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Thanksgiving Recap

TurkeyI had every intention of writing my Thanksgiving recap post yesterday but it just didn’t work out that way. I was so exhausted from all of the holiday cooking that I didn’t have any energy for much of anything else.

Our Thanksgiving was pretty uneventful. I cooked all day long for the two days prior and on the actual day we woofed it all down and then it was over. Not that I’m complaining. You know how much I like to cook. And I tend to overcompensate for our very small family gathering by cooking enough to feed twenty people. Which works really well for leftovers. No cooking needed for several days after. I love leftovers.

I had to laugh as I was making dinner. I looked out my window at one point and there was a flock of turkeys strutting through our yard. They looked pretty happy to be alive if you ask me. Cocky even.

PW BrineEvery year I make the same things pretty much the same way. Ever since I learned about brining a turkey from The Pioneer Woman, that’s what I’ve done. I just love the citrus and rosemary in the brine. It makes the house smell fantastic and the turkey taste equally divine.

Pecan PieWhen it comes to dessert, no one agrees around here. So I always end up making several different pies. This year it was pecan, apple and pumpkin…

Apple Pie

Pumpkin PieI’m sort of glad no one agrees on dessert because I really love working with pie dough. It’s like edible Play-Doh. Fun!

Cranberry SauceAs far as cranberry sauce goes, I’m the only one who likes the homemade stuff. Everyone else likes the jellied version in the can. But I still go ahead and make the homemade for myself. At least it’s a leftover that I know I won’t have to fight over. I get it all to myself.

Cranberry Orange BreadI also baked the most wonderful cranberry orange bread I’ve ever had for our Thanksgiving day breakfast. You must check out the recipe if you like that sort of thing. It was off the rails good. I’m thinking of baking some up for Christmas gifts.

Turkey cookedAnd of course I had to share a picture of the finished bird. I’m not sure why it looks so lopsided. Not a very Norman Rockwell looking bird. Nonetheless, it was perfect.

You’ll notice there are no pictures of humans in this post. I was so wrapped up in cooking the meal that I didn’t take a single picture of the little people. But rest assured that they were smiling. And eating. They were doing an awful lot of that.

All in all it was a great day. And before you even ask, no I didn’t head out after dinner for Black Friday shopping. I did venture out the next day for a bit, but I didn’t buy much. Just some holiday dresses for the girls and some matching tights. My heart just wasn’t into shopping this year.

How about you? Did you have a lovely Thanksgiving? I hope so. Did you score any tremendous bargains during Black Friday?

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  1. Your pies are beyond gorgeous! You’ve inspired me to make turkey pot pie for dinner tonight – with a fancy crust ;) And I absolutely love the shape of your cranberry orange bread! Where did you get the pan?

    The Black Friday deals were lackluster this year. My friends and I went out at 6am and found most of the “door busters” at Target available but no crowds. Sadly I think the best deal I got was a $17 dog bed at Home Depot.

    • Thanks Maryann! I got that pan at the Williams Sonoma outlet. I think it was $18? It’s part of the holiday line. And I too encountered no crowds at the mall. It was really strange!!

  2. Your pies look lovely and that bread…oh my! My husband smoked the turkey and I made everything else. A lot for just 7, but it was wonderful and NO I did not venture out on Black Friday. Happy Sunday!

    • A smoked turkey? That sounds incredible. I’ve always wanted to learn how to smoke meats. It’s on my list of things to do before I croak. :)

  3. Michelle L. says:

    Everything looks magnificent! I agree with the other comments, that bread pan is the bomb! Unique, festive, and pretty. You put a lot of work and creativity into your pies. Makes the one I took to Thanksgiving dinner look like it just came out of the trash. I aspire to do better next year.

    I shop all year long so my shopping is done. My husband and I went Friday morning to a local hardware store to get dog food 30% off. When you spend $60 on a grain & chicken free dog food for a dog with allergies, $18 off a bag is worth getting up for. That was the extent of my shopping.

    • Oh Michelle, I’m sure your pies were lovely. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pie that I didn’t want to eat!

