Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Ah, Thanksgiving. Much like Christmas, people bitch and moan about the true message of Thanksgiving becoming lost in the commercial shuffle. "It's not about gorging ourselves on food," they say. "It's about giving thanks for all our blessings."

I don't know about you, but I was very thankful that I could sit down to a feast with my family and friends. I mean, the point is that we are thankful we have food, right? What better way to say it then with pie?

But I digress. This year's Thanksgiving was a quiet one. Since Bill and Amanda were staying in California due to the imminent birth of my nephew (more on that coming up on the blog), and my stepsister and her husband (Marin and Scott) were having their own Thanksgiving, there were only four of us at the main dinner event this year at my Aunt Kim's house. But there is certainly something to be said for a small celebration--in years past we've had around 12 people and while it's nice to catch up with everyone, I tend to like a more intimate holiday. I was certainly thankful that we were all healthy and happy and that we could spend the day with each other.

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I had been watching a lot of stuff on the Food Network--including their Thanksgiving Live show hosted by my favorite celebrity chef, Alton Brown. As part of the show, he demonstrated the proper way to carve a turkey. I'd always thought of carving the turkey as some kind of master skill that took years to develop, like surfing or juggling. Turns out, not so much. Cut along this bone here and wrap around that bone there...and wa la! Perfectly carved turkey!

I thought to myself, this is the year. Carving the turkey was always the realm of the Grandma or the Dad, but not this year! This was MY year! To show that I could actually handle the responsibility without ruining Thanksgiving. So after the turkey had been resting for about 30 minutes (always rest the turkey you guys--or all the juices spill out) I seized the opportunity. Before anyone else made a move toward the bird, I loudly asked, "can I carve the turkey?"

I had expected a bit more of a response. Maybe a raised eyebrow or a questioning look. But no. Everyone just pretty much shrugged and said "sure." Ok, so it wasn't the dramatic moment I had expected. But I was still a little nervous. Still, no time like the present. I slapped that bird on the cutting board, grabbed the carving knife and went at it. And you know what? Alton was right, it worked perfectly! I got the whole breast off in one piece and carved it right onto the platter. It was juicy and tender, just the way my Aunt likes it.

So basically I saved Thanksgiving.

Not really, but I figured this story needed an exciting ending.

 The turkey master!

 After eating with my family and watching the first two hours of The Sound of Music, I headed over to Chris and Kent's place  to catch up with Mom who had celebrated Thanksgiving with them. I was just in time for pie (or should I say MORE pie) and to watch Miracle on 34th Street, one of the best Thanksgiving and Christmas movies ever. By the end of the night, we were all stuffed, lethargic, tired, happy, and thankful for one another. And isn't THAT what Thanksgiving is all about?

 Well, that and pie. Here are my Aunt's pumpkin pie and pumpkin crisp. SO GOOD!

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