Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkeys & Traditions

I SURVIVED! Woohoo! And so did everyone that ate my turkey!! Bigger Woohoo! Let me just tell you guys, that turkey was definitely a testament to the fact that prayer works!! It was de-licious, if I do say so myself... A huge thanks to everyone that sent me suggestions, called/texted to wish me luck and a special thanks to all my little prayer warriors! Good work friends, good work.

Ok, so let me give you the full scoop on our fun-filled holiday weekend (Question: Do you still call Thanksgiving a "holiday weekend" if it starts on Thursday? I'm undecided). I prepped the turkey on Wednesday night by doing a little brining, a lot of buttering, a couple of injections, a little seasoning and then more buttering. I live by the theory that you can never use too much butter... or Tony Chachere's seasoning. I thought I'd need Brandon for back up when it came to getting out the neck and innards (The word "innards" just grosses me out to say... Does everyone call it "innards" or is that just an Oklahoma thing? If there is a nicer sounding word, I'd prefer to call it that. Just my thoughts...) but then, to my surprise, I found that part not gross, just very funny (Probably the stress making me delusional) and sadly, this dreadful picture is the only one that we took of me fixing my first Thanksgiving dinner. Whomp. Whomp.

It didn't gross me out one bit, probably because all the parts were nicely put in a paper bag... Of course, I had to open it because I was curious since I'd heard so much about how yucky the stuff was... Still wasn't grossed out! Brandon gave me a little anatomy lesson and we moved on. The part that did totally disgust me was rubbing the butter INSIDE the turkey and it's ribs scraping my fingers. Ew. I did that part as fast as possible and then just threw a half a stick of butter in there and called it good enough. B was a huge help! That turkey was h-eavy and he sweetly did all the lifting. He peeled apples for the pie while I made the sweet potato casserole. He stirred the chocolate filling for the chocolate pie (which if you've ever made chocolate pie, you know that means you have to stir constantly for like 20 minutes... I'm going to have to start working out work out more if I expect my arm to do the same motion for that long). And he is the best beater licker in the whole world (Get your mind out of the gutter, Zac Rogers.), especially if it's after making cream cheese filling for a pumpkin roll! We got everything ready to roll Wednesday night and then said lots of prayers that the turkey would work out...

We started off our Thanksgiving Day bright and early (5:45am) checking "the bird." My grandmother told me that if you could pull the leg or wing away from the body easily then you'd know it was done... We opened up the foil and the legs had fallen off... DONE! I worried that I'd over cooked it and it would be dry, but that definitely wasn't the case! We spent the morning sitting around our wonderful fire pit that Brandon's family bought us. It was so nice to just lounge around and not have to hurry to be anywhere. Plus, this might be kind of weird, but I love the smell of a fire. It just reminds me so much of home. It was definitely the prefect start to our day!

Around noon we headed to Brandon's mom's house for a late lunch... this was my turkey debut so I was a little nervous. B was given the task of cutting it and we didn't have an electric knife. I just knew this was going to be a disaster but he took care of it with no problem... I should really stop worrying about him, he seems to have everything under control 99% of the time. Before we started eating, we went around the room and each person told what they were thankful for. It was really cool to hear what everyone said. We had so much to be thankful for - All three of Brandon's brothers got married this year, everyone is healthy, all of his family gets along wonderfully and in 2012 we will have our first nephew! What a blessed year we've had! It was so great to take a few minutes and just stop to be thankful.

This beautiful Wilton tray was a wonderful gift from the Bradford Family! Thank You!
Lunch was yummy and the company was good, as always! The turkey turned out juicy and buttery and full of flavor! I was so relieved, you have no idea. I ended up cooking lots of fun things - the turkey, sweet potatoes, deviled eggs, pumpkin roll, chocolate pie (Might have taken me a couple of tries... that stupid chocolate is hard to judge.) and apple pie. The weirdest part was that I really enjoyed it! I usually dread my time in the kitchen. It's one of the few places I don't feel too comfortable or confident. My mother-in-law even sweetly said she was thankful to have a cook in the family... when I realized she was talking about me, I was flattered and terrified all at the same time! (It was one of those "Oh crap" moments when you realize that all along you've been trying to convince everyone that you know your way around a kitchen when actually you were probably just getting lucky and now you went off and got yourself designated "Family Cook"... I. Am. So. Screwed.)

Lunch was concluded with a tradition that was new to me... The pumpkin toss! Brandon and his younger brother went in the backyard and discarded their mom's pumpkins for her. The contest is to see who can throw them the furthest and with the best style. It was amusing to say the least and thankfully no one was seriously injured.

We made our second stop of the night at the fire station. Brandon's dad was on duty so we decided to bring him a plate and say hello. I was super relieved we came to him and not vice-versa... I had nightmares all last week about setting the house on fire while cooking the turkey. I really need to stop watching the news before bed. It was fun to see where he worked! I am the only one that had never been in a fire station before, maybe because we don't have one in my town... I told you, small town. In case you were alarmed by the picture, no, Brandon's bro isn't a pedophile, he was just a strong participant of "no-shave November"...

After hugging the father-in-law good night, we headed into "the City" for one final celebration! We made it just in time for dessert with Brandon's stepmom and her family! (Dropped the ball and failed to take a picture) Until I married Brandon, I had never been close to a "blended family." I didn't know what to expect, but I am positive that I couldn't have asked for better people to be "blended" with! I swear I have never been treated better and I am always so happy when we get the chance to be around their fun-loving group! I feel so privileged to get to gain TWO families from marrying one wonderful man. Lucky, huh?

So, it was a busy day, but a good one for sure! Not anything like the Thanksgivings I've grown up with, but wonderful in its own unique way. When asked what I was thankful for... of course, I said the obvious - being loved by a merciful God, a healthy family, a wonderful husband, the happiness that I am blessed to be surrounded by... but I was especially thankful on Thursday for traditions old and new. I cherish making memories at the Ranch with my family, but I eagerly anticipate making memories with OUR family. I love sleeping in and then feasting on yummy food, but this year I enjoyed working hard to prepare yummy food.  Both traditions - old and new - are filled with happiness and laughter and people I love and thankfully, pretty decent turkey... What more could a girl ask for?! Hope your Thanksgiving was half as blessed as mine. Thanks again for praying for me!

Be Blessed!

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty much speechless.

    Your wedding...ALL of it..was absolutely stunning!!!!

    Congrats on having it blogged about so many times. I completely understand why!