2009 has been quite a year. A lot of excitement, a lot of unexpected surprises, and a lot of good times. Now I've got another milestone to add to the list - hosting my first official Thanksgiving! I've been wanting to for a while, but usually I'm one of the only people I know who stays local for the occasion...until this year! And thus began the brainstorming for my first 'Family Thanksgiving'.
Our crack team of chefs was quite the fearless foursome: Myself, Rob, Josh and Caleb. We were all really excited to make this happen, but to say that we planned and organized it down to the letter would be...a slight exaggeration. In typical "us" fashion, however - we all pulled together and handled our business with great success. Winners always win.
I purchased our 12.74lb bird on Thanksgiving Eve, and I was frankly appalled at how friendly/respectful everyone was at the market. I was expecting something out of Cutthroat Island. Which is to say that it would be god awful. Anyhoo, Josh found a great recipe for brining the turkey overnight in red wine, and he was kind enough to walk me through the process via AIM while I was putting my hands inside a turkey for the first time.
No Thanksgiving of mine would be complete without a viewing of 'Pangs', the turkey day episode of Buffy from season four.
On the big day, I was definitely a little nervous. After a couple trips to Pavilions for last minute necessities, it was time to oven up or shut up. Josh was the first to arrive, accompanied by his famous mini pumpkin pie bites. Rob got back from The OC and began peeling potatoes for his herbs 'n' spices-enhanced garlic mash. Caleb joined us a short time later, after slaving over his incredible Texas Thanksgiving recipes.
And when it all came together? WOW. It was truly a feast to behold. The turkey was moist, tender and tasted slightly of the CabSav it had been swimming in overnight. Words cannot describe. I'm also convinced that Caleb's homemade stuffing contains some sort of secret addictive chemical compound which brings it to an almost god-like level of tastiness.
James, Robert, Jared, Shaun and Robert's cousin Julie joined the party later in the evening, from their respective family visits. Lots of food, lots of wine, lots of fun. I'm really proud (of all of us) for how things turned out yesterday. And I'm also so very thankful for everyone that was there to celebrate with me. I said it during a toast last night, but it bears repeating - they say you can't pick your family...but I will have to respectfully disagree. Can't wait to do this all again next year!