Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Southern Thanksgiving Coming to a Canada Near You.

Behold The Turkey! That, my friends, is 25 pounds of pure heaven. 25 pounds! It may be the biggest turkey this side of the Mississippi. Anyone want to take bet on whether or not it fits in my oven? Fingers crossed.

Here's the deal. In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated in early October. We won't get into my thoughts on that. Being a red-blooded American living in the Great White North, there is no way that I am letting the last Thursday of November pass me by without a Thanksgiving celebration. And there is definitely no way that I am letting this great holiday pass without a feast done Southern style. Even though it's just another day on the calendar around these parts my friends still jumped on board last year when I decided to host the 1st Annual Southern Style Thanksgiving. Like anyone is going to pass up a free turkey dinner, even if it is to celebrate an American holiday tradition

Despite the fact that I didn't even know how to make a PB&J sandwich at that point, the meal turned out a success. It was so much fun that we're doing it again this year -- The 2nd Annual Southern Style Thanksgiving!

Cooking for 17 people is no small feat, mind you. Last year it took me about three weeks of planning, major help from my mother and turkey preparation assistance from The Canadian's parents. This year I'm feeling a little more confident. Even though I'm completely on my own because my in-laws will be out of town (taking advantage of Black Friday in New England no less) and I have the biggest turkey of all time to deal with, I have faith. Plus, I have my mom and mother-in-law on high alert for any major catastrophes that can be remedied with a phone call. 

Welcome to Turkey Headquarters. Here we meticulously plan the menu, the serving dishes, the to-do list, the grocery list and timeline of events and preparation. It only took me a few hours to put together. No. Biggie.

My goal is to re-create my mother's Thanksgiving table. Down to the pickle and olive tray. 

Like I said, planning a dinner for 17 people takes some serious work. Last year I created this lovely spread sheet to help me, and my OCD, get organized. Each dish is listed with its ingredients and amounts, the bowl/plate to be served in, the time it is to be prepared and any additional notes. I even went back the day after last year and made notes of things to do differently for this year so I wouldn't forget. Sometimes I get a little drunk and forget the details...Oopps.

I re-typed my Thanksgiving Southern Style 2001 Plan of Attack tonight and it looks damn good.

Here's the menu:

Ham (because there isn't a turkey big enough to feed this crew. i need back up.)
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce a la Pioneer Woman
Sweet Potato Casserole (everyone's favorite) x 3
Green Bean Casserole x 2
Mac n Cheese (a new addition that is not from my mom's table) x 2?
Mashed Potatoes (10 pounds)
Pickles and Olives
Rolls (24)
Pecan Pie x 2
Pumpkin Pie x 2
Pumpkin Cheesecake 
Sweet Tea Lemonade Cocktail

And I am making every ounce of it. Minus the dressing. Mother-in-law has it on lockdown, so why mess with perfection? I'm okay with being dressing-dependent on her for the rest of my life.

When I got engaged my friend Amy gave me a Vera Bradley recipe box. As a joke. One, because it was Vera Bradley (I heart her). Two, because I clearly didn't have one recipe to my name and had no interest in ever knowing a recipe because my diet consisted of take-out, cereal and eggs. I was quite happy like that back in my single days. But Amy knew better and knew that married life was going to change my ways. Now this thing is jam packed with my favorites, including my Thanksgiving arsenal of recipes I stole last year. 

I even typed up all my ingredients and then inventoried my pantry to see what I already have on hand. Tomorrow I'm heading to the grocery store to stock up and get this show on the road. 

Please pray for my credit card. And my sanity. And my 25 pound turkey. Oh, and my oven.


Today I am thankful for... my sister. who has amused me all night with her antics as she was trying to avoid packing to go home for Thanksgiving.


Workout: Cardio - 20 minutes, Weights - abs, biceps, lunges. fast and furious. its a busy week, man.

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