Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

As I mentioned previously, I am doing my own Thanksgiving 'spread' this year ... all by my self.

This is kind of a big deal.

Every Thanksgiving (and Christmas) since we got married Kevin and I have spent with other people - either friends or his family - so I've just made sweet potatoes or apple pie or something. This year I have a turkey and a ham (Honey Baked of course) and I'm making several sides (I hesitate to call them "vegetables" since they are really so far departed from, for example, steamed broccoli).

Here is my menu:

- Roast Turkey (this makes me nervous)

- Pan Gravy (this also makes me nervous)

- Spiral Cut Ham

- Sweet Potato Casserole (tried and true recipe - delicious!)

- Mashed Potatoes

- Parker House Rolls (a first for me but the recipe looks easy)

- Green Bean Casserole (I have tried and loved more foodie variants but I'm going old-school this year)

- Cornbread Sage Dressing

- Lime Jello Salad (there is just something magical about having this on my plate during the holidays, no lie)

- Cranberry Sauce (yes, from the can; jellied and whole fruit)

So turkey and pan gravy officially make me nervous. I have never made them before. I'm kind of scared. But I'm staying positive!

*I will make a delicious turkey*
*my gravy will not be lumpy*

Part of me kind of wishes we had people coming over, but this year - another first - it's just going to be me and Kevin. I love sharing my cooking with people but sometimes I get so tired of sharing the holidays with family. Does that sound awful?? I know everyone says that is the point of the holidays but when family is nuts and it's just more of a stress and a duty to spend time with them, sometimes it's a nice, well-deserved break to just spend a holiday with your favorite person ever and some pretty awesome food (actually I'm not 100% assured of 'awesome').

Small sidenote: I love Thanksgiving and I appreciate this country but ... I kind of think about these people at Thanksgiving.

What's kind of silly (and always a disappointment for me) is that I have this image in my head of what holidays should be - always have since I was tiny - but they have yet to fully live up to those expectations. That's why expectations are generally to be avoided, I've learned.

Anyway, I have this rose-colored vision of Thanksgiving that entails me getting up early to put the bird in the oven, brew a pot of coffee and put the sausage balls in the oven, turning on the parade and hanging out in my living room with my husband and us laughing and sharing the morning and 'making memories'. I think though that 'making memories' is a little overrated because I'm always making experiences ... sometimes I just don't remember them. Which is why I try living *right now*, in the moment instead of looking back so much.

I love looking back and reminiscing but there is something kind of sad and almost desperate about that. It just makes me a little down. So I try hard to just stay right now instead ... so I can work on making the very most of right now instead of wasting it on being nostalgic. There is no rewind button.

So instead of making up images of what life should be and then being being disappointed, I'm going to appreciate life for what it is.

This year I'm so grateful for ...

- My Husband and Best Friend
- Our Home
- Our sweet cats who are crazy but we love them
- My stable job and the fact that I like all the people I work for (what?! is that even possible?)
- Learning a lot of new things
- Having an open mind
- Old Friends

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving??

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