Friday, November 25, 2011
Yesterday was the BIG “T” Day, my second favorite holiday of the year (NOTE: any holiday that involves good food is on my list of favorites). Due to the fact that I live near my family and my in-laws, Thanksgiving always involves more than one holiday meal… usually more than two. This is what Thanksgiving looked like for me yesterday:
8:30 a.m.: Penelope and I were in the kitchen diligently following the recipe of what looked like a fabulously delicious batch of pumpkin cream cheese streusel muffins for my family’s Thanksgiving breakfast. We spent an HOUR measuring, sifting, and stirring, and the muffins ended up tasting… um… let’s say they were “okay”. They tasted too much like flour and not enough like pumpkin and spice. They were kind of dry and the streusel didn’t brown and crisp like I thought it should have. Once again, the universe has shown me that I cannot bake. Now I’m not recipe illiterate… I know the terminology. I know what the terms “cut in”, “fold”, and “sift together” mean. I can follow a baking recipe to the letter, and my end product simply refuses to turn out the way it should. My cookies inevitably burn, my biscuits could be used for hockey pucks, my cakes are dry and my pie crusts are chewy. Conversely, my sister, Emily, can make the same recipes and her end products are heavenly… divine… fit for the gods. Just another reminder to me that I shouldn’t waste a perfectly good hour of holiday sleep time on a baking recipe. Ever. Again. The End.
10:30 a.m.: Despite my failed attempt at a Thanksgiving breakfast treat, my family’s Thanksgiving breakfast was extraordinary. My sister, Emily, and her husband, Dirk, put on a delicious holiday meal for everyone. Pumpkin pancakes with buttermilk/caramel syrup; regular pancakes and a variety of syrups; mini spinach quiches; scrambled eggs; bacon; link sausage; biscuits and gravy; coffee bar, complete with a variety of flavored creams and syrups; hot chocolate; and our family’s traditional holiday drink, homemade grape juice with Sprite. Of course Emily made pie (pumpkin, pecan and chocolate silk) for dessert. Because what is Thanksgiving without pie??? Just plain wrong is what I’m thinking…
1:00 p.m.: Back home whipping up a quick batch of my spinach dip. Now, we’ve already concluded that Lyn. Cannot. Bake. And so, henceforth and forever, I will leave the baking to those who are far more capable than I. Lyn can, however, make a very mean spinach dip. Luckily this is what I am usually assigned to make and bring to family gatherings, like my in-laws’ Thanksgiving dinner. And it’s a nice ego boost for me to hear everyone rave about how delicious and fabulous my spinach dip is, especially after my most recent botched muffin attempt. And the very best part… 15 minutes of preparation time, and then it gets thrown in the fridge and I get to take a nap.
3:00 p.m.: Maya, Penelope and I drive to Provo to my wife-in-law’s family Thanksgiving dinner. Now this may be confusing to some people, so I’ll try to explain the relationship. My second (ex-)husband (Maya and Penelope’s father) was previously married to Nicole and they had a daughter, Indigo (my step-daughter). Nicole and I became good friends and Indigo lived with me from the age of one to seven. We call each other “wife-in-law” because there really is no term for what we are. She is “Aunt Nikki” to Maya and Penelope, and I am Indigo’s other “Mom”. No one knows “the ex” better than the two of us, and because of that we have been able to support each other without having to explain ANYTHING to each other about him. Besides Nicole being family with the girls and me, her family members have treated all of us like we’re part of the family also. Nicole’s mom is “Grandma Sindy” to my girls. Her sisters and brothers are “aunts” and “uncles” to them. To some people, it may seem strange or kind of “Jerry Springer”, but who couldn’t use more family? Who wouldn’t want more people out there caring about them? Maybe I have a far more liberal definition of “family” than most people due to a lot of factors in my life, and I consider myself very blessed to have so many caring people in my vast and ever-expanding “family”. Anyway… the girls ate Thanksgiving dinner and I chose to just hang out with everyone because I was still full from breakfast, and there was another dinner coming up in a few hours.
6:00 p.m.: At my in-laws (also known as “home” for the last year). My mother-in-law shows me (yet again) how to make her famous homemade noodles. Everyone shows up and it’s a houseful! Lots of kids of all ages and lots of traditional Thanksgiving food. My mother-in-law makes the BEST homemade stuffing and homemade noodles in the world! I don’t think anyone in the family would even notice if there was no turkey… as long as there was a big pot of chicken and noodles (think chicken and dumplings, only longer, thinner noodles instead of rounded, thick dumplings).
8:00 p.m.: Back in our basement hideaway… watching one of my favorite Christmas movies: “Elf”. I think I fell asleep (or slipped into a tryptophan coma) around 9:00.
My dad will be cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday for all of us. YAY! Let the feasting continue!
No better way to kick off the holiday season: a day full of food, family, more food, naps, more food, holiday movies on the tube, more food… and a week’s worth of leftovers to look forward to!
Hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving too!