Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey Today, Margaritas on Sunday

This year, we are brining the turkey for the first time. I'll let you know how it turns out. I get the organic, free-range kind, and always cook it breast-side down to keep it juicy. BIL carves and lays it out prettily on the platter, so I don't have to worry about trying to present a whole, perfectly browned turkey on a platter at the table. I've made the stuffing (though we no longer actually stuff the turkey except with chunks of celery, apples and onions for flavor) and will do the gravy when we're close to serving. I cheat and use dry packaged gravy mix and just add pan drippings, but everyone always raves about the gravy, so there. And that's all I'm cooking, unless I get inspired to make the steamed green beans with the dijon dressing. MIL is bringing yams and cranberry sauce, BIL is bringing roasted root vegetables and carmelized-onion mashed potatoes (have I mentioned that he's a chef?), the cousins are bringing a kosher turkey (she only eats kosher meats) and Doug is picking up the biscuits and pies. And that, ladies and germs, is how you keep Thanksgiving simple. This year, we only have fifteen, which is a few less than previous years. SIL's folks went to Texas to see one of their other kids, and some of the other cousins aren't in town.

Thanksgiving has always been my holiday. Back in college and when I was first working in radio, I'd get together with friends and we'd cook up a storm, and feed people in waves, depending on when their shift on the air ended or when the bong-fueled munchies kicked in. For the first few years after Doug and I were together, the (now ex-) SIL insisted on hosting Thanksgiving. She made up a huge elaborate Southern feast (including a baked ham which always sent the Kosher Cousins over the edge). But they kept moving further away, and after one year travelling 450 miles each way in heavy traffic to their house, I said "enough" and vowed that I was going to enjoy Thanksgiving at home from then on. And within a few months the BIL and SIL split up, so I've hosted the family Thanksgiving dinner ever since. I love doing this, and it never feels like work. I'll post pics of my tables in a couple hours once the camera is recharged.

Sunday, we take off for Puerto Vallarta with Doug's folks for six days of fun in the sun. Tuesday I'm going to swim with the dolphins! I'll post pictures. Other than that I'm looking forward to doing a whole lotta nuthin'. Right now for Sam it's all about the ride on the airplane and we've been counting down the days with him for the last two weeks until the "airplane!". Since he's been taking swimming lessons and is now able to do some rudimentary dog paddling, I think he's really going to want to spend the majority of the day swimming. They have wonderful pools where we stay, with bridges to swim underneath and water slides. And cabana boys who bring margaritas for Mom. ;-) I'm taking a stack of books, too.


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