Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bird is the Word

Happy Thanksgiving!

A holiday centered around food & family.....sounds perfect!  This is Conor & My third turkey day with just the two of us.  With Thanksgiving being so close to Christmas it's hard to travel twice, get time off work, and pay for the flights.  But we aren't complaining, because we've began to really enjoy our combined family traditions and the way that we get to do things.  So here is a rundown of what was our best Thanksgiving yet!
This year we had the 1st Annual Keenan Family Thanksgiving Walk!

What a great way to start our day!  It was nice to get out in the fresh air and blue skies and burn some calories before our feast.  After our walk, it was straight to the kitchen to begin cooking.  And to get things started we popped open some bubbly that we purchased during our napa trip.  Knife in one hand, champagne in the other, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, skype open on the kitchen table....welcome to our t-day.

Conor is quite an incredible cook, so we're both in the kitchen together preparing this meal.  We use some family recipes and have come up with our own as well.  We each make different parts of the feast which has been the same for the past 3 years.  I always pick up the turkey and get it brining the day before.  Removing the neck and giblets is definitely not my favorite part, but Conor handles the turkey the rest of the way so I can handle it.  We also make our own breadcrumbs for stuffing the night before and let them dry out, and I try to make my pumpkin chiffon pie that night as well.  Pumpkin chiffon completely trumps regular pumpkin, plus it goes with a graham cracker crust!  I had made my own pumpkin (meaning baked sugar pumpkins and pureed it) back around Halloween, so I just had to look in the freezer for some "fresh stuff" and avoid the crazy ladies fighting over the canned stuff in the grocery store.   I love this recipe which comes from the Simpson side of the family.

This year we got our turkey from Whole Foods and it was oh so delicious.  I'm sure lots of you out there are organic haters, but bear with me.  While foods being marked "organic" is not important to me, "natural" is.  For all our meat, milk, & eggs we try to buy products that have no hormones or antibiotics added, and are on a vegetarian diet.  This makes for food that is better tasting and better for your body!

 Conor & I came up with our own stuffing recipe, but he is the one who actually makes it.  And then of course he stuffs the bird...his favorite part!

In Conor's family, they cook the turkey in a special oven bag...which I had never heard of before.  But when combined with an already brined turkey makes for a extremely moist and savory bird.  So turkey in a bag it is!  With dinner cooking in the oven, it seemed about time for some bloody marys!  About two weeks ago we infused some vodka with rosemary, thyme, basil, & jalapenos.  So these bloody mary's were extra special.

With two people cooking we have some time to kill while the bird cooks, so.....we get cleaned up, dress nicely ('cause it's still the holidays, even if it's just the two of us), and head to the theater to see a Christmas movie.  This year there weren't any holiday films though, so we settled on Due Date.  It was funny but nothing special.  Once back home, Conor finishes up with the turkey and makes gravy while I'm put together the mashed potatoes and a salad.  No cranberry sauce for us, but we did have cranberries in our salad :-).  Once we start cooking this meal for more people we'll add more side dishes, but this is plenty of food for the two of us.  And there's always leftovers....which I turn into turkey noodle soup.  Similar to chicken noodle soup, but with white wine. 

Finally it was time to eat!  I know a lot of families eat in the afternoon which is just plain crazy to me.  It's Thanksgiving DINNER!  I don't want to eat early and then get hungry again before bed, so we eat around 6.  Here's the man of the house cutting into our feast, cheers!

Everything tasted incredible and we had such a fun day together.  We definitely miss our family and friends, but at least we had the opportunity to skype with lots of them.   We'll see what next year brings!

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