Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I love entertaining at our house every once in a while. The planning is fun for me. I enjoy thinking about how I will set the table, or what recipes I want to make/try. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that has its own built in theme and yet, the possibilities for food, decor, guests, is pretty much endless. I do have a few limits, however. First, if I want everyone to be able to sit at the same table (our dining room table), I have found 10 is optimum, 11 is sort of doable. Unfortunately, we only have china for 10. If we go over 10, we use every day Fiestaware. If we go over 11, we have to split into multiple tables and put people in different rooms, which we have done, but it is nice to keep everyone at one table. Although this year we started out with a possible guest list of 18, we did end up with 11. Yay, everyone at one table, and yay, everyday dishes, which go in the dishwasher.

I have been planning the menu for a couple weeks, but Thanksgiving prep officially started for me on Sunday. Michael and I hit the grocery store with a list totaling 75 items. We were able to get 73 of those items at one store. My Thanksgiving Day Menu included 21 items, plus drinks. I would be responsible for  5 appetizers, 9 main dish items, 5 desserts, and 1 punch. Grammy would bring 2 main dish items. The reality of the situation, I made 3 appetizers and Tiff & Danny brought spinach cheese squares. I made 9 main dish items and picked up rolls from a bakery. Grammy did bring 2 main dish items (sweet potatoes & fruit salad). I made 3 desserts, Michael picked up the pre-ordered Caramel Pecan Pie at a local bakery and a variety of ice cream flavors from Salt & Straw including Cinnamon Snickerdoodle and Coffee Bourbon. Grammy brought a flourless chocolate cake for dessert, which was unexpected.

I organized myself by splitting the cooking into three days. Day One: Monday. I made my favorite cranberry sauce.

Day Two: Tuesday, I made the potatoes (The Pioneer Woman's Delicious, Creamy Mashed Potatoes), two appetizers (Trisha Yearwood's Hot Corn Dip

and Bobby Dean's Pimento Cheese Dip), and three veggie recipes (The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole, Creamed Spinach, and Carrots with a hint of maple syrup).

Day Three: Wednesday, I made another appetizer (Ina Garten's Cheese Straws), three desserts, Four Ingredient Vegan Pumpkin Pie-just as good as last year...

so yummy and worth making again

really rich

I also prepped the turkey with Williams-Sonoma Dry Brine.

Day Three: Thanksgiving Day included making the Not So Humble Pie Turkey Recipe

Cornbread Stuffing and Regular Bread Stuffing
and Gravy, of course.

Plus, heating up everything else that had been previously prepped.
Since I am somewhat adaptable and I wanted a pretty table more than I wanted two more appetizers and Thanksgiving punch, I abandoned those recipes due to time limitations.

The other thing that was abandoned due to time limitations, me spending any time on myself, or even changing my clothes from what I had been wearing for two days: shorts and my "Nice Peaches" Savannah t-shirt. Ugh!!! Thank goodness my family does not care what I look like.

I do think my table was beautiful

Michael is currently obsessed with Hard Apple Cider and buys a different kind every time he goes to the grocery store. I do hope his cider turns out or I fear he will be utterly dejected. Here he has asked Sammy to pose with some cider.

Appetizer/Sweets Table:

Guests arrive:
Peter, Grampy & Rylan, Kyle, Tyler
(Geo is a Great-Grandpa!)

Same people-take 2

Grammy, Kyle, Grampy & Rylan, Hannah, Tyler, Peter

Just sitting down to eat. I'm sure I am thinking... what am I missing?

Michael finally gets to stop cleaning the house and sit down and eat. He is very happy.
Of Grammy and Grampy's five Grandsons, we were missing Austin (who had to work)
and Joey (who is in Amsterdam until next month).

Rylan, 6 months, not particularly fond of the flash.

Grammy, Sammy, Aunt Tiffy & Lily in a stupor after dinner. I tried to get a picture of Coco, but realized she never sits still. Lily is almost always calm, but usually under foot.

This morning I woke up to this beautiful girl sunning herself. So happy to be roaming free after being locked up all Thanksgiving Day. Cat fur and Thanksgiving Dinner were never meant to go together.

My centerpiece looks even better today

and I was able to salvage a bag of these delicious spiced pecans.
I love Baker & Spice.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving.


Dana said...

Kari, Everything looks beautiful. It's so nice to have your family to share this with. A new generation to teach the importance of family. Holidays are such a great reason to have everyone all in one room at the same time (minus a couple of important people) Maybe that's the real reason for holidays. It makes all the hard work worth it. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays.

Anonymous said...

Kari! You're superwoman! I felt like I was reading something out of a Martha Stewart magazine. Looks like a good time was had by all. ;)

Retired Syd said...

Yum, I think I'm going to try those little apple pies for my Christmas dinner!