Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Gobbler Gobbling 2008

Never before has Thanksgiving dinner been entirely up to Melanie and me. We were a bit unsure of how everything would turn out, but it was fantastic. I’m incredibly proud of us! Well, I’m incredibly proud of Melanie, but I’m also proud of the itty little bit that I did. Absolutely everything was great. Learning that we have it in us to make Thanksgiving dinner—in its entirety!—is really amazing and, as Melanie noted, it seems to kick us one step further into adulthood. Yikes!

Looking back, I wish I had invited you all to join us. I had no idea it would turn out so splendidly, or perhaps I would have invited you. Well, allow me to offer a belated invitation. But for those of you who don’t have access to a time machine, I’ll offer you the next best thing—pictures. Here’s a photographic tour of Thanksgiving 2008:

Melanie wanted to make stuffing from scratch. I was a bit unsure it would be worth it, but luckily I didn’t make the call. Thanks to Melanie’s ambition, we dined on the delicious stuffing pictured above. (I helped cut up the bread!) The stuffing consisted of bread chunks, golden delicious apples, walnut pieces, sausage, and then some. The recipe called for sage sausage, which I had never heard of, but which is apparently a big Thanksgiving item, since it had sold out at Wal-Mart. To compensate, we added basil. Truly the best stuffing I have ever had.

The star of the show. No, not the meat thermometer, which we bought especially for Thanksgiving, but the turkey. In my opinion, turkey can only get so good, but I’m proud of the beautiful golden brown to which our turkey was cooked.

A couple of things to notice here. First is the vegetable tray. I mean the actual tray. It’s made from an old REO Speedwagon vinyl record. Literally. Isn’t that awesome? I got that from my parents for Christmas a few years ago, but this is the first time we’ve used it. We didn’t think to take a picture until some of the vegetables had been eaten, but you get the idea. Second thing to notice is the squishy looking thing in the upper right corner, just above the regular stick of butter. What is it? It’s homemade honey butter! It’s still wrapped in the plastic wrap we used to keep it in the fridge, which explains its appearance. But it was delicious and incredibly simple to make—you just add honey, cinnamon, and a bit of vanilla to regular butter and go to town with the mixer. It was delicious on the warm rolls we ate with dinner.

When we turned our backs to the table, Eddie decided to save everyone a step and dump all of the vegetables from the above pictured vegetable tray into the accompanying ranch dip. Efficient!

Yours truly, “carving” the turkey on too small of a plate with too small (and crappy) of a knife. It was more of a scraping than a carving.

I love when you have big meals and one of the side items is something sweet, perhaps even dessert like. I love the contrast between the sweet and the savory, and as you alternate between the two, it somehow refreshes your palate and makes every bite taste full-flavored and new. Thus, I insisted we have something sweet with our Thanksgiving dinner, and this was it—Jell-O salad. More specifically, blackberry/raspberry fusion Jell-O accentuated with blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries and topped with whipped cream. There’s always room for it!

Alas, Melanie’s homemade pies. Pumpkin in the back, pecan up front. Both were delicious, but I can’t get enough of Melanie’s pecan pie. She’s only made it a few times, which makes sense given its primary association with Thanksgiving and Christmas, but every time I’ve had it, I think about making it a part of our weekly menu. It’s just too good. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

And after all that, we somehow failed to get any pictures of us as a family. Is that lame or what? Oh well. That’s pretty much the only part of Thanksgiving for which we weren’t entirely grateful. Not too shabby.


  1. Very, very impressive. You have taken one step into adulthood that I have yet to take. The more mature folk in my family have always taken care of Thanksgiving dinner. I wouldn't mind helping, but I might spice/mix things up a little and the mature folk wouldn't have that. We went crazy this Thanksgiving and my little family and my sister's family didn't even join everybody else for dinner. We went to Vegas instead. Crazy, huh?
    That looks like quite a bit of food for your family, you're probably still eating left overs. Oh well, Thanksgiving leftovers are tasty, but once again I've rarely ever gotten them, because those 'mature folks' always get them. Do I sound bitter? :)

  2. Looks like you did a SPLENDID job! I wish we had been there.
    I am definitely for letting the youngun's do the cooking. It gets better and better that way.