26 November 2006

Thanksgiving exhale

It's been a while since my last posting. My excuse is that I quit my old job, flew home for a few days, started my new job and then hosted the in-laws for a week over the Thanksgiving holiday.

It was a busy few weeks, but all is going well. Very well.

Seth and I hosted our first holiday here in our home, and it felt very good. I managed to pull off the traditional meal, complete with a brined, 15-pound turkey, mashed potatoes, my Grandma Pat's cornbread dressing, giblet gravy (my personal favorite), cranberry-apple bake (thanks, Janet), green beens and carrots steamed with orange zest, rolls and a pumpkin pie.

I even started the day out with Mom's bacon and onion quiche recipe she got as a college student at Oklahoma State from a friend enrolled in a French class. With the quiche I served a fruit salad and warmed pumpkin bread I'd made the night before. It was wonderful. Seth even put on Bing Crosby's White Christmas album as Thanksgiving is the day it is officially OK to begin listening to Bing! What a treat.

The biggest mishap came from the pie. A self-proclaimed awful baker, I was reading (and mixing up) two different recipes. I wound up tossing the batter of one because I thought I'd screwed it up only to find out after speaking with my mom on the phone that I hadn't messed it up at all. Oh well. Randy saved the day by running to Safeway to pick up an extra can of pumpkin and evaporated milk. The pie baked up OK, and a few leaves made from crust covered a minor imperfection.

The day was exhausting and an intense delight. Randy said he thought the whole Thanksgiving meal seemed like too much work. Perhaps. But the hours of preparation, fretting, tasting, estimating times and fixing my mistakes made my day. And when I sat down to a beautiful table filled with food and surrounded by family, I know that moment alone was enough to be thankful for.

This afternoon I'm back to the kitchen to make a soup. Leftover turkey and Grandma Peach's wide noodles.

Happy holidays indeed.

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