James decided that he wanted to host both sets of parents as well as my brother (and his girlfriend Haylee) for Thanksgiving. I thought that was a lovely idea so we started preparing last week. My mother helped me set the table and created a gorgeous centerpiece of peach and ivory roses with greenery and berries.
I set up our buffet as a bar with adult beverages, smoked almonds, salted cashews, and dill pickles. I added pickled okra as a nod to our time in the south. They are delicious.
Mom and dad came over early to help get the sides started. I put the turkey into the oven around 9 a.m. so we could eat at 1 p.m. It was a 16 lb turkey and I cooked it in a Reynold's oven bag with celery, fresh rosemary (that I grow at home), and onion slices. When you use an oven bag, don't forget to put one tablespoon of flour in before the bird and shake it around. This prevents the bag from bursting. The instructions also ask you to brush oil on the bird before putting it into the bag (I added onions, celery, and fresh rosemary to the cavity as well).
Mom snapped this shot of James and I in the dining area. Our dining and living areas join as one large space so our fireplace helps to heat up the room. It was cozy.
At parties and holidays, I like to put out raw vegetables for people to snack on before the meal. This is so just in case people only go for gravy and dressing, at least they get a bit of fat-free, crisp nutrition (Who am I kidding?). The ranch dip is great and can be made in a healthy manner: non-fat, plain Greek yogurt with a packet of dry ranch powder dressing.
Thank goodness that my mom knows how to make delicious pies (including the crust)! She uses the finest ingredients and somehow she always gets them to come out of the oven perfectly. Mom brought a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie.
She ALSO baked chocolate crinkle cookies. Amazing. They are topped with a bit of powdered sugar. James loves cookies so mom was quite popular today.
James' mother Cathe (pictured below with James) is also a great cook. She brought potatoes that she fried in the oven in cast iron skillets as well as two types of delicious cranberry relish. Cathe was also our entertainment. She is so funny and very complimentary which makes the chef(s) feel fabulous!
Of course about the time that the food started coming out of the oven and off of the stove, I stopped taking pictures. Such a bummer because my brother and his lovely girlfriend as well as James' father were all there and I didn't get any shots of them. This was certainly a fun day filled with family, food, and football. Much love to you and yours!