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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Preparations

It's hard to believe that this is the 9th year I'm hosting Thanksgiving. It seems like just the other day we were all spending Thanksgiving down at my aunt and uncle's house. It's odd to think that that tiny house on the water which once was so lively with four generations having come together to celebrate is now empty - completely vacant - for the very first time. While I've hosted Thanksgiving here at my house for 9 years, my memories of Thanksgiving will always reside at my Aunt Carole's house. Much like mine, it was a tiny house, but it was filled to the gizzard with love (see what I did there?).

This year I decided to photograph some of my Thanksgiving preparations, which I'll share here!

Wednesday night I made homemade cranberry sauce with dates.

After 9 years I think I've finally learned that doing all the prep work I can the night before makes for a much more relaxing Thanksgiving day. I chopped all the veggies I could and put them in gallon-size bags so all I'd have to do the next day is rinse and cook! I make a bitchin Brussels sprouts side, where they're partially sauteed in bacon fat, and in the end they're topped with crispy crumbled bacon!

We always have more people over for dessert than we do dinner, so this year I decided to try my luck with a bourbon pecan pie. For the bourbon I used something called Sweet Lucy that my southern neighbor gave me last year during one of our epic snow shoveling parties, which are really just an excuse to start drinking with the neighbors at 10am. Sweet Lucy is sweet, so I thought it would be perfect for the pie.

Thanksgiving morning arrived, and my alarm came and went. After spending all day the previous day cleaning and cooking and doing prep work for more cooking, I just didn't want to get up. When I finally did, I ventured out back to my herb garden to pick some sage, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram to use in the bottom of the turkey pan. I love having an herb garden that I can venture out to for fresh herbs, and luckily it's been a mild fall, so everything that's not hardy was still green and growing.

After preparing the turkey and kraut and sausage (it's a German staple at Thanksgiving), I poured myself a cup of coffee with a little somethin-somethin and relaxed on the sofa to watch the parade on television. With my 13-year-old pup curled up beside me on his favorite furry blanket, I decided to give him a reiki treatment. I just got my reiki II certification, and it amazes me how much hotter my hands got after those attunements. My dog, Calvin, LOVED it (as always). I think the warmth feels really good on his arthritis. I'm truly thankful he's still with us. Here he is snoozing deeply after the reiki treatment.

That brings us to now. Here I am Thanksgiving day with time to actually write a blogpost. I must be doing something right - finally! I'm excited to spend the day with family and friends, spoiling them with my home cooking. It's been a bizarre year that's taken many twists and turns for me, but I'm truly thankful for all the unexpected surprises and all that I've learned. I'm thankful to all the teachers I've had this year - those who know they're teachers and those who don't. Here's to another wonderful one.

Happy Thanksgiving, all! What are you thankful for?

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