Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving in MN

This Thanksgiving was our first major holiday since we moved to MN that we have not made the journey back to Michigan to be with friends and family. We have stayed for holidays like Independence Day, Memorial Day and such, but for Easter and Christmas last year we made the trip back to see people. However, this year it simply didn't make financial or time sense for us to make 2 trips of this length in the car within a month. Also, with the baby on its way sitting for long periods of time in the car makes me uncomfortable. I am already dreading the inevitability of having to pee horribly somewhere between Eau Claire and The Wisconsin Dells and having no where to go. Would I still get charged with indecent exposure if I explained to the officer that I was going to the bathroom beside the car because I am pregnant?

This Thanksgiving dawned cold and snowless in The Twin Cities-- different from typical MI weather at this time of year. Jim was thankful even for just having nowhere to go-- it has been a loooong time since he has had a 4 day break with absolutely nothing planned other than to eat and spend time relaxing. I don't think we've ever had this amount of time free since we've been married. We started the day with turning on Macy's Parade in NY and fired up the oven, which is actually brand new since we moved into our new apartment. We had purchased a 10 pound turkey and all of the trimmings and had been diligently defrosting it-- I had visions of a frozen bird going in the oven on Thanksgiving morning and taking till 10 p.m. to thaw.

Honey cleaned the bird and took out the bad of giblets (raw meat still eeks me out-- I had hoped to get over that in my second trimester) and soon the turkey was smelling wonderful. We both really got a kick out of basting the bird with our dollar store baster. It was such a pleasure to get to cook a really large meal again. I have usually tried to cook something nice for birthdays and special occasions, but after being so nauseated for so long I am finally getting back my appetite and endurance for cooking.

In addition to the turkey we had sweet broccoli salad (with bacon) green bean casserole, rolls, stuffing, cranberry sauce, baked sweet potatoes, gravy, deviled eggs, homemade pumpkin and chocolate pecan pies, and the sparkling juices we had at our wedding. I never thought that I would be so thankful that we were unsure how the church would feel about us serving champagne in the church, but now I have been able to have our wedding beverage on both our anniversary weekend and Thanksgiving, even though I'm abstaining from alcohol.

I am so blessed to have a husband that enjoys cooking and works to be good at it. any time that I was too tired to do something he immediately took over. I don't think I did anything for the green bean casserole, and he cooked the bacon for the broccoli salad-- I had made the sauce the day before and we assembled it together. He cooked and carved the bird wonderfully and when we sat down to the beautiful abundance at the table I have to admit I had some hormonal tears in my eyes.
I am also thankful for the cookbook my mother gave for for a wedding gift. It is the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Guide, and it has a lot of useful information on cooking techniques, and not just recipes, and answered a lot of our first-time turkey roasting questions, so we didn't have to bug the people at the Butterball Hotline.

I was so worried about my pies-- I think I read one to many horror stories about people's first Thanksgiving mishaps. The worst that I did was forget to put pie weights in the crust for the chocolate pecan pie, but we caught it only halfway through the baking process, so we were able to fix it somewhat.

We wished that we had someone to come for our dinner, and that we even knew of students that weren't able to visit home for the holiday who we could gladly feed. Later we found out that friends of ours from our New Members class at church had to cancel their holiday plans because he was sick and works retail so couldn't drive 8 hours on Thanksgiving. Oh well, I suppose it would have been nice, but I think it was also great for us to have one holiday alone before we add another member to our family.

Wow, once again I only intended this to be a short, chatty post, but remembering the deliciousness of one of my favorite holidays and pregnancy made me delight in remembering each morsel of food in detail.

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