We Hosted Our First Thanksgiving.

When it comes to cooking a Thanksgiving meal, I've heard some horror stories. Everything from forgetting to thaw the turkey, to forgetting to take out the giblets, to overcooking, to under cooking, to putting the thermometer in the wrong part of the meat, to the thermometer not working, etc.

That, coupled with my not-exactly-stellar cooking abilities meant the potential for things going wrong this Thanksgiving was in a zone I'd like to call "EXTREMELY HIGH".

Did I mention, neither Boyfriend nor I had ever made a turkey before...?

So Boyfriend and I were in shock and awe over the TOTAL MOTHER FUCKING SUCCESS that was Thanksgiving 2011. We pretty much high-fived each other all day long.

The menu went as follows:

TILTE and Boyfriend in charge of...
-mashed potatoes
-rice pilaf
-sweet potato casserole
-cranberry relish

Mom in charge of...
-apple pie
-pumpkin pie
-cranberry fluff

Sisters in charge of...
-cheese ball appetizer

Our preparations actually began probably two weeks before, when I started hoarding non-perishables like the people on those crazy couponing shows. Except, like an asshole, I totally forgot to buy my fresh herbs until the day before the dinner (which was actually the day AFTER real Thanksgiving). I went to two local grocery stores and both "herb" sections were picked clean. Except for Tarragon because nobody fucking buys Tarragon.


The produce guy at Albertson's was my superhero when he brought me a "Thanksgiving Plant" that had the exact three herbs I was looking for: Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme.

My next hero was a pack of Knorr Homestyle Stock that was a freebie from BlogHer. I used two little tubs to make stock for basting the turkey. Adding stock to the bottom of the roasting pan was a savior. And as a non-turkey-maker, I had no idea anything even needed to be added to the pan.

Since I'm not a big fan of plain old turkey, we opted for one of those fancy looking, "herby" birds. The recipe we used for the herb-butter can be found HERE. It was delicious tasting and looking. And it made the house smell like we were legit chefs and shit.

The house was all set up for guests.

People started arriving. While Boyfriend and I slaved away in the kitchen, everyone mingled and ate homemade cheese ball.

All the food was ready for serving by 5:30.

Only 30 minutes late, which is great if you ask me because I'm always late and with a menu like this, things were destined to not only be late, but really awful too. But they weren't awful. In fact, everything turned out great. AND it was all ready at the same time due to meticulously planning out how long each item will take to prep/ cook and noting exactly what time to start said item.

The blessed turkey.

The herb-butter was a hit. However, next time I would probably cook it for a tad longer.

Table 1 of 3. With some extra tables, everyone was able to eat in the dining room. All twelve guests.

That's right.

We fed twelve people without making anyone sick. And trust me, if we had made anyone sick, they would have called to complain by now.

Afterwards, everyone split up around the house and found their preferred lazy spot.

Mom and sister watching TV in the bedroom...

Brother and his middle finger...

Boyfriend relaxing from our victory...

And yours truly. Practicing my greasy Barbizon model pose for the camera.

Awww, and Biscuit with her hologram eyes. (Contrary to what you've heard about Jersey Shore's Sammy the Sweetheart, BISCUIT is actually the sweetest bitch you'll ever meet.)

All the kids had their own thing going on. And since they had free reign to do whatever they wanted as long as no one was being an asshole, there was lots of running and hiding and it seemed uncomfortably close to Lord of the Flies.
Also, there were costumes.

And just because I don't want any of you thinking my nephew is some kind of bohemian hooligan, here's a picture of him being "normal" with a mouth full of whipped cream.

Also. A pic of my sister. So there's that.

And just so we end NOT on a note that points out how weird we all are, here's a shot of some pie.

Now that you've basically participated in a home cooked TILTE Thanksgiving, are you as impressed as I am??

Probably not.

But it was a completely success in my eyes.



Deborah said...

You did awesome! It's kinda fun in a hair-ripping-crying-stressfilled-crazymaking kind of way.

Good job and happy holidays!

NumberWhisperer said...

1) That hat sure got passed around
2) "Hogan" is very close to "hooligan".
3) Who knew the asparagus would be the first to go?
4) You were way too relaxed. Next time I want to see some angry face. At least once.

The Sweetest said...

Congrats! Your turkey was gorgeous. Our dinner was pretty good, but after one day of leftovers I was so over it. I enjoy it while it's happening and then I am done.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Looks DAMN FINE to me, ladyfriend. In fact my mouth is watering all over the place and I might drool on my sweater. Congrats on not freaking out with TWELVE mouths to feed but yay!!!

Also, I'm very sorry for showing my ignorance, but I hear you American types talking about cheese balls and I'm ashamed to say that I don't even know what it is, although it sounds MAGNIFICENT! Please clarify? Is it a big ball of cheese? I'd so be down with that.

Erin said...

I am tired just reading this. Good job little lady!!

Sara Louise said...

Look at you! Hosting a Thanksgiving for twelve people successfully officially puts you in the responsible adult category.

Sarah Lindahl said...

Totally impressed! Looks like it was lots of fun. You have an adorable little face. (Was that creepy?)

MRanthrope said...

glad you had a great holiday. I'm scared about how badly I'll ruin MY first Thanksgiving dinner, your post gives me hope.

StephanieC said...

Very well done! Except for the turkey, by your account.

See what I did there? No? That you'd cook it longer? No? Ok.

Hope it was lovely!

Simone Says... said...

great pics. looks like y'all had a great time!

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

DEBS - Thanks!! I'm still basking in the glory two weeks later. (And by "glory" I mean self-confidence.)

NUMBER - Ha, I noticed that too about Hogan/ hooligan when I was first typing it.

ASSASSIN - Cheese balls are not common in our family and this was actually the first one that I can think of at any family function. Since I didn't make it, I'm actually not very sure what goes into one... But my guess is random spreadable cheeses that are then rolled into one big ball that's coated in nuts. Once it sets, you use crackers to scoop away at it. And yes. It's just as sophisticated as it sounds.

SARA - lol. This is probably the ONLY thing I've done that puts me in the "responsible adult" category. Unless you count "watching The People's Court" as responsible.

SARAH - Thanks. No, it's not creepy at all because when it comes to compliments, I'll take them any way I can get them.

STEPHANIE - Yes, the turkey needed to be cooked a few minutes longer. So the day wasn't "perfect" by standard definitions, but it was perfect in the way that I like to exaggerate everything I do to make it sound way better than it really is.

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