This year’s Thanksgiving was a little less rigid as years past. Typically, I will have a plan for everything well before the big day. That plan will include when ingredients will be assembled, the dish used, the time in the oven (with a single oven, there is a constant rotation of things in and out), the order each dish will be prepared, who will prepare… it’s a very detailed plan.
This year, for a number of reasons, I didn’t have much of a plan in place. No alarms were set this morning. No notes were meticulously written. Mike, Abby and I worked to prepare everything in a reasonable fashion…prep, assemble, bake, wash, prep, assemble, bake, wash… we ended up with a fabulous Thanksgiving (turkey breast, sausage dressing, homemade gravy, sweet potato casserole, pineapple casserole, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, corn, rolls, cranberries, sweet potato pie and apple pie.
Best of all? All five of us sat down at the table together to enjoy our meal. No babies or toddlers were napping. No one required some special menu accommodations.
All of that being said, my perfectionist self chose joy throughout the day.
- I dropped the sweet potato pie before putting it into the oven, breaking half of the crust. I decided this would be the side Katie eats from because she doesn’t like that type of pie crust. #winningwithtoddlers
- While our oven was set to 375 degrees with the turkey and dressing inside, when I opened the door to pull out the dressing, I noticed that the internal thermometer was registering 500 degrees. I decided to throw some broth from the boiled turkey neck into the basting bag and I was really glad we put onions and apples in with the turkey to help with moisture and flavor. #cookingwithgas
- When the sweet potato casserole was baking, the topping (butter, brown sugar, flour, pecans) bubbled over sending a buttery mess to the bottom of the over. I decided to remain calm and warn everyone the smoke alarm would start any second. Jeb thought the beeping meant lunch was ready. #blesshisheart Katie knew that meant there was a fire. #proudparent
- When I peeled the single hard boiled egg, I realized that it must not have been fully submerged in the water, but one small part seemed to be soft boiled. Instead of trashing it and starting over, I just slapped that sucker in a bowl with the hottest water from our faucet (that stuff will melt your skin off, seriously!) Egg was perfect. #eggcellent
- Giblet gravy is much easier when you have giblets…but giblets don’t come in the turkey breast we bought this year. Oops. Although there was a moment of “we should just buy a whole turkey,” we opted to stick with the breast and make the best of it. #fauxgibletsforthewin
I’m pretty sure that Abby will be making 90% of our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals by the time she is in high school. She loves to cook and enjoys the tradition of making the same favorites year after year. And somehow, that child can take the same recipe and make it better every. single. time. #takesafterherdaddy
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family this year. Count your blessings.