Happy Thanksgiving! This year was our first time staying home and attempting to do the whole Thanksgiving meal thing by ourselves. I think John and I had Thanksgiving as just the two of us the first year that we were married. Even though that was only a few years ago, I feel like I've come a long way culinarily. I don't remember everything (yes, you read that correctly, John ;) ), but I do remember making turkey breasts and dressing. Neither turned out that well.
This year was the year to go all out just for us four. John thought of it as a good practice run for future years when we could potentially host others. So, I spent a few hours looking at recipes on Sunday evening, determining how to cook what and how long it'd take. I made a timeline for the week to prep certain things in advance, like chopping all of the onions, celery, etc. Then, it was game day (pun intended).
It started out really easy and peaceful. I did the stuffing and prepped the bird as I was supposed to and get her in the oven.
I cleaned up the kitchen in a few minutes...
and then went to see what the family was up to. At one point, John and LE were building towers downstairs while Hannah slept. At another point, I went upstairs to find them having a party with all of LE's dolls in a circle around toy cupcakes and brownies. LE was singing the alphabet to them all while playing the "violin."
A little earlier than planned, the turkey registered at the right temperature. It looked perfect!
The dance began of putting all of the things in the oven and on the stove at the right times. This was the hardest part but still not bad.
John carved the turkey and found that parts of the dark meat were not actually done yet, so we just set the dark meat aside to cook separately and went ahead with the white meat. I'm not sure what I'd do differently since I checked the internal temperature multiple times out of the oven. I must say that this allowed the white meat to not dry out, though, and it was well-flavored and moist. Woohoo!
LE had been patiently waiting all morning for her "'pecial lunch." Somehow that equated in her mind to PB&J. She burst into tears, and through sobs proclaimed over and over, "I wanted peanut butter and jellllly!" It was hard not to laugh.
With the promise of a PB&J after she finished her other special lunch, she liked everything, especially the "chicken" with ketchup. It's not Thanksgiving without the ketchup!
And little Hannah was held most of the meal until she pooped out of her diaper resulting in two of us needing to get changed. She promptly fell right to sleep in her swing after that. ;)
All in all, the dinner was great. The gravy was especially tasty, and the stuffing was best the next day. Turkey, mushroom and walnut stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and rolls.
And here's my favorite part, of course.