Family, Food

The One with the Solo Thanksgiving

We arrived back from Nashville at our central meeting location at 11pm Monday, still an hour and a half from our home. As we loaded our car, the rain came pouring down harder–with a vengeance in fact. I was uptight, tired and cranky–not at all in the mood to put up with blinding precipitation. Kevin wanted to get home and was going to plow on, but 15 minutes out, he decided to stop. Luckily we were just around the corner from his parents’ house. We woke them up with our call (we figured it would be a bit of a shock to wake up with us on the sofa bed.) They had the bed ready for us when we pulled in. 
It was so nice to get a full night’s rest. Kevin and I drove home the next morning–just in time for me to start a load of laundry and get baking. I taught one piano lesson, then headed to the kitchen to work on an apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, wheat rolls, wheat bread and chex mix–in addition to our homemade burgers and sweet potato fries. Wow. I must have felt seriously deprived of my kitchen to whip all of that out without feeling ready to pass out. I felt pretty awesome. One of my friends even said I should do a showdown with Martha Stewart. Ha!
The next morning, we packed everything into our tiny Escort and headed 3 hours east–a drive that seemed incredibly short compared to the 8 hours to Nashville. After a couple hours of relaxing with my family, I figured I should plan something for the Thanksgiving dinner I was about to tackle. I boiled the sweet potatoes and prepared the casserole to be baked the next day. I chopped 5 pounds of potatoes to store in cold water over night. I washed the turkey, buttered it up, patted it down with herbs, stuffed it with aromatic onions, and stuck that in the fridge as well. And I must say, those tasks took maybe 45 minutes and it was no big deal for me. I just LOVE doing it, and I’m realizing how blessed I am. I have this innate sense of timing–walking to the oven just as the timer dings. Knowing when to start the potatoes, the green beans, the broccoli casserole, the sweet potatoes, and the rolls so that everything gets done in just–that just happens. I thought I would need a timeline and a detailed step-by-step description of the Thanksgiving Dinner Process (as I used 2 years ago)–but I functioned better without it.  I’m not sure how or when I acquired these skills. But I had a blast today. 
All I know is, I’ve never heard “This is the best, juiciest, most flavorful turkey I’ve ever had!” 
I even conquered my fear of gravy-making. It was delish. 
And the Pecan Pie–aka Pioneer Woman’s “Pie That Will Make You Cry”–oh my. At least four people said it was the best pecan pie ever–and a few more said it was the best PIE ever. Wow. I’ll take that. 
I love making people happy with food. I love food. Good food. I love creating it, eating it, and (I cannot lie) hearing others’ excitement. 
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