We hosted Thanksgiving this year. It turned out that quite a few members of our extended family had other stuff going on, so we had a relatively small gathering at our house. We were planning on 10 of us, and that ended up being just nine because my aunt stayed home sick.
I ended up taking Tuesday and Wednesday off, partly because I did need some time to shop, clean, and cook, and partly because I just wanted some time off from work. I really didn't think I needed two whole days for Thanksgiving preparations. Turns out, I did!
I wanted to keep the menu simple. We always, always have way too much food. But when my husband I started talking about the menu, things that I wanted to skip, he wanted, and vice versa. And then of course the guests want to bring food too. So, we ended up with:
Turkey (with gravy)
Mom's orange salad (a jello-Cool Whip favorite of the kids)
Jeez, it feels like I'm forgetting something, but MAN that's a lot of food! NINE people!!! Can you imagine the quantity of leftovers left? Insanity.
Personally I would have skipped the stuffing, but it is a favorite dish for many. Hubby would have skipped the lefse because it's so time-consuming to make, but I can't give up that family tradition. I bought a couple packs of those Glad containers and sent leftovers home with everyone. We have just a bit left in our frig. Hubby made a wonderful turkey-noodle soup last night. It's nice to not have to cook for a few days!
The carrot cake recipe was a new one for me. A few weeks ago we went to a surprise 40th birthday for a friend, and they served this carrot cake. OMG. It is amazing. I asked for the recipe and proceeded to enter it all into SP... a whopping 633 calories for a slice. Yeah. I think I'm going to play with the recipe a little bit and see if I can cut calories without compromising flavor. For instance those 633 calories assume a slice is 1/16 of the layered cake. I thought I could try it in 24 cupcakes instead, and maybe cut back a bit on the glaze and frosting. It's so so so decadent. I think you could scale it back a bit and still have an over-the-top dessert. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Not something you'd eat every day, that's for sure. But a couple times a year... Mmmmmmm...
I had really the best time with our family and friend who came. That may be the smallest Thanksgiving celebration we've ever had, but you know in a way that was nice too. A little less hectic and boisterous. It was a perfect day. After everyone left, complete exhaustion hit me. I started kitchen cleanup, took a breather, finished kitchen cleanup, and fell asleep on the couch for TWO HOURS. Man, I slept hard! I managed to get up and go to bed. I was actually still really tired all Friday. Now I think I'm back to normal. I'm taking care of some procrastinated paperwork and then RUNNING. That's the plan. Time to get back to THAT obsession.
For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!
Note: Lefse is a soft, sweet, Norwegian flatbread.