It is Thanksgiving. The second one without my mom here. I found myself asking my cooking questions to my “surrogate moms,” my Aunt Dale and a former coworker Marci who has always been so wonderful to me but even more so after losing my mom. It is only the second time I have cooked the turkey dinner for the family on my own. I helped my mom during her last years when it was too much for her to do on her own, but I still had her there to guide me along. This year, I went with our traditional very simple butter, garlic, salt and pepper recipe, but through in a few extra spices to “change it up” a bit and make it my own!
It is a 23 pound bird so it has been in the oven for just about five hours and according to the meat thermometer it is just about ready. The crock pot mac and cheese that Drew and I concocted is ready and warming and the corn souffle, (I guess that is what it is called) just needs to be heated up when we bring all the food over to my dad’s house. My friend Kim shared that recipe. I was so excited to make it and felt so confident and proud to get that done the night before – only realizing that when I took it out of the oven, I had added cream cheese instead of the sour cream it required. I am still going to serve it. If it is a fail, it gets tossed. If it is delicious, perhaps a new Thanksgiving tradition! I decided that i won’t stress about the meal this year. Last year I was a nervous wreck feeling that it was all on me to make it perfect like my mom’s always was.
Aunt Dale is bringing lots of other side dishes and my brothers will bring dessert. Even my dad – who has NEVER cooked and even confessed that he didn’t know how to use the can opener this morning – is making the green bean casserole for the meal. Dave is always on clean up duty and he is so good at it, by the end of the meal, you’d never even know that thirteen people had just eaten there. That’s all we will be this year. A small group. Normally our holidays are twice that but my sister and cousins all go to their inlaws for Thanksgiving.
The turkey is just about to come out of the oven. Drew is boxing up the cookies he made this morning before we started. The car is being loaded up. I am grateful to be able to share Thanksgiving with so many people I love, but even more grateful to everyone who helped me pull it off with their recipes, tips and suggestions. Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!