A short note to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving! I spent the day cooking up a storm, as Steve and I have his parents in town for the week. Life has been a whirlwind this year, but today is a really great culmination of reasons to be thankful.
3 years ago I was celebrating Thanksgiving in Florida with my friend Anne. It was right after my divorce, and my biggest celebration was that I didn't have to pick myself up off of the floor. Something I wrote in this post about that time, was:
Every year I wanted to host Thanksgiving for them [my former in-laws] like my mom used to make, but for whatever reason it never happened. I regret that.
Today, I was able to enjoy time with Steve in our new home, hosting Thanksgiving for my future in-laws. It's been a crazy ride, and I'm thankful many of you have been with me the entire way.
I'm usually gluten and sugar free (feel better that way with my thyroid stuff), but Thanksgiving is an exception. Here are a few photos of what I made:
From the bottom:
- 7 Layer Salad – my mom used to make something similar, but I couldn't remember what the layers were so I tried this one. It was close, but no cigar. Something about the peas and the dressing reminds me of childhood.
- Macaroni & Cheese – back in the day, Isaac Mizrahi had a talk show. I only saw it a couple of times, but one of those times, he made this macaroni & cheese from a place called Eileen's Good and Plenty in NYC. I've been making this for several years now and it's out of this world. Sharp cheddar and muenster cheese in a gooey sauce.
- Turkey – I have never been a fan of turkey – until today. Steve smoked this on the Big Green Egg after brining it for about 14 hours. Here is the recipe he used, though we had it in for a bit longer until it reached proper internal temperature. It sliced like butter and was so juicy.
Right to left:
- Giblet dressing: My mom made a delicious giblet dressing growing up, and the only time I attempted to make it, it was the most disgusting thing I've ever cooked! This was a new recipe this year, and it was much drier than my mom's. But, it was still really tasty. I doubled the poultry seasoning, and added about 1 cup more chicken stock than listed.
- Mashed potatoes: Couldn't find the vegetable peeler and didn't really want to peel them anyway, so I left the skins on and used this recipe. I ended up throwing it all in a new KitchenAid mixer from Steve's parents (story about what significance it has at the end of this post). I didn't bake it at the end, either and it was delicious.
- Baked Corn/Spoonbread: I've been asked many times since 2007 to make this dish for old family gatherings, plus it's one of the easiest dishes ever. A no-fail recipe and always a hit. Today was no exception!
- Pecan pie, not pictured: Growing up in Georgia, we always had multiple pies for Thanksgiving. Pecan was always my favorite. I used a recipe from my mom's old cookbook, Second Round, Tea Time at the Masters. I was born in Augusta, so she always had the Tea Time cookbooks. Little did I know that they were a production of the Junior League of Augusta. I'm a proud member of the Junior League, so this was a fun find. Steve's mom made the crust from her own recipe, and I made the filling. We're all too full to try it right now, but it looks good!
We also had some merlot that Steve and I picked up on our trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. White may have been better with turkey, but we had a majority of red lovers in the group.
About the mixer:
Steve's mom wanted to do some baking while she was here, and she said she needed a mixer. We didn't have one, and she asked what color of KitchenAid mixer we wanted – they'd get it for us as a housewarming gift. A memory came flooding back right away, and I got really emotional about it.
When my mom was sick, we had some issues with her family selling her possessions. It's a long story and not one that is productive. In any case, she was sick and every so often would insist that I go get her cobalt blue KitchenAid mixer. She was adamant that I had to have it in my home. She wanted me to have it. I honestly didn't care about it, and I knew there wasn't a way for me to get it back, so I just glassed over it and tried to move the conversation along. She would mention it every so often. Forget jewelry or other sentimental things: she wanted me to have that mixer.
So when Steve's mom asked what color I wanted, I knew the answer was cobalt blue.
I was so emotional about the thought of this mixer – I'd completely forgotten about it. It's something I never would have bought for myself because I couldn't justify it and not use it (since I'm normally gluten free and don't really bake.) But now, I have a shiny new cobalt blue KitchenAid mixer sitting on my counter, and it's like a piece of her is here.
Plus, it made some damn good mashed potatoes today 😉
I hope that no matter where you are, that you had a great day. I am so appreciative of the opportunity I have to share stories like this. I'm thankful every day for this space and for anyone who takes the time to read whatever ramblings I share or outfits I post. xoxoxo