Thanksgiving is over. We survived hosting our first one with 27 people. I think it went well for the most part.
- Thanks to an insane rally by Troy, my father-in-law, and myself on Wednesday, the house was 95% done. A few doors still need to be painted, and need door knobs, but all the bathrooms at least had locking knobs on them! I was beat by the end of the day, and my Jawbone had clocked almost 17k steps. I was hobbling towards the end of it, and my tailbone was aching.
- The planning paid off. I had a master list of things to do, and then broke it down by what needed to be done each day.
- All of our cloth napkins, extra plates, and garage sale silverware meant we threw away half a bag of garbage (including food scraped from plates), and one very full recycling bin. It was pretty rad to not see huge bags of plastic silverware, paper plates, and plastic cups being tossed.
- Making things ahead: I made the cranberry sauce on Tuesday night, and just stuck it in the fridge. A delicious pecan pie was made the night before and covered at room temp once it cooled. The morning of Thanksgiving, potatoes were peeled, chopped, and placed in to cold water in the stock pot and put in the fridge. When it came time to make them, I just had to boil!
- I bought some to go containers from Cash and Carry (restaurant supply store) and there was plenty for everyone to take home extras and not steal my nice glass containers.
- The people. The house was full of laughter, love, and family. It was wonderful. Before we eat, we form a big circle and say things we’re thankful for. It is always sweet and reflective, but this year a mention of Troy’s grandpa who had passed, the anniversary of a little cousin’s heart repair, and loss sent me over the edge and I started crying. And then I started laughing so hard. It was weird, but I couldn’t stop the tears or the manic laughter.
- The frozen pie experiment? Total success! I made it Tuesday night and froze it covered in plastic wrap, and then in a giant Ziploc. The morning of Thanksgiving, I baked it covered at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, and then dropped the temp to 350 and baked until it looked done, maybe 45-50 minutes longer.
The turkey(s) were delicious. I did a kind of an experiment where I made a fancy turkey and then a super basic turkey. Fancy turkey was brined, stuffed with onions, celery, rosemary, and thyme. The outside was rubbed with butter and olive oil and baked breast side down. It was baked in the oven. The other turkey was basically ignored, rubbed copiously with butter, olive oil, kosher salt, and a little smoked paprika. This one was baked in a counter top roaster oven. But not was all 100%. Read more about that in the cons.
- The fancy turkey was poked in multiple places with a thermometer and shown to be 175 degrees. In only two hours! I hadn’t even started boiling the potatoes to mash yet. Troy took the turkeys downstairs to my parent’s house to carve, and came up to report the breast was leaking blood when he tried to carve it. Say whaaaaaaa??? He put it back in the oven, but it clearly wasn’t going to be ready in time. I declared the official turkey taste off was cancelled, and just to bring up the turkey that was already done. We needed to eat; screw the side by side comparison.
- The mashed potatoes were delicious, but I made too many wasabi and not enough regular. There was enough for everyone to have what they wanted, and seconds, but the only leftovers available for people to take home were the wasabi. Next year I’ll probably just do all regular.
- The cooties. Jack had been sick for a week leading up to Thanksgiving. I took him to the doctor on Wednesday and asked her point blank if I should cancel Thanksgiving. She said no, he was no longer contagious. He was a bit of a slug the day off, and wasn’t running around with all the other kids. That night, his stomach pains set back in, and I ended up taking him to the ER. Where every single other kid at the children’s hospital was in for the same thing. He screams at the top of his lungs when the tummy pains hit, but of course was totally fine while we were there. They were getting ready to discharge him, when he had one of his “attacks” and we rushed to the bathroom. His screams filled the whole ER and the nurses and doctors all got to audibly witness what I had been trying to tell them. That happened a few more times, and then thankfully it happened in front of a nurse. I had been convinced that they probably thought I was that mom who was hurting her child in private (in the bathroom) for attention. They sent some samples to the lab, but since they wouldn’t have them back in time, we were discharged and arrived home at 1 am. Despite being told he was past being contagious, and cleaning the house like the CDC was going to be inspected, we started finding out on Saturday that some of our family members were also sick with something similar. Now, this virus is everywhere, and it could have come from anywhere, but we feel horrible. Like scum. Balls.
- Jack starts basketball this week. I’m sure it is going to be a colossal train wreck, but he’ll have fun at least. His coach scheduled three practices a week, starting at 6:30 pm. I’m realizing that not everyone’s kid goes to bed at 7 pm and gets up super early for daycare. I’m hoping he will be kind to me in the mornings when I have to wake him up from his drool puddle.Meal plan time!
Monday:: Not sure yet. Probably leftovers. Will be determined how Jack is feeling.
Tuesday:: I’m working late, so Troy requested spaghetti and broccoli for dinner. He’s making it, so done.
Wednesday:: Stir fry broccoli and beef (this didn’t happen last week because of sickness) with pea pods, rice, and organic potstickers.
Thursday:: This stew. And salad.
Friday:: Popcorn and a movie. Of course!
This week I spent $3.50 at the farm for milk, $11.94 at our local butcher for sausage and pork roast, $21.91 at the grocery store, and $16.98 at Costco.
What are you having this week? How was your Thanksgiving? Did we make you sick too? I’m sorry!