Wednesday, 8:16 pm
The turkey has been brined. I am looking mean and ready to break in my new kitchen shears by
attacking preparing my turkey. This will be my first attempt at a high-heat butterflied roast turkey.
8: 57 pm
After fretting, chatting with a friend for a few minutes, lots of consulting with a cookbook (and Google), I finally was able to successfully hack out the turkey's backbone. Good Lord, what have I done? Now this gobbler goes back in the fridge, uncovered, so that the moisture from the brine can evaporate from the skin.
Well, if my roasted turkey doesn't turn out
and we end up ordering pizza at least the kids will have these cute little gobblers to play with. (I have Martha Stewart to thank for the template!)
Thanksgiving Day, 8:32 am
Roll out of bed. Since my high-heat turkey will only take about 2 hours, I don't have to worry about starting the oven at the crack of dawn. I spared you from having to see what I look like when I first wake-up.
Show Tatiana how to make pretty stamped napkin rings. I am intentionally trying to teach the girls how to 'practice hospitality' and am internally thanking myself for not planning a crazy-complicated menu.
10: 48 am
Sienna is given the task of counting out the silverware. I want to make even my small children feel like they are a part of hosting The Big Day.
Nice little napkin rings are complete!
Sienna is bored. I take out our Fun with Fingerprinting book to keep her entertained while I tidy the house.
12: 31 pm
Call Mom to see how her Thanksgiving Day is going. She nearly has a coronary when she hears that I haven't even turned on my oven yet. She says she's heard about this fandangled high-heat method on the radio. Well, if it was on the radio, then it must have some validity right? My confidence is boosted.
Husband has me watch the intro and first 10 minutes of the movie Up, which he rented for the kids. After those first several scenes (if you've seen it, you'll know what I mean), I go and shut myself in the bathroom and have a good cry. I think to myself that at exactly this time last year, I was discovering that I was pregnant with Olivia and had cried on the very same bathroom floor. I contemplate just canceling my Thanksgiving dinner. But I dry my eyes and decide to forge ahead.
Start the dough for World's Best Rolls. With a recipe name like that, I have pretty high expectations. The last time I tried a recipe that said "Best"-whatever, it did not live up to the promise. I hope this one will be different.
My turkey goes in the oven 3 minutes late.
Why do I feel like I am already behind my pre-planned timeline even though I've barely started cooking? I decide to move a little faster than I had planned. Good thing I have a lot of kitchen experience and many of my cooking skills can go on auto-pilot.
Sienna is bored. Again. She decides to write out a dinner menu. So, in between mixing, measuring, recipe-checking, timeline consulting, and stirring, I am dictating words to her and pointing out which letters on her letter chart are for each word. Yes. Homeschooling to the core. Plus, I couldn't resist how cute she looked. First thing on her Thanksgiving menu? Hot dogs. Um, I don't think so, sweetie.
My guests are on their way. Due to some family issues, we decided to keep things low-key and just invite a family of dear friends over for dinner. No turning back now!
4: 33 pm
My timer goes off. A fully-cooked turkey in just 80 minutes seems too good to be true. Will we be ordering pizza?
Guests arrive! I am busily attending to the stove & can't 'meet and greet' like I wanted to. Please know that I spent time today praying for you, my guests. I think that is more important than arranging the perfect centerpiece.
I set out several side dishes and finish up the rest. I had to have Sweet Potato Casserole and Tatiana requested macaroni and cheese.
I complete my Thanksgiving meal 4 minutes ahead of schedule. I really only spent about 2 1/2 hours cooking. Amazing.
5: 32 pm
My wonderful Husbands says grace. I get choked up. Despite the trials of this last year, we really do have a lot to be thankful for.
We all ate at the same table. I love that. No 'kiddie table' here. The World's Best Rolls lived up their name. They were soooo yummy. My new simpler recipe for cranberry sauce was even good. I love when something done more simply is just as good as something complicated. We have tidied up, packed up leftovers, and moved into the family room so the kids can play and the adults can relax.
What's that Sebastian? You don't want Thanksgiving to end? I guess he's too young to understand what I have been telling the kids all day, "Thanksgiving should be everyday". It's not just one day a year; we should strive daily to have thankful hearts.
The kids are all in their jammies & have an impromptu 'build-your-own-sundae' for dessert.
Even though she creates a small fuss, I take a picture with Stephanie anyways.
The Husband (right) and the best man at our wedding (Stephanie's husband).
The littlest boys are passed out and our guests get ready to leave. I almost thought it was gonna be a sleepover for a minute there! This little fella looks how I feel. Happy First Thanksgiving Davis!
10: 58 pm
I am lying in bed and trying to figure out the funny feeling that I have in my face. It finally occurs to me. My cheeks are sore from smiling and laughing so much. And that, my friends, hasn't happened in a really long time.
11: 06 pm
I drift off to sleep feeling happy that I decided not to cancel Thanksgiving afterall.