Friday, December 7, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Sometimes, we have a "go big or go home" mentality around here.

Apparently, Thanksgiving was a good opportunity to adopt this mentality.

For our first Thanksgiving together, we hosted it for Will's mother and 2 sisters.

Now, a Thanksgiving meal for 5 people may not seem too extreme. Most families are around that size anyway, right?

Well, hosting Thanksgiving in a small apartment is a triumph in and of itself. Small kitchen. Minimal counter space. Small oven. Packed fridge. Making a complete meal is an accomplishment.

Add to that the fact that Will wanted to do most of the cooking. He wanted to brine his first turkey, so that was a new experience. He took some traditional Thanksgiving recipes and put his own spin on them. He did a lot from scratch (and let us talk him into a few short-cuts... for time/space/budget's sake).

And it was fabulous. The meal was outstanding.

Turkey in the bucket with the brine... and the Turkey in our oven with the electric thermometer ready to tell us when he's done!

Cheddar Crackers with Pumpkin Seeds
Hot Apple Cider

Main Course
Turkey in a Ginger, Sage, and All Spice Brine
(Will dubbed this the "Wise Ginger Turkey")

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
Green Bean Casserole
Crescent Rolls
Cranberry Sauce
Pan Dripping Gravy
Cornbread Stuffing

Buttermilk Pie
Pumpkin Pie

Will did an outstanding job. It was all delicious, was presented beautifully, and made the apartment smell heavenly.

Will's family arrived on Tuesday. Melissa and Mary Grace flew in from VA Tuesday afternoon, and Annabelle flew in from Tulsa later that night. They stayed in a hotel in Salem that night because I was scheduled to work Wednesday & Thursday and Will had classes early on Wednesday. To keep the morning routine relatively intact, they stayed elsewhere that night.

Then, to my pleasant surprise, early on Wednesday morning, the hospital called and said there weren't many patients and I could stay home if I wanted to. This has only happened once before, and it was the same day my dad was scheduled to fly into MA for his visit! What excellent timing! Thanks God!

So after Will returned from his class, we all met up in Salem and had lunch there. Then Will and Mary Grace split off to do homework and college apps, respectively. Melissa, Annabelle, and I wandered around Salem, took a tour of the house that inspired Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables, and did a little shopping. We all met up at home after that, and went out to dinner that night in Beverly.

I left for work that morning, and apparently Will's sisters helped themselves to our comfy bed 

I worked Thanksgiving day. I'm used to working holidays, but in the past my schedule had always been 12 hour shifts, so that was pretty much my whole day. Not so in my current job! I spent the day with my patients, wore my turkey scrub top, and had a little free lunch provided by the hospital. My shift ended at 3, and I was home before 4 pm. I came home to a beautifully set table, a luscious smelling kitchen, and a football game on our TV. I asked how I could help, and was instructed to change clothes, sit down and relax... it was all taken care of!

My coworkers were pretty jealous of my set up. "You still get to enjoy a home-cooked Thanksgiving feast, and you didn't have to cook a thing??" Yup... my amazing husband took the reigns and amazed us all!


  1. Sounds like a great success! We found out this year that Trader Joe's has pre-brined fresh turkey! It was delicious!

  2. Sounds like it was a very nice Thanksgiving and one for you to cherish.

  3. Sounds like another warm and delicious get-together at the Killmer's home. Wondering about the gravy from a brined it salty?

    1. It wasn't salty at all. Will says he doesn't think the turkey brine affected the gravy at all. It's a good thought though... we hadn't even considered that! Glad it worked out anyway!