Monday, December 1, 2008


hosting thanksgiving for the first time was fantastic! it was so great to feel like we were starting our own traditions and spend time with all of our family before we move away. there were nine of us (plus bear) and although we were worried about space it wasn't an issue at all.
i made the maple sugar cookies as favors/placecards (they were very good). for the rest of the table decor i used wedding stuff - dried bouquets and candle holders.
everyone brought or made something so we had a nice and relaxing morning putting our contributions together.
wednesday afternoon i put our turkey in a brine - and i will from now on swear by this method! juicy, flavorful, fabulous meat (even the white meat!) i used this recipe and substituted italian seasoning for sage because (i think) italian seasoning has sage in it and i didn't want to buy another spice.
my favorite dessert of all time is my grandmother's apple crisp - i made it for us to enjoy after dinner. i don't remember ever meeting her, but my dad, brother, and i ALWAYS made this growing up. sooo good. treat for you = the recipe is at the end of this post... let me know what you think if you make it!!
so nice to spend the day doing normal family things - i will never wish a dissertation upon anyone or their partner!
the boys made this martha stuffing recipe - SO FREAKING GOOD! we added two cups of apples and dried cranberries and used sourdough bread. i would halve the recipe though - it made a ridiculous amount!
i also made this amazing ginger cranberry sauce by altering a martha recipe. i added a tablespoon of orange zest (i think i will add a little more in the future) and just used a cup of water and no vinegar. dump it all in the pot bring to a boil and simmer... easy and SO good. be careful though - if you are sensitive to ginger don't make this days in advance. the longer the sauce has to set the stronger the ginger becomes. it was really good - grant didn't think he liked cranberry sauce and liked this.
our successful turkey! i can't stress how proud i am of this bird! we roasted it according to pioneer woman's instructions and they were awesome. i can see us doing this every year. PS use a meat thermometer - sooo worth the investment not to trust the little pop up thingy.
carving his first turkey!
our families enjoying themselves as we get the final preparations together.
the last thing grant and i contributed was the gravy. this also received rave reviews. i used another pioneer woman recipe. i did everything as she instructs, but didn't add any liver or giblet stock. even though i used to dissect humans i still can't deal with handling, let alone eating a turkey neck or heart.. YUCK!
dessert was a smorgasbord of pies, pumpkin roll and apple crisp. grant may or may not have eaten a little of everything in two back to back sittings.
all in all a fantastic thanksgiving - with lots of reminders of what we are thankful for.
Apple Crisp
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup shortening
3 apples (Granny Smith) peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Combine oats, flour, salt, baking soda and brown sugar in mixing bowl. Cut shortening in with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Pat half of the crumbs into the bottom of a greased 10-inch square pan. Top with apple slices. Sprinkle with white sugar and cinnamon and dot with butter. Cover with remaining crumb mixture and pat down lightly. Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes. When cool, cut into squares.


jenni said...

WOW!! Everything looks really good. That turkey looks VERY good. Our upside down turkey was very good but did NOT look pretty. I love when you make stuff Nicole, you do it sooo well!

dissertation smissertation, what do they get you anyway ;)

nicole said...

oh jenni!! thank you!

Philigry said...

everything looks yummy! great pictures!
i love your new table too.

Sam & Rachel said...

Wow, impressive spread. Everything looks so fancy. I want to come to that Thanksgiving!