So yesterday you heard Eddie the Cat’s description of Thanksgiving at our place last weekend (here). Here is a look at what happened with the rest of us …
Both of us moved with our families when we were very young, meaning our extended families live far away. So neither of us has ever experienced a large family holiday gathering, which included aunts, uncles, cousins, or grandparents.
I’m not complaining or lamenting here because it is what it is, and of course our own parents took care to offer us and our siblings lovely holiday celebrations when we were growing up. All I’m saying is that neither of us is accustomed to large family gatherings.
Since we’ve been married there have been a few Thanksgiving dinners hosted at our place, with my parents, brothers and sister and niece and nephew, but more often than not, we have been on our own for Thanksgiving.
And to be honest, most years we didn’t do anything special to celebrate it, other than having dinner or lunch out with friends.
But this year, we decided our little family of two (plus feline) felt like making our own celebration. For the first time ever we cooked ourselves a turkey! Well, I should say Nick cooked the turkey but you know what I mean. We set our own festive table so to speak.
I should back up and say that we also cooked a turkey last Christmas when my parents were here, but this was the first one we ever made just for the two of us.
Part of what encouraged us to do it is that we bought a small freezer this summer so finally have space to keep extra food. Also the new grocery store in our neighbourhood, which is making a special effort to offer what is needed for this particular, mostly child-free, community, brought in some very nice and small fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving.
Although Thanksgiving Day is actually on the Monday of the three day weekend, we decided to cook our big meal on Sunday. It turned out to be a good day to be warm and cozy inside because it rained all day long, while it was quite gorgeous on the Saturday and Monday.
After a small breakfast of cereal we (Nick) got busy in the kitchen. Lest it seem unfair that he does all the work in there, he really does enjoy his time cooking. He spent time working and learning in restaurant kitchens when he was younger so has a keen interest in food preparation, although he never wanted to be a chef as a career.
The first thing he did was get those pumpkins we bought on our drive to the country (here) roasted, pulped and into the freezer. This wasn’t actually part of the Thanksgiving dinner, but it was something that he wanted to do while the oven was going to be hot. (I plan to do a separate post about the pumpkins.)
Then he began preparing the turkey, stuffing it and popping it into the oven.
I got into the kitchen after that and made my Olive and Cream cheese spread, which we had as a snack with wheat crackers while the turkey was cooking.
I used fresh oregano from my herb garden to make it.
As side dishes, he made carrots, parsnips (new to our diet but really quite good), peas, corn and potatoes. It sounds like a lot but most of it was saved as leftovers to be used in future meals. He used the peelings from the carrots and parsnips to flavour the gravy as absolutely nothing is wasted in Nick’s kitchen.
Serving up and sitting down to our feast …
We didn’t feel like overeating so decided not to make dessert.
While he was cooking Nick made up a funny nickname for himself … Kanye Chef. (This was following Kanye West’s declaration himself a ‘creative genius’ on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Story here)
Since we’re not accustomed to celebrating Thanksgiving, I didn’t have much to decorate with that suited the theme. But I pulled out these hand-carved wooden figurines that I had gotten while on vacation in Quebec as a kid. My parents gave us each a bit of money to pick our own souvenir and this is what I got. Over the years the lady’s nose broke off, making her look like a zombie. So this decoration was in keeping for both Thanksgiving and Halloween.
Here’s to making an effort to celebrate family holidays even when there is no family around. We had fun and were happy we did it.
Thank you for taking a look,