Monday, December 6, 2010

A Thanksgiving Win!

Hosting our first Thanksgiving ever was a big time success. We actually hosted on Saturday since we were up at M's cabin on Thursday. And technically we used my mom and dad's home, because 14 people simply wouldn't fit in our house.

Here's a recap of the menu with recipe links. My sister and I made pretty much everything, with a little help from our dinner guests and M.

At the last minute, my sister was able to come home from college for the entire Thanksgiving break. Thank goodness, because she and I did most of the cooking at my house on Friday. Of course we had the Christmas tunes blaring and the wine flowing -- the perfect day!

While we were cooking my mom brought our grandma over to hang out for a bit. She has Dementia, so she's easily confused. While she had no idea where she was, she did know she was with her grand daughters and she was having a great time commenting on our cooking.

Grandma also looked at our wedding guest book notes and pictures for three hours. Front to back. Back to front. When she'd get to an end she'd close it for a minute. Then look down, see the book in her lap and say, "Oh boy, I haven't seen these pictures yet." And the cycle continued.

She also heckled us when we set the fire alarm off. She actually thought it was hilarious. She insisted she never did that while cooking. (Question: Did they even have smoke detectors back in those days?) She may have never caught the kitchen on fire, but she did have a few secrets of her own. Allow me to share one with you.

My Italian grandma made her own homemade tomato sauce -- always. She'd make huge batches of it and freeze it. For my Pap-pap, no other sauce was acceptable. Well a few years ago, she had a heart attack that landed her in the hospital for a few days.

After she was stable, Pap-pap was still pacing around the room. We told him to relax; she was going to be fine. He just looked up and said, "Yeah but she probably won't be able to cook for a while and we're out of tomato sauce!"

What Pap-pap didn't know was that Grandma was tired of making sauce all the time. It's really a long, time consuming process. So a while back she started mixing her homemade sauce with Ragu to make it last longer. Of course she always hid the the evidence and claimed it was her recipe. Overtime, she stopped making sauce completely. She was just freezing Ragu so it looked homemade. Smart lady.

When we dropped that bomb on my Pap, he was beside himself. Frankly, I'm surprised we didn't end up with two grandparents in the hospital, both recovering from heart attacks.

Speaking of our Pap-pap (a.k.a. "Snoop" b/c he's ridiculously nosy), he also stopped by unannounced on Friday. He walked in, snooped around, flipped on the TV, made himself comfortable and proceeded to take a nap on our couch. Typical.

Then on Saturday, Sister and I finished cooking and lugged everything over to my parents' house for dinner. With 14 people at the table -- most loud-mouthed Italians -- it was all the chaos and commotion I was missing on the real Thanksgiving.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my in-laws. Without a lot of extended family in town, Thanksgiving with them was a much-needed, perfectly peaceful and relaxing day at their cabin. Thanksgiving, Part II with my extended family was pretty much the opposite -- and in my opinion an excellent way to round out the weekend. Truly the best of both worlds.

Apparently Pap-pap wasn't the only only one who was tired.

The turkey. Good thing M. handled this, because it kind of grosses me out.

My favorite -- the cranberry brie bites.

Corn bread muffins made with my new tea cake pan. So cute!

The soup.

The stuffing, half way there.

Our first Thanksgiving as a married couple.


  1. The food came out beautifully! Yay to making new memories of Thanksgiving:)

  2. So impressed! I love your grandparents, too, by the way. I didn't know his nickname is "Snoop." That's hilarious. You better not have anything laying around the house that you wouldn't want him to find! :) Very proud of you and your sassy sister! I can't wait to read the guest book and I totally understand why Grandma studied it for so long. Love you and you look gorgeous!