Monday, November 19, 2012

Prepping for a Stress-free Thanksgiving and My Menu

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Thanksgiving is not usually a family holiday for us.
Let me take that back. It is a family holiday, just not the traditional family holiday.
Over the past eleven years we have been married, Thanksgiving has transformed into a time when we invite our friends into our home. They are people who have become more family than just friends.
This year is no exception. 
Since many of our friends in town are young, single men, I am stuck with all of the cooking. Actually, I love cooking and sharing food with friends, so creating a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal challenges me and gives me a chance to brag.
But the idea of making a feast for by myself can be daunting.
So I'm planning ahead.  Since we are eating a Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws on Thursday, I am hosting our dinner on Friday. Here is the menu and my recipes.


Oven Roasted Turkey (I will brine it first)

Mashed Potatoes Made with Plain Greek Yogurt and Gravy

Home-canned Corn

Pumpkin Pie

Cherry Pie

Like last year, I'm also going to spread the meal prep days in advance. 
Tuesday: Shop, brine the turkey as it thaws. Make cranberry sauce.
Wednesday: Mix up pie crust.
Thursday: Peel then soak potatoes, assemble steak and dressing, mix stuffing so it is oven-ready. Bake pies.
Friday: Roast turkey, make dinner rolls, boil and mash potatoes. Make apple salad.
Glut myself at dinner.
Here are some non-traditional harvest dishes you might want to add to your meal.
What are you fixing for Thanksgiving?
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Where I've Been: Recovery and Repair

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On morning after my last post in September, my toddler son's stomach began churning.

At first, it seemed nothing more than an upset stomach. By the late afternoon, as his vomiting increased in frequency to every ten minutes, I knew we had a problem. Since the clinic was already closed, off to the ER we went.

Although his stomach soothed for a while, things went from bad to worse in my house.
Accurate self-portrait of my 5 year-old for about five days.

My husband, my five year-old, and the little one were all stricken with sickness over that weekend. My husband was better within a few days, but the boys fought the stomach flu for the next week. They couldn't keep anything down. I think I was washing three loads of sheets, clothes, and pajamas every day.  I was constantly changing my shirt as my little one got sick on me. Blogging about food was the furthest from my mind.

The next few weeks were all about recovering, both my sanity and my home.

Then, our neighbors put their house on the market.  I told my husband by telling him one day that our lack of maintenance on the exterior of our home would likely drop their selling price. He immediately cleaned up the front and back yards. We started scraping, priming, and painting trim. I worked my way to peeling off loose paint on the rest of the house and touching up the siding. My husband peeled of the frayed carpet on our porch. He replaced our front door. We started spending half a day each week in Menards, buying supplies and planning our next project. Last weekend, Mike built new columns and a friend helped him replace the ugly wrought supports on our porch.

We have been busy.

Before and during.
Ignore my crooked camera shots.
So now that my work outside is done for a while and my family is healthy [fingers crossed], I'm going to do my best to get back blogging again.  Thanks for bearing with me.

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