Don’t call me Shirley

Archive for December, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Without a doubt my favorite holiday all year, and this one was one for the books.

For starters, this one lasted 8 days!

On Friday, November 21 Michael and I joined a few of his colleagues in the world’s tiniest uptown apartment with the world’s most adorable weiner dog, Rascal.  There were 13 of us all total, and although there was barely enough room for all of our elbows and knees, there was an incredible spread.  The desserts were particularly impressive, including peanut butter cookies, a pumpkin roll, and a ratio of almost one pie per person!

The very next day, Michael and I joined forces with all of the Great Housemates to fill two long tables with yet another impressive buffet of Turkey Day foods.  Michael and I combined two recipes from Barefoot Contessa (despite the fact that I hate to watch her show), and made the most delicious, juicy, flavorful turkey we ate of all the turkeys I had this year.  Cameron made an outstanding corn souffle and swears it wasn’t hard to make, and I thought it was delicious until I learned that it had sour cream in it….  Nathan made his famous mac and cheese, Shun made a particularly good batch of banana puddin from scratch, and Griffin made some of the most flavorful and fluffy potatoes I’ve had in a while.  Nathan’s Emily made some yummy cranberries soaked in OJ and a bit of sugar which made a tasty after dinner treat.  My batch of Great Granny Beamer’s rolls did not rise very well, and I was beginning to feel discouraged about my abilities….but more about this in a moment.

Thanksgiving Number 3 was on Thanksgiving day with the Phelps, my mom’s folks.  Michael was able to make it again this year, but Charlotte and Justis stayed home since Charlotte wasn’t feeling too hot.  (We missed you, hon!)  For the first year ever, Pappaw was not feeling well enough to produce his usually high quality fruit stuff, but Mammaw filled that hole in my tummy with fluffy potatoes, asparagus casserole, and cranberry apple dessert.  Sadly, I controlled my portions since my tummy has been on the fritz again, but what little I ate was perfect.  We scurried on from there to visit my dad’s mom in the hospital, which wasn’t the best of circumstances, but she was lively as ever with her stories of the past.

Thanksgiving Number 4 was at home in Greensboro.  My dad made his scrumptuous from-scratch stuffing, and I was proud of how my brussel sprouts turned out.  (Even those who ordinarily turn up their noses couldn’t resist!)  My mom also gave me some pointers on how to produce the fluffiest of rolls…. and then she gave a whole set of ceramic bowls!! (Which I learned are necessary for roll success cause they keep the dough nice and warm while it rises.)  It was nice to see Aunt Amy, Uncle Steve, Sarah, Alec, and Robin, but we missed Charlotte, Justis, Leah, and of course Grandpa and Granny (still in the hospital).  At least it made me grateful for those who could be there.

Finally, we had Thanksgiving Number 5 on Saturday, November 29 with Michael’s mom.  She went all out with an appetizer tray and several entrees, but my favorite part was when she taught me how to decorate the turkey-shaped cake!  She gave me lots of great pointers, and I had a blast.  It turned out pretty well for my first try.

Part of the glory of so many Thanksgivings was plenty of opportunities of making turkey hash out of the leftovers!  Turkey hash is the kinda thing that only my dad would think to try.  You dump equal parts of chopped up turkey, leftover dressing, and leftover gravy into a saucepan.  Add a little bit of water until the whole thing looks like dog food and is warm through.  Then enjoy one of the most delightful leftover meals you can imagine.  Yum!  Seriously!

Finally, turkey-ed out, MIchael and I spent a turkey-free day with Nancy and Randy (Michael’s other mom and dad) and their three sweet dogs.  My favorite of course is Abby, a boxer who knows she’s a lap dog, despite many warnings to the contrary.  She attempted to follow the rules at least a little bit by keeping her hind legs barely touching the floor, and all of the rest of her body in my lap so that she was technically not on the couch.  Tee hee.  She kept her nose and my lap warm as we watched Son of Rambow, an adorable and strange coming of age film that you really ought to check out if you’re in the mood for a giggle.  Then Nancy, Randy, Michael, and I went for a yummy dinner at the Irish pub Ri-Ra before scooting off to a concert at Blumenthal Theatre.  We saw Mannheim Steamroller in all of it’s 1970s glory.

As a bonus, of course, my 8-day Thanksgiving was even brighter by the fact that I have no lesson planning or grading duties at the moment.  I finally got the guts to resign, and my last day was Tuesday, November 25.  It’s nice to have some time to catch up on rest, but I’m anxious to get back to work, and have begun my search for a non-French elementary position this time.  I’ll keep y’all posted.

Love to all, especially everyone involved in my best Thanksgiving ever.

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