There is so much to be thankful for this year. A new husband, a happy home, more blessings than I can count. Rami’s and my first Thanksgiving as a family was magical. We shared a wonderful meal here at home with our friends the Russells before heading over to the Pittel’s home for dinner number two. Around both tables we shared hours of conversation and laughter with good friends. The joy and love I felt was utterly humbling.
Food, of course, played a huge part in making yesterday great. Cooking with local, sustainably produced ingredients made the meal delicious and guilt-free. At last count, the ingredients for our Thanksgiving dinner came from ten different local growers! I am so thankful that Austin has fresh, delicious food so readily available. Of course, I hope eating local will become a tradition in our home, no matter where are eating.
And although my family was scattered far and wide across the country yesterday, I did think of them fondly when I made mashed potatoes with my dad’s recipe. (Dad, I added extra real butter, just like you taught me, and mashed them right in the pot like you always do.) I also exerted some culinary independence by including a cheese plate, squash kugel, creamed kale, and vodka flips on my menu. Those items had never appeared on childhood Thanksgiving tables, and they helped make this year’s holiday my own.
Speaking of independence, roasting the Thanksgiving turkey for the first time was simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating. Holiday turkey roasting is an activity that in my book means you are a Real Grown Up, kind of like buying a house, or getting married. Now that it’s over, I realize I may have approached this task with more gravitas than was really necessary. For example, I cried and gnashed my teeth Wednesday night when I couldn’t find the giblets in the turkey. I tried and tried to find them to pull them out, but I couldn’t even fit my hand in the cavity! Not to mention my turkey felt like a big popsicle. After a quick YouTube tutorial I realized I had been digging around inside the neck cavity of the bird, and that my turkey was still frozen! Disaster averted, I let the turkey thaw overnight and the giblets were recovered just fine Thanksgiving morning. I felt like Superwoman a few hours later when I pulled a big, golden roasted bird (sans giblets!) out of the oven.
Today I’m basking in the Thanksgiving afterglow, and feeling a little sad that the big dinners are over. We’ve already polished off the leftover deviled eggs and the stuffing’s nearly gone. The endless possibilities for my nine pounds of leftover turkey meat seem exciting now, but I’m sure by the end of next week I’ll be sick of cooking with it. Which is natural, I guess.
Hopefully the emotional glow of the holiday will fade less quickly than our leftovers. Gratitude and love, like turkey giblets, can be hard to find.