      A sale is a sale. And if it’s a savings on something you need on a daily basis, all the better! :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good morning Melanie! I’m glad you had a relatively stress free Thanksgiving and no crowds on Black Friday. I too ventured out and actually risked going to a downtown mall and was very pleasantly surprised that there were no significant crowds and even parking was easy. Amazing! Thanksgiving was very nice and we also had a small crowd with a tremendous amount of extra food but we have been enjoying the leftovers, especially the turkey soup! Your pies look divine and your edible Play-Do crusts are fantastic! Inspiring as Michelle says above. Your turkey doesn’t look lopsided, it looks like you love the in the bird stuffing as much as I do! Get as much in the bird and in that pan as possible!

    • Yup! I love in bird stuffing. When I read that it could be detrimental to my health, I said so be it. I also like raw cookie dough, so whatever. I’ll take little risks here and there, lol. And yeah, my stuffing to turkey ratio is off. That’s probably why it looks lopsided to me.

  5. Wow…you did a beautiful job. And I agree with all the comments about the bread pan. We did travel to my brothers for the day, but I brought quite a few things and made a lot of food for the night before and weekend since my boys (in their twenties) were back for the holiday. It was fun.

    But, I have a question for you. We are home by ourselves on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. (We do all our visiting during the week before. I like to say that there are 12 Days of Christmas and we like spending the day at home rather than in the car since all of our relatives are an hour or more away.) I usually make a dinner Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for the four of us. I am thinking of doing something really easy (like ordering really nice pizzas; I know this sounds blasphemous) on Christmas Eve so that the focus on the meal is just one day. The double feast is getting exhausting and really, I think one huge meal followed by another different huge meal sort of takes away from the specialness. Since you are someone who does your holidays at home…any ideas or opinions on how to make it a bit easier?
    For Black Friday we did go out because the artificial tree we had purchased one week before for $199 at Home Depot was on sale as a Door Buster for $69. We got the reduced price. And, as an extra benefit the poinsettias were 99 cents each and they were beautiful….triple bloom…the type that normally cost $10. It was all a lot of fun…and I am ending it with the Hallmark Movie at 9 tonight! Perfect weekend. Sorry for being so wordy.

    • Kathy, I’m with you. Double production dinners are exhausting. Christmas Eve is our big main meal and I do that to the nines. Usually it’s beef wellington, but I’ve also pulled off homemade tamales, lobster thermidor or some other culinary marvel. But the next day? Chinese food takeout. Which I don’t even like or eat. But everyone else likes it, so I eat leftovers.

      Other than that, I do make a nice Christmas breakfast. Always a quiche which I make the night before, fresh fruit and homemade cinnamon rolls.

      Other than cooking everything ahead of time and freezing it, I don’t really have any time savers other than not feeling guilt for having only one fancy meal. :)

  6. Kathy Baker says:

    I had been stalking your blog looking for a post Melanie and was so pleased you had an uneventful blessed day! I can almost smell it across the internet, thank you for sharing your holiday with us. Hugs, Kathy

    • Thanks Kathy! I know I’ve been quiet lately. I’ve just been so tired. Hopefully I’ll get my act together soon.

  7. Nicole G. says:

    I thought my pies looked good, and then I saw yours. Luckily my family only saw mine and I enjoyed my compliments. I have a dumb question for you. I looked at the cranberry orange bread recipe and it calls for one cup dried cranberries. Does that mean sweetened dried cranberries? Can you buy dried cranberries that are just cranberries without added sugar? I have never seen them. Do you think I can substitute fresh/frozen cranberries? I look forward to see what you come up with for posts and recipes as Christmas nears.

    • Good question Nicole. I wouldn’t use the frozen because they will be too wet/soggy. Fresh might be ok, but it will make for a tart bread. The dried cranberries are usually sweetened and that’s what I used. If you read the comments on that recipe, I think they discuss those different options. It might be worth reading through. Regardless, it’s a kick butt recipe. And don’t reduce the butter. I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s perfect.

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