Friday, November 27, 2015

Our Thanksgiving feast

Sharing our thanksgiving meal...and documenting it so I remember for next year...what worked...what failed

Turkey - It is only the 3 of us, so last year I cut our small bird in half and only cooked one half...this year I thawed the other half and cooked it... It was already brined from last year (a huge time saver!) and it turned out perfect!  The half size is perfect for our family as we will have enough for dinner tonight also and possibly turkey with gravy tomorrow.

Gravy - cooking just the half bird can make gravy time a bit scary, but I've learned that if I carve the bird I get enough juice to make the gravy with.  A brined bird makes for a really flavorful gravy.  This is something that always concerned my mom.  She searches all over town for her special sausage and then bastes her bird constantly.  Me, I brine the bird and roast basting! 

Mashed Potatoes - this year after boiling the potatoes, I ran them through the food mill into my crock pot with a stick of butter and some milk.  I set it at low until it was heated up (a lot of heat is lost in the milling process) and then left it at warm until after dinner.  We had nice soft potatoes that didn't get all dried out in the oven.  The only problem was that the potatoes did dry and stick to the sides of the crock...but a bit of soaking and scraping (I use an old gift card as a scraper) got it right out.

Rolls - I made the rolls with my bread maker several weeks ago...I just had to thaw them out and pop them into the oven.  yum

Yams - couldn't be easier.  I don't care for yams.  But DH & DD like them in the syrup that they're packed in add in brown sugar & butter.  Bake for an hour.  done!

Rutabagas - I'm the only one who eats these, but since I don't eat the yams, this is my treat.  This is also how I sliced open my finger last year!  But I searched online how to cut the rutabaga... and while I didn't find it any easier, I also didn't end up in the ER again this year.  I just cut it up, add some salt & sugar and boil them until soft.  Then run them through the food mill.

Mushrooms with quinoa - This was my attempt at a stuffing replacement.  I'm the only one who eats stuffing.  But basically stuffing is just bread with fat.  I read online that it was done as an attempt to add calories to the diet.  My family stuffing recipe does that quite well...and I don't need it.  So I tried the mushrooms & quinoa instead.  It tastes just fine, but Thanksgiving food it is NOT!  So I'll probably have it for lunch this afternoon.  I'll stick with just mushrooms next year.

Green Beans - just microwaved with seasoning

Corn - just microwaved... no matter what I do to the corn, hubby always adds salt at the table.  So I stopped bothering to add any salt when I cook it.

Cranberry Sauce - DD could just eat the entire dish with a spoon.  oh it is just the jellied cranberry juice.  She'll eat the whole cranberries also (but not the fancy stuff with oranges & spice :p ) but I get the cheap stuff and she loves it.

Pumpkin Dessert - This is sort of like a dump cake or cobbler.  Mix pumpkin (I get whole pumpkins and make the puree myself...which no one seems to notice or care.  If I manage to grow the pumpkins myself it's a savings of money.  fingers crossed for a good crop next year!)  with spices, sugar, eggs & evaporated milk.  pour into a greased pan and sprinkle a dry yellow cake mix on top.  pour melted butter on top.  The original recipe called for pecans, but DD might be allergic and it is fine w/o the nuts.  bake til cake is golden brown & delicious!

Cherry Dessert - Oh this is soooo easy.  Cherry pie filling (that's the hard part...finding one that isn't full of garbage) dump into greased dish and sprinkle with dry cake mix and pour melted butter on top.  bake til cake is golden brown & delicious!

and that's it.  For lunch, I served cheese, sausage & crackers.  I served dinner at 4:30 because it was done by then.  Lilly thought it must be midnight though.  sigh!

Sunday, November 08, 2015


It's over now and I'm really okay with how everything ended up going, BUT!!!

I came across this article today  Is it selfish to have adults only weddings?  and that got me thinking about it all again.

I should probably first say that when I got married I wanted an adult only wedding... BUT I DIDN'T GET IT!  I was not a fan of children back then (honestly, my kid is the only one I really like...okay some of her friends are really cool...but)  so I didn't want them at my wedding, messing anything up.  I can also add here that back then America's Funniest Home Videos was in full swing and the most popular videos were guys getting hit in the jewels and kids messing up weddings.  We also did NOT want our wedding video taped... guess what we have...

I was not able to have a kid free wedding because my dear fiance is the youngest of 5 children who were all married with kids and so to exclude their children would have really ticked off my new in we had the kids there.  Steps were taken to insure that the kids did not ruin my wedding and they didn't.  a fun time was had by most and there were no tantrums from the bride.  ;)

Now we are into the time of life where my husband's older nieces and nephews are getting married.  The same kids who all had to be invited to my wedding.  After attending two weddings in hubby's hometown we had already decided that when the next one got married that we were probably not going to when the save the date card arrived with a Fall date on it, we weren't all that concerned.  We didn't want to go anyway.

But then came the invitation for the wedding.  It was addressed to just hubby & me.  The invite and reception said it was "Respectfully an Adult Only Occasion."  and the RSVP card had that only 2 seats were reserved for us at the reception.  It was very clear that my nearly adult (17 & 1/2 year old) daughter was not invited at all.

And even though I had no intention of going to this wedding...I was really bothered by the fact that the couple had clearly excluded my daughter.  (I know, weird right?)

But then I got to thinking...

Perhaps the couple really didn't want any of us at the wedding?

I mean think about it...

Do they really expect for us to a) leave our kid at home alone (I know, loads of people do at her age and that's fine...we choose not to) b) pay to fly the 3 of us out there and leave daughter to do something else while we go to the wedding?  Or did they expect us to fly all 3 of us out and then ask for kiddo to babysit her younger cousins?

I don't know.  And honestly I am not upset at not going to the wedding.  We've done two there and there isn't much of anything else for us to see or do in and around hubby's hometown.  And sorry family but the thought of flying anywhere for just one or two days?  I don't think so.

I guess this opens the door for when kiddo gets married though and she doesn't want kids there... thanks for making it okay couple...  and I really do hope that no one gave you any grief about your kid free wedding.  It's your party.  I guess I'm just a wee bit jeally cuz I didn't get my kid free wedding.  :-/