Friday, November 27, 2009

A Waif-Away-From-Home Thanksgiving

Because T and I were in town for Thanksgiving this year, we decided to invite to dinner any of our friends who were unable to go home for the holidays.  A collection of waifs (first definition).

Now, that's not to say that we (or our guest) don't have any friends in Boston. Obviously not since we had 11 people for dinner last night.  But it's hard not to feel like a waif when you can't go home for Thanksgiving.  It was good to be surrounded by friends :)

We woke up early to get a good start on our day.  The best start, actually--we went to Mass.  What better place to begin the a eucharistic feast (as in: eucharistein--to give thanks) than by celebrating the Eucharist?  What a blessing it is to have our Lord in our midst, so clearly and so readily.

Refreshed from the Feast, we headed home and I started prepping the turkey.  We got a 21 pound turkey from the same farm where we get the rest of our (naturally raised, grass-fed, wholly organic and sustainable) meat.  It was a beautifully huge bird. And it was running around, happy as a... turkey.. just one week ago!  I used the maple-butter recipe that Momma used for Viv's Golden Birthday dinner last year.  Truth be told, I think I overcooked the turkey.  But the gravy was pretty tasty, and even overcooked turkey makes great leftovers.  Better overcooked than underdone, right? Finally, this is only the second turkey I've made. I'm not ashamed to admit I can keep improving :)

We also had apple sausage stuffing. I made a double recipe (well, we need leftover stuffing for our leftover turkey, right?).  I used a sour dough bread and did half ground beef/half sausage for the meat.  This was the highlight of my Thanksgiving.  I've never had better stuffing (sorry, Momma).  It was delicious!  We finished one (13x9") pan last night and T and I finished half of the second (13x9") pan for lunch today... so try it :) It's pretty tasty.

I also made (coconut milk) scalloped sweet potatoes, which were also very scrumptious.

Next on the menu: cheese (mmmm)

(no further description necessary, right?)

So are you wondering how we fit 11 people at our table?  We got two additional folding tables (raised with corks stuck in their legs (and still a little too short)) and put them next to our bitty table.  It was a squeeze, but we managed (and hey, we're all friends, right?).   The magic of squeezing is Friendship!

Again, a big thank you to our parents who have so graciously completed our china service for 14. The crystal was a wedding present, too.  We are indeed very blessed :)  Someday, probably when we have our farm, I'll have a big dining room with one table that can seat all our guests and you can all come over for a meal.  We will use the china and the crystal and have a good ol' traditional sit-down dinner and stay up chatting late into the night.

Which is what we did last night.  Our last guest didn't leave until after 1, and I (for some silly reason?!) decided I needed to start the turkey stock.  I picked all the meat off while our guests were still chatting and got the bones in the pot soon after they left.  What took so long was bringing the pot to a boil before reducing it to a simmer.  At 2 o'clock in the morning (this morning!) I turned off the lights and headed to bed.

All in all, I'd say it was a tremendous success.  For dessert we had a chocolate pumpkin pie, sugar cookies, a blueberry tart, a traditional pecan pie, a chocolate pecan pie, an ice cream cake, and ice cream.  Frankly, with a spread like that, who cares if dinner was a success? :)

If we are in town next year for Thanksgiving, I hope we can host another gathering.

And next year, I'll make a better turkey.

Happy Feast, everyone!  (and to all a good night)

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