This is the first Thanksgiving that we celebrated as husband and wife. It's interesting to think that last year at this time I was in Austin with my friend, A, cooking for a bunch of her friends. Husband and I were just beginning to speak on the phone... now we are married! God is so good and we have much to be thankful for.
My Papa flew in from New Mexico to celebrate with us, my in-laws drove down from Peoria, and our fun friend Julius joined us as well. Many people were shocked, astonished, and even encouraged to find out that I was going to take on the "challenge" of making this special meal the first time as a married woman. I guess my thought was, "Heck, why not? I'd really like to and it means people will be in my home!" I am always a little off with trying to get it all out at the same time piping hot... this year it finally worked out! I just dove right in and I think it all came out just wonderfully!
The morning was met with baking two pumpkin pies, one in the traditional way and the second with an experimental walnut topping. (The walnut topping was met with rave reviews and second helpings!) Julius brought a pumpkin cheesecake from CostCo... it's quite good... especially if you are a fan of pumpkin AND cheesecake. We had quite the assortment of pumpkin goodies. I even had some pumpkin bread (with dark chocolate chips) later in the evening!
Later, Husband put the turkey on the rotisserie that is on our grill. The turkey was rubbed down with olive oil, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, thyme, tarragon, and sage. (Ah! So, good and juicy!) In the kitchen, a green bean casserole (with a twist, the best I have ever had) was being made along with dressing, corn on the cob, crescent rolls, gravy (made by Papa), and a mashed potato (yes, real potatoes) casserole-type dish (which was handy because it's a make ahead recipe which Husband put together on Wednesday afternoon.) The house was filled with a wonderful aroma! My mother-in-law brought corn bread to add the spread... it was awesome!
As a new household, Husband and I realize that we have traditions that we bring from before we were married. However, we also want to create traditions that are new and unique to our family. Before the dinner Husband read Psalm 136 which almost had me in tears as I looked around the table and remembered all that God has done in my life and before I ever took a breath. His mercy endures forever. Then we went around the table and talked about the things that we were thankful for this year. They were moments that I will cherish in my heart. We prayed and then dug into the bounty that our Lord provided for us. Over dinner we talked about things from our childhood that were "staples", good or bad, that were part of the holiday meals. It was pretty funny at times.
After we were thoroughly stuffed with turkey and pumpkin we enjoyed conversation and coffee in the living room. As the evening wore on we watched "Deal or No Deal" (yes, I think we are all fans) and then "ER." Soon, everyone was gone, except Papa who is staying with us, and we all went to bed pretty tired but fully satisfied with the day.
Today, we had plans to possibly venture out to Cost Plus World Market and then maybe to the top of South Mountain. Unfortunately, Papa is quite sick (while the rest of us are all healthy) and we are all at home... Papa sleeping, Husband and I on computers goofing off, and I am also taking in some of my favorite football games... Texas A&M vs. #11 Texas (A&M won! whoop!) and now the Colorado vs. #22 Nebraska (I am wearing my Colorado shirt, but know that Nebraska will win and they will probably win the Big 12 Championship... I am okay with that, too. I would cheer for Nebraska... except they are playing Colorado... I love the buffalo.)
Tomorrow, we hope to go to Cabela's... we will see how Papa is feeling.