a) it never mattered if it was pretty and b) it didn't have to be good because it was most likely going to be soup anyway. I was nervous. You can't just screw up the biggest part of the biggest meal of the year, know what I mean?

Despite all of my planning I didn't really have a menu nailed down until the night before. I did know that I wanted to make everything from scratch. There were not going to be any cans or boxes opened or premade mixes used in my Thanksgiving dinner. I wanted to do it right. Which meant that the chances of it being a horrid epic fail, the kind of fail where in 20 years the people who were there say, "Oh my goodness, remember that one year that Joanna totally screwed up Thanksgiving??" and then everyone proceeds to tell the story AGAIN and laughs hysterically on your behalf. Ugh... so much pressure...

But I did it. I cooked an amazing meal and didn't use any boxes or cans or mixes and I didn't even make anyone sick. We started the morning with pumpkin pancakes, made completely from scratch with warm cinnamon apples and fresh maple whipped cream. Since we were going to be eating, Lord willing, around 4, I didn't want to serve a huge lunch so we had cheese and crackers (ok, so I guess I did open a box!) and salami with cut veggies and dip.

Then it was time to dig in and really eat. We had turkey, herbed mashed potatoes, lemon-nut rice stuffing, pumpkin cornbread, fresh green beans cooked in bacon, shallots, garlic and a little lemon zest, green salad with smokey ranch dressing, cranberry- pear sauce and of course, pumpkin pie made from the pumpkin I roasted and pureed earlier this fall. It was soooooooo good I ate it for breakfast for the next 2 days and put everyone else on pumpkin pie rations so I could have more. I'm mean that way.

Pumpkin Cornbread

Cranberry- Pear Sauce

The whole meal. 

Don't laugh at my serving spoons... I'm in desperate need. We are moving up in the world though. For the first time ever, I have a set of 12 plates and a complete set of silverware with 12 pieces for each type of utensil. For the past 6 years we've only had 4 plates, and 4 forks, spoons and knives. Let me tell you how awesome it is not to have to wash the forks between dinner and dessert when we have people over to eat.

While we were all suffering from the meat sweats and turkey coma, we introduced the kids to the awesomeness that is "Elf" and had homemade hot chocolate. It couldn't have been a better day. The day after I started decorating for Christmas and I have finally finished that. This house now looks like Christmas threw up in it. Pictures coming soon, I promise. But here's a sneak peek in the meantime:)

EDITED: Shout out to my sister for making the deliciously scrumptious cornbread and taking the pictures of the food. And for not knowing what her travel plans were and leaving 2 days later than she thought she was, one day due to her thinking she left the day before and the other day due to weather.

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