Thanksgiving Came and Went

I don’t know about you but I had a pretty successful Thanksgiving! Now that the food coma I’ve been in all weekend is over I can finally write a blog about it.

Kelsey and Kendal came down on Tuesday and we all met at Emily and Ryan’s for the Winterlights at Newfields. Newfields is the new all encompassing name of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and associated grounds. It was a chilly and rainy night but the lights were amazing. The best part was that as we were walking through, it started snowing! I was still sick at this point and it probably didn’t help being out in that weather but it was still worth it.

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We had already decided Wednesday would be our prep day. I had to work until 11:30 and then went to Emily’s to get a jump on things. Emily and Ryan hosted last year and again this year but this time the guest list doubled. We had a quick sushi lunch and started prepping my made from scratch pumpkin pie. I actually roasted two sugar pumpkins and honestly will probably never do it again. The texture was weird and stringy which was my fault because I should have blended it until smooth or maybe strained it before baking. It still  looked pretty sweet though! My pie crust was also made from scratch and came out perfectly! I then prepped the celery, onion and bread for my stuffing. I use a loaf of bread instead of pre-made croutons like the recipe says. I just slice it, dice it, and bake it in the oven until they are dried out. Last year we stuffed the bird and baked it all together and went for it again this year! After we were done prepping and got some cleaning done, Emily, Kendal, and I had an epic Nerf War! I only got hit in the face once! I left to go home to Tyler and the boys and get a good nights sleep. After I left, Ryan got to work making the green bean casserole and corn casserole so they could just be baked off before serving. He also prepped the deviled eggs which are essential for any get-together!

On Turkey Day I was up bright and early to head back over to Emily’s to start the turkey. We made the mistake last year of starting it way too late and ended up eating way too late. I was also disappointed because it wasn’t as crispy as I would have wanted either. So by 8:50 a.m. the bird was in the oven. Thanks to Ryan we made quick work of it! We started by rinsing and drying the bird, which we had to do twice since we forgot about the inside. Then I mixed together the stuffing and stuffed a little in the neck and the rest of it in the main cavity. I threw the neck, giblets, and heart into the roasting pan and added turkey stock to the bottom while Ryan rubbed the bird down with butter. We put it in the oven, then I quickly realized I forgot to tent the breasts which was easily fixed. It wouldn’t be normal if I didn’t make at least one small mistake!

I helped Emily do a little bit more cleaning up, got Kendal ready, and got ready myself. Then we set up the appetizer station. We had a meat and cheese board, deviled eggs, ham and pickle rolls-ups (a favorite of mine), sweet potato bacon bites and more. Emily, with Kendal’s help, made our Thanksgiving punch. It was cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and ginger-ale. Kendal could drink it straight from the pitcher and adults could add a splash of alcohol from the bar.

The bird came out around 3:00 and it was so pretty I almost teared up. It was cooked to right temperature, so was the stuffing, and the outside was perfectly brown and crisp. It needed to rest for 30 minutes before cutting so I started on the gravy. I strained the liquid from the bottom of the roasting pan, skimmed off the fat and added flour to thicken it up. It was also beautiful. We also used the resting time to finish up the sides and get the buffet set up. Ryan carved the turkey and it was so tender it was just falling off the bone. All together we had turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn casserole, green bean casserole, rolls, overnight salad, and the traditional canned cranberry sauce.

Everything came together perfectly. Emily and Ryan recently got a gorgeous dining room table and decked it out for the holiday. I felt so bad because I was still a little sick and as everyone sat down to eat I had a major cough attack and had to run out of the room like a weirdo. I still came back and devoured everything on my plate though!

The meal ended with three pies, my pumpkin pie, a french silk pie, and a pecan pie. Everyone really seemed to like my strange textured pie. 

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I left after everyone had pie. I was tired and I missed Opie and Percy. I got home right after Tyler got home from his families and we ate leftover turkey and gravy sandwiches on rolls.  It was really nice to meet some of Ryan’s family and just be surrounded by great people on Thanksgiving. I also love any time I get to hang out with Mr. Kendal!

Tyler and I have been working through all our leftovers. A lot of them didn’t last the first night, but we still have turkey and ham (from Tyler). I also ended up making four pumpkin pies total. I went home on Wednesday night and made a pie for Tyler and myself with the leftover mix from the one I made at Emily’s. It didn’t turn out at all. It wouldn’t cook through and then, of course, the texture. So I tried it again with canned pumpkin but it came out wrong again, I also really messed up the crust. Tyler and I really wanted a pumpkin pie so I went to the store on Sunday got another can of pumpkin puree and just followed the directions on the can. It came out perfect! It just goes to show you that sometimes from scratch isn’t always better.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and are getting in the mood for a festive Christmas. If you are in the Indianapolis area, my work hosts The Festival of Trees and it will really get you in the Christmas mood! Until next time folks!

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