I have to say that even though I hosted and it was a lot of work, this was probably one of my most favorite Thanksgiving Days ever. It was so wonderful to have both sides of our family with us at our home and to celebrate with everyone at one time. Even though our space was limited, I managed to get everyone on one level so that we could all eat together. That was really important to me. It was so fun to see the grandmas from each side sitting together and the families all mixed together. It was just what I envisioned for our day.
All of the food turned out wonderfully. I had made ten pounds of these make-ahead mashed potatoes and I began to panic as I poured them into my slow cooker. They had separated and looked a lot like soup. I said a little prayer, put the slow cooker on low and they thickened up within a couple of hours. They were so delicious, although I made far too much of them, and no one could believe that they came out of my freezer. I will be repeating this recipe often for our family get togethers.
The other hit from the party, my cranberry spread with crackers. I put this out on a cake stand at one of the tables and no one could stop eating it. This dip is highly addictive! I had extra cranberries leftover and those got thrown into the stuffing with more celery and garlic. It was heavenly and I can’t wait to eat the leftovers.
My turkey was my biggest worry although I had great guidance from Chef Lee. I had never made a turkey before and was very worried that it wouldn’t turn out. I cooked it in a turkey bag and stuffed it with celery, sage, and garlic. I stuck butter underneath the skin and let the bird roast all morning. It turned out wonderfully, although the pop-up timer popped a little later than it probably should have as part of the turkey was a little dry. This was remedied with a little chicken stock poured over the turkey to make it nice and juicy again.
We all headed out to our backyard to get a family picture. In hindsight, we should have done this FIRST before the children were too tired and grumpy. Emily was kicking, screaming, and crying throughout the picture taking. Pictured here is my side of the family!
Here is my husband’s side of the family. At this point, it is hysterical because Emily is screaming bloody murder and everyone is cheering and trying to get Emily to smile on the other side of the camera.
And here is my most favorite picture of all. Me with my super handsome husband- aren’t I the luckiest girl in the world?
How did everyone’s Thanksgiving turn out? What dishes were a hit? What flopped? I can’t wait to hear your stories!