Last year was my first year EVER cooking the Thanksgiving meal. I planned and bought and prepped the entire thing, and executed with precision. What else could I do when my husband had just lost his job? We needed to feel festive and thankful for what we had, eventhough it did not include the rest of our family's gathering, due to my 6 year old LB, having a stomach flu and needing to quarintine ourselves. Well that is exactly how it happened.
The thing you need to know is that my two little kidlets ALWAYS get sick around the holidays, if there is a day of celebration coming you can bet one of them will be ill by the morning of...it's like clockwork. Last year just about two nights before Thanksgiving my LittleBean had come down with a slight fever and tummy ache. We nursed her and cared for her but it was clear we weren't going to be joining my mother and brother and sisters with their extended families. SO I decided that I wanted the traditional leftovers, hey can you blame me?! That's when I got the idea. I'll Mock up Thanksgiving.
I tucked the sickie in bed, and made a plan, I used a handy dandy marker board. I planned out exactly what I was going to be making. All the traditional family faire. I wrote out a list and gathered my supplies. I put LM in the pack and play, and sent Daddy to the store for the nessicery items. I had a day and a half to get this meal prepared and if the timing wasn't right it would be a catastraphy. I started to prepare the sides that could be done in advance, then moved to the longer or more time senestive items. I made from scratch the fruit salad - my husbands favorite. The stuffing - my grandmothers famous recipe. The pie (cheesecake) and an apetizer. I brined the turkey overnight and dressed him with some fancy method I learned from the foodnetwork. I made my mothers not so famous, but widely made cranberry sauce. And we had mixed drinks...cranberry flavored mimosas. All-in-all we had a blast cooking for two days. The whole house smelled of those old familiar holiday smells. and the holday music was a lovely soundtrack to our festivities. We were in food and holiday heaven.
Taking the first Thanksgiving plunge was a real eye opener for me, it taught me: with a little bit of organization and lots of wine, anything that seems impossible can be accomplished.:)
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!