We held our first Thanksgiving feast in our new home this year and, I have to say, it was my favorite Turkey Day holiday in recent memory. We had my immediate family, my in-laws, and my brother’s girlfriend’s family over and it was so much fun. I tried to do as much dinner prep ahead of time as I could and it made for a virtually stress-free and incredibly enjoyable day.
I read an article about hosting dinner parties a few months ago that really made an impression on me, The author made the statement that the most important part of having guests over for dinner isn’t about having fancy china or serving perfectly put-together food. It’s about the people you are with, especially in the case of Thanksgiving. It’s a day set aside to reflect on the good things in life and to share that reflection with the ones you love most. This year, in particular, I have so much for which I am thankful: family, friends, health, and my baby boy (aka little rump roast). I have been the stressed and frazzled hostess in the past and I always regretted it afterword. This year, I tried to keep things in perspective and it made all the difference. There was a moment during the dinner, when everyone was eating and enjoying each others’ company, that I looked down the dinner table and my cheeks flushed and my chest tightened because my heart was so full of joy. “Thank you, God,” I thought. Those feelings may have been the wine talking; but, whatever, I’m chalking it up to joy.
As for the feast- I think I accidentally deleted the few food photos I took before we ate in an attempt to clear up storage on my memory card (woops!), but the menu was as follows:
- Roast Turkey
- Baked Ham
- Bert’s Mashed Potatoes
- Connie’s Amish Dressing
- Corn Casserole
- Roasted Yams
- Selby’s Salad
- Anna’s Dinner Rolls
- Cinnamon Honey Butter
- Herb Garlic Butter
- Apple Pie
- Dutch Apple Pie
- Pecan Pie
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Pumpkin Bread
- Kelly’s Lemon Bundt Cake
The ceremonious turkey carving. We may or may not have watched a you tube video to make sure we were doing it right. Isn’t the internet great?
Bert makes some mean mashed potatoes. The trick to perfectly smooth and lump-less potes? Don’t add in any butter, sour cream, milk, etc until you have adequately whipped the potatoes into submission and gotten rid of any chunks. A little fun fact for you from Robert’s side of the family.
My mom was the gravy master and she also manned the ham and whipped up some delicious homemade salad dressings for the feast.
My dad was kind of a jack of all trades. He provided the wine, played with Smith, and even washed a window for us. Thanks, Dad!
My brother-in-law, Kenny, and his lovely girlfriend, Kelly (side note- how cute is that: Kelly and Kenny!?), brought a lemon bundt cake and so dutifully filled water glasses and then helped do the dishes after the feast.
My sister Selby made two delicious salads and we managed to get a few “J. Crew” poses in as we assembled them.
Robert’s mother brought her world-famous Amish dressing that was adored by all. Grandpa (on the left) provided Smith with lots of entertainment.
My brother’s girlfriend’s family. Such kind and sweet people, and they brought scrumptious homemade dinner rolls and strawberry jam.
My brother-in-law, Kevin, and my sweet niece, Nora.
My brother, also known as Uncle Seaweed, loves playing with his nephews.
I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving weekend. It’s officially holiday season! Have a great week, everyone.