Happy day after Thanksgiving! Has the food coma worn off yet? I woke up super excited for my leftover turkey, cranberry panini! As I mentioned before, this year was the first time just us "kids" celebrated without our parents. That meant two things - no Korean food and I was to take the place of my mom in the kitchen. My sister doesn't cook (although she'd be really good at it..I can tell), and my younger brother...umm, I don't think so. Due to popular demand, for the first time, my family had a strictly traditional "American" Thanksgiving meal.
My all or nothing mentality reared its all too familiar face in this moment - go all out or don't even try. Although I've never cooked a turkey before, it was time. I couldn't have done it by myself. You see, poultry germs and I aren't on very good terms and cleaning a 14 pound bird...well, that was beyond me. So I generously volunteered Tim. He was just as confused as I was. When he took out the giblets and the neck, I thought I was going to throw up. Nonetheless, we carried on. Tim cleaned the bird, and I took on the challenge of roasting it. We followed Alton Brown's "How to cook a perfect turkey" method. It entailed brining the bird and then cooking it the following day. His triangle foil method to cover the breast, thereby preventing it from drying out, was ingenious! The best part was that there was no basting involved! I knew I wouldn't be able to babysit it as I had the rest of the side dishes to make.
As you can see, this part was not so glamorous. However, definitely memorable!
I think the hardest part about preparing the meal was timing everything so that everything would not only be cooked but sizzling by the time my family arrived. I was a one woman show as Tim had to work in the morning. Along with the turkey, I made the green bean casserole, cornbread stuffing, mashed maple sweet potatoes, parmesan potato gratin, cranberry sauce, and gravy all before noon.
The turkey came out so incredibly moist, juicy, and flavorful! If you don't have a go-to recipe, definitely check out Alton Brown's!
Tim still wasn't back from work so we went ahead and started our feast. I so wished he could've joined us. My brother-in-law did the honor of carving the turkey. Again, none of us knew how to do this. A lot of first times this year. My nephew, Noah, was fascinated by the huge bird that was sacrificed before him 😉
After we stuffed our bellies full, we snapped some pictures. It took more than 10 minutes to take these two pictures. My sister caught the laughing bug and just couldn't stop!
The three of us have been and always will be inseparable. My sister and I are almost 2 years apart, and she is my best friend. I guess sharing a room (sharing a bed no less) until I was 16 was a bonding experience ;). She is the kindest, sweetest, and prettiest woman I know. She is not pretentious, and she is hilarious without even trying (if only she knew). She has so much going for her, and my only wish is that she would believe in herself more.
My little brother has now joined the workforce. It's so awesome to see him evolving into a more confident, daring, and responsible man. Oh my goodness, I never imagined I'd call my lil' brother a "man!" I need to stop babying him. He has a great future ahead of him, and I'm already so proud of how far he's come. Keep on truckin!
This was Noah's first Thanksgiving! My family's inside joke is "Noah, who's your daddy?" He is half Mexican but nobody would guess it. My sister has some STRONG genes haha.
Tim came home around 5 and was able to join in on the fun. I am so thankful for this wonderful man. Thanksgiving is a really special day, as it's the day that I sparked Tim's interest...and the rest is history ;). With just a glimpse of my face and he can tell how I am feeling. I don't have to say or explain anything to him. He just understands me. How amazing is that?
Last but not least, I am thankful for my lil' shadow, Kona. He is an extremely needy boy, and we
think know that it's my fault. We got him during my really rough days, and I held and took him everywhere I went. He was my source of comfort, and he seriously got me through some tough, lonely times. He always knows how to make me smile. I am sure all dog owners say this, but he seriously is the bestest! Oh and can I just say, I think he looks so much cuter than the mini schnauzer that was in the National Dog Show. Kona looks regal..poised, cute, sharp... no? 😉
Doesn't he look cute in his gobble gobble bandana? He got to enjoy some turkey and sweet potatoes, too. Then this happened...
This picture is def worthy to be featured in Cinnamon's 23 Paws party ;). Any other 4-legged buddies feel this way yesterday?
Yesterday was a lovely day! Sure, I was extremely stressed out as I was cooking and making sure that all the dishes came out perfect. However, as soon as my family walked in the door, all was forgotten. That's the power of family. And I am so happy to be a part of this one.
Hope you had a wonderful day with your loved ones!