Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving at Home

We were unable to travel this year because of Jamey's work schedule.  While we did miss seeing extended family, we had a wonderful time with friends and my cousin's family.

I *love* hosting big meals. Yes, it's a lot of work BUT if you let your guests pitch in and bring some of the food and if you don't set your house cleaning standards too high, it can be totally manageable and enjoyable.

Another thing that simplified things immensely this year is that we roasted our turkey the day before. My mother-in-law gave me excellent instructions and even lent me her oven roaster (which is now on my wish list).  We roasted the turkey on Wednesday afternoon and Jamey carved it Wednesday evening.  He commented on how well it went.  We realized it went well for a few reasons. One, we let it sit for over an hour so it wasn't so very hot to handle.  Two, it was less stressful