3 weeks of planning, 30 minutes of eating, 2 hours of washing dishes, a fridge full of left overs and Thanksgiving is officially over.
I have to say that all my OCD planning and hard work ahead-of-time really made for a relaxing Thanksgiving Day. I followed my Thanksgiving Week and Day of Cooking Schedule to a T and everything came out hot and fully cooked (even the turkey was juicy and beautiful!).
A couple of days ahead of time I laid out butcher paper on my buffet, traced my serving dishes with a white paint pen and put out serving utensils. It made putting the buffet together SUPER simple as things were coming out of the oven and looked really adorable. Plus, it made for easy clean up and was a great check list to make sure I had everything out.
I was so proud of my turkey (stuffed and trussed) and worried all morning about it cooking properly. My turkey thermometer didn't work (made me panic a little) but luckily I had a back up (add that to your list for next year!). It also ended up having to bake for an hour longer than the recipe called for to reach the correct internal temp so I was glad I planned a little wiggle room and put it in early.
I especially loved the dressing this year (my step dad's recipe that I made with skillet corn bread and homemade sourdough bread) and the cranberry relish. I made two different sweet potato casseroles (one topped with marshmallows and one with brown sugar and pecans). While the brown sugar and pecans are my favorite, after a fierce debate, I think that the marshmallows ultimately won. The deviled eggs were terrific with the bacon jam (it's THE JAM!) and the yeast rolls did great going straight from the freezer to the oven. I've got to work on my green beans and collard greens though. I'm going to get in the kitchen with my grandmother and have her show me how!
Our house is also now fully decorated for Christmas! I am thrilled because now I can just relax through the holidays. We still need to decorate the outside of the house but our two Christmas trees are already up and decorated!
My favorite decoration for Thanksgiving dinner ended up being our place cards. I had my girlfriend, Abi with Abigail T. Calligraphy write everyone's names on cherry wood leaves that I got from Paper Source. Everyone loved them and took them home as keepsakes.
Another favorite was dessert. I think everyone I know made Southern Living's Salted Caramel-Chocolate Pecan Pie this year for Thanksgiving and I know why. It was delicious and will definitely be added to our Thanksgiving tradition.
I hope that everyone had an amazing holiday! I am so thankful for my family and friends and what a wonderful year it has been. Here's to a Thanksgiving that deserves two slices of pie!