Thanksgiving 2012

NavyGuy and I had a relaxed Thanksgiving this year – just two guests and a very low-key vibe.  Our long-time friends Andrea and Ben, from Portland, arrived on Wednesday afternoon.  I had been cooking and prepping most of the day (including driving to Arlington to pick up the fresh turkey), and their arrival made the remainder of the prep work much more entertaining.  We chatted while I finished the apple crisp, and made our plans for the evening.  The group decided on dinner at A-Town Bistro, our new fav spot in Anacortes, followed by the new Bond movie.  Andrea’s birthday was the next day, and she had specifically requested Skyfall as her birthday present.

The movie was awesome.  Very action-packed of course, but also with funny bits and a reasonable plot, which is not always the case with Bond films.  Daniel Craig makes for a picturesque two hours.

Thanksgiving morning we layered donuts and coffee in our stomachs as a precursor to the big feast that evening.  Ben owns a brewery in southeast Portland and brought several different beers for us to enjoy over the holiday – the beer is amazing, and NavyGuy is still savoring it.  We also snacked on a few appetizers.  NavyGuy deep-fried the turkey again.  I love it.  It means I don’t to worry about getting the turkey made, there’s more space in the oven, and it cooks so much faster in the fryer.  While he was outside working on that, I was pulling together the rest of the menu…

Appetizers
Cheese and Crackers
Veggies and Greek Yogurt Cucumber Dill Dip
Crab Dip (an old recipe – no clue where it came from)

Dinner
Spinach, Arugula, Cranberry, and Walnut Salad
Deep Fried Turkey
Perfect Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Chicken Sausage and Herb Stuffing
Green Jello Pineapple Rings
Green Beans with Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette
Rolls with Texas Roadhouse Butter

Dessert
Mini Pumpkin Pies
Apple Crisp (similar to this)

I was pleasantly surprised with how well the meal turned out.  In the past, I’ve been cooking such large quantities of food for Thanksgiving, and doing so with so many people around, that the food itself has been just, ok.  This year though, I don’t know if it was the recipes or general calmness of the day, but everything turned out really well.  The crumble on the apple crisp is a work in progress (I need HistoryGirlie to come be my pastry chef ;).  Several dishes were new recipes that will definitely be keepers for next year (stuffing, green beans, and salad in particular, I’m looking at you!).  NavyGuy’s turkey was his best effort – all four of us were salivating over it while NavyGuy carved, and picking pieces off the cutting board like animals.

We stuffed ourselves silly, then lumbered downstairs to partake in the other family Thanksgiving tradition… watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 🙂  NavyGuy says half the lines throughout the movie and giggles like a hyena, but that’s part of the tradition.  After the movie, we still weren’t hungry for dessert, so we played boys-vs-girls Catch Phrase until Andrea and I became so fed up with NavyGuy and Ben’s lucky winning streak that we threw in the towel.  We forced dessert down our gullets and called it a day.

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