Originally we had planned to rent a cabin up in Tahoe and have the whole family come up and join us for the holiday. Then we found out that people had to work today and that others had already made plans and we scrapped that idea. Good thing too, what with me not bringing home a paycheck and all (don't let anyone ever tell you Tahoe is cheap). Instead we spent a quiet and fun-filled evening with Alan's parents here at the casa. We made dinner, mother-in-law made the desserts.
This year we switched up our standard Thanksgiving menu a bit since we were only cooking for four. And I did all of our shopping at Trader Joe's instead of Whole Foods which saved us a ton of money. We skipped out on mashed potatoes since Alan doesn't like them and instead went with roasted parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, asparagus and brussel sprouts cooked with the turkey. I was not a fan, but Alan seemed to like it. Next year though? Mashed potatoes.
We also went a different route with the turkey. Rather than roasting a whole bird Alan broke it down in the morning and we roasted the carcass and then made homemade turkey stock to use in our stuffing and gravy. The stock turned out really wonderful and flavorful and didn't require much extra work beyond what we were already doing. Oh, to cook the bird we used the Tyler Florence herbed turkey recipe from the Thanksgiving issue of Better Homes & Gardens. I was generally a fan of this mode of cooking the turkey, but if we do it again I'd skip putting the vegetables underneath as they were very soggy and I'd spend a bit of extra time crisping the skin. After all, the best part of the turkey is the skin.
In addition to the food, we served a chilled Boujaleis Noveau from Kermit Lynch, some whiskey for my father-in-law (not a fan of the Connemara, it seems) and some Vouvrey with dinner. After dinner we played Wii bowling, golf and Mario Kart and ended the night with a game of Scrabble. I was victorious!
By the end of the night I was feeling very fatigued and had the chills and my whole body ached. I ended up going to bed wearing a sweatshirt with the hoodie pulled up and two layers of blankets. I woke up this morning feeling somewhat better but still not great. I think I came down with that crappy virus so many people on my Facebook and Twitter streams were also complaining about.
Still, all in all it was a wonderful day and this year I have so much to be thankful for - not the least of which is my partner in crime, the yin to my yang, the wind beneath my wings, my very bestest friend: Alan.
Here's to hoping you had all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!
All photos taken with my iPhone using either Hipstamatic of Insta.gram.