The year that we bought our house after renting for the decade that was our 20s, we thought it would be a great idea to "christen" the house with a Thanksgiving meal, complete with turkey, stuffing, and lots of wine. We had just moved in during the month of October, so I was a bit intimidated about hosting such an important event so quickly after unpacking and decorating the house.
But if you know me, you know that I must have things just-so, from fall decorations sprinkled throughout the house, to candles that don't compete with the smells of cooking, to the area rugs being lined up exactly on the parallel floorboards (I admit, I'm a bit obsessive...call me Bree van de Camp).
Most years we've gone to my parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner, probably because I'm addicted to my mom's stuffing. But the year I hosted, my in-laws were in the process of building a house and were living in a one bedroom apartment with my husband's sister. The oven was the size of a 13" TV (with a fridge to match in size), so there was no cooking a turkey in that. And of course that was the year my father-in-law got a free turkey from his job, which complicated matters for them too.
So Chris and I decided it would be fun to host it at our place. His brother and wife, who was pregnant at the time, would be joining us too. Nothing like a little pressure to not make the pregnant woman sick! I kept imagining an underdone turkey giving her salmonella or whatever weird stuff hangs out in a raw turkey.
Surprisingly, everything was perfect. My mother-in-law took over the desserts, which helped a lot (plus she's a great baker, so we all love eating her sweets). Despite a few phone calls to my mom during my cooking session, I made it though my first Butterball turkey, which came out moist and tasty. I baked it with cut up veggies, apples, sage and other herbs. I made my mom's stuffing recipe just from remembering and tasting, and also made roasted root vegetables (wouldn't do this again...I forgot how earth-tasting that unpickled beets are), sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy and some other veggies. It's funny how I remember all of that, and standing in the kitchen stirring flour into the gravy.
I'm eager to host another Thanksgiving, but not this year. First off, we need a bigger table, and secondly, it's our turn to go to my in-laws, since last year we were at my parents'. I can't wait to see SoJo try his first bite of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie!