Thanksgiving Week was really great this year. Really great. I somehow had tons of time to prep, make multiple trips to the grocery store, get to the gym, not break the bank, and have an awesome, stress-free holiday. Not to mention a 4 day weekend!
We decided not to trek to New Jersey this year for Thanksgiving and instead stayed at our house to feast with a few friends. I definitely missed being with family but being with John and three of our close friends was super nice.
Since we volunteered to host and make the meal, we had a lot of work to do to prepare but it wasn’t bad. Last Sunday we got a lot of stuff during our normal food shopping trip.
On Monday night I made the cranberry sauce and vanilla bean ice cream.
On Wednesday I ironed napkins, made bread dough, and cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom.
On Thursday we woke up super early to begin smoking our turkey. John is serious about his smoker! He smoked our brined bird over apple wood chips at 220 degrees for about 2 hours.
While the turkey was smoking I made all the baked goods for the day: french bread boule, apple cranberry cake, and buttermilk fantails. (All 3 recipes coming next week!)
After the turkey was done smoking I stuffed it with aromatics and put it in a 225 degree oven to finish cooking.
After we put the turkey in the oven (around noon), John and I took a long walk around the Fresh Pond Reservation. It was such a gorgeous day on Thanksgiving!
We sat down to eat around 3PM. The turkey came out perfectly (super smoky, almost bacony), I think we really outdid ourselves with it.
The rest of the meal was delicious too and the company was great. All of the prep and cooking is a lot of work but I paced it really well this year. I also think it helps to have holiday standards (turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc.) because you don’t have to think up a whole meal or create all new recipes, you just have to work on perfecting the classics.
After the first round of dinner I cleaned the kitchen and got the turkey remains in a big pot to make turkey stock.
For the rest of the night we played games, had seconds, watched football, and ate dessert.
On Friday Reggie and I lounged around for most of the day watching bad movies.
On Saturday I decided I should probably put on pants and go do something productive. So John and I went out and got some Christmas shopping done. I also bought nail polish.
Other awesome things this weekend include burning my new Mistletoe candle (smells like a Christmas tree!) and eating open-faced leftover turkey sandwiches (my favorite).
Today I’ve already cooked up some leftover turkey soup. I can’t wait to eat it this week for my work lunch. I’m also hoping to do some crafting, some laundry, and get ready for the work week. Happy Thanksgiving all! Hope you had a wonderful holiday!