Sunday, November 29, 2009

Giving Thanks

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For about a year and a half, I have been dreaming about me and Joe hosting our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple. Of course, in these dreams, our living quarters were a tinsy-bit larger in the ways of the "dining room," but, nonetheless, the dream lives on no matter where you do end up (and I do love my first apartment). And should I mention...boy, the mind is a powerful thing when it comes to over-estimating accommodation space for 10 people. But you know what, cozy as it was, we all had a great time together...and the food couldn't have turned out better!
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I was most thankful that day (when it comes to the food part) that I prepped the night before-chopping and putting it into little Ziploc baggies, making the jello, the homemade pumpkin pie, etc. I was in la-la-land that night, thinking that with all the hours of prep-work, I could just sit on the couch and read inbetween bastings on Thanksgiving day. HA HA HA. Yeah, right. So naive, I know. I don't know how I would have survived if I didn't do all of that work. I also baked homemade sugar cookies in the shape of fall leaves and acorns and cleaned the apartment from top to bottom the day before Thanksgiving, and I am soo glad I decided to get everything done then.

The turkey was pretty juicy. I brined the turkey with a bunch of spices before heading to bed, and that 17 pound bird ended up soaking for 14 hours in the fridge in the biggest stock-pot my parents own. Jee, it is most convenient living a block and a half away from them when I don't have, oh, a stock-pot, some pumpkin spices, twine, a roasting pan, and all sorts of things I either didn't want to buy or forgot until last second. I used Martha Stewart's recipe for the gravy (made with a bunch of root veggies), and used her cheesecloth and butter/white wine basting idea for the turkey. I stuffed that bad boy with as much stuffing as possible, and smothered it with a bunch of butter inside and out.

And yes, even after taking out all of the turkey neck and God-knows-what innards while keeping everyone's horror stories of "leaving the giblets inside the turkey while baking" in mind,...after we carved the rest of the turkey, "oopsie dasie!"...there was a special surprise at the back door! Hello turkey company people, put a warning on the turkey label for people who honestly don't know what giblets look like, that things are not just in the inside of the main turkey cavity...it's also stuffed in the butt! I just think that they should keep everything together, instead of playing hide-and-seek.
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Any who, I am most proud of my lovely set-up that made its way to the tables the night before (another time-saver!). I used so many wedding gifts, it was unreal.
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We had turkey, spiral ham, mashies with garlic and cream, greenbean casserole, corn, stuffing with saged sausage, butternut squash with butter and brown sugar, cranberries, rolls, homemade pumpkin pie and pumkin cheesecake, sugar cookies, homemade berry pie, and much liquor, of course!

An another note, I've been playing around with my new photoshop program that I bought a little while ago, and have been teaching myself new things along the way (I still need that photoshop book...you know, the one they didn't put in the box!). Along with learning how to cut out something from a photo and plop it onto another one, here are some other examples:

Leaving color in select regions:
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And no, I wasn't beaten in this photo. I was very, very accident-prone as a child, and this example was me leaning on a screen door that wasn't closed all the way and falling down the stairs. Thank God that this was before the whole hard-core child service thing, because the hospital was starting to know me on a first-name basis. I have to laugh at this photo because my hair kind of resembles Einstein's...

"Cloning" a color, and adding it where it might have been (the pizza sauce on the face):
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My brother and I making pizza. Probably the last time we happily cooperated together. Ha ha ha.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. Joe and I are thankful for so many things this year...

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