Thanksgiving Traditions

Since I wasn’t able to go home for Thanksgiving, I was determined not to spend the weekend moping. I made plans with Janae and her husband, who were also away from their families for the holiday.  I had a few friends offer to take me in, and I’d tried to figure out what would be best (for me. I was all for selfishness on this). You know how you count on different friends for their different things?  Janae is the friend I guessed would be most like me when it came to holidays. I am sentimental bordering on sappy. I like my Thanksgiving traditional, but not formal. Plus, I knew she’d let me help with the cooking, which is what makes me happy.

Janae and I planned the meal together, shopped together, and began cooking preparation on Wednesday night at her house. We incorporated both our favorites, which all melded perfectly… except, perhaps, for the fact that we prepared two separate green bean dishes. Yeah. We’re crazy like that.

Our first task was getting out her still-in-the-box, awesome food processor. She made a cranberry orange relish. I didn’t help much. I took pictures.

It turned out very fresh and tart and saucy. Kind-of like me a sorbet or palate cleanser.

Oh, I did help actually! I cut oranges.

Then we washed and cut and peeled potatoes and yams and snapped green beans. I would’ve never thought to do these things the day before. It’s a good thing that Janae channels a little Martha Stewart.

The next morning I packed up the essentials: the remaining groceries, Bailey’s for coffee, Cristalino for mimosas, and the pup. Janae was graciously inviting Kenya to come over with me, even though her little Shih Tzu is very shy of big dogs. As a pleasant surprise to everyone, they did alright..

Missy ventures out from under the table.

She isn't as sad as she looks. I don't think..

So we got right to work. After breakfast cinnamon rolls and coffee, and the parade, and then snacks and appetizers, and the dog show, and the aforementioned beverages.

Around 1:00 p.m. we were really ready to get started.

At which point I realized that the turkey was still at home in my refrigerator. Whoops.

A couple trips later, we both began to worry a bit that we were not going to be eating as early as we thought. Fortunately, that really didnt matter, since it was just us. I’d invited another holiday refugee friend, who was planning to join us at dinner time.

Janae set a beautiful table.

We stuffed the turkey with a quartered onion, celery stalks and garlic cloves and got it in the oven. I made a hazelnut sage stuffing with black and white bread, and yams with brown sugar, butter, and dried apricots (thanks Mrs. Peck). Those were both going in their respective crock pots (never have I understood the beauty of the double ovens at my mom’s house so well), Janae prepared her sauerkraut, green beans, and the rolls finally started rising. We both even got in quick showers.


Hello little guy!

We combined forces to conquer the gravy once the turkey was finished, and it may have been the best gravy I’ve even been partially responsible for, if I do say so myself. We were pretty proud. We got everything into serving dishes, and it looked like all we needed was 5 or 6 more people to join us.

The meal was very nice, and I think we all enjoyed ourselves. Afterward we just relaxed, checked out all the ads for Black Friday, eventually conceded that we were too tired to get up in three hours to start shopping, and tried to take a picture where we didn’t look exhausted. This was as close as we got:

Cheers to good friends, and I am thankful for all the wonderful people in my life.


~ by Lindsey on November 30, 2010.

2 Responses to “Thanksgiving Traditions”

  1. this really sounds like a wonderful holiday. i like all the pictures and details. miss you.

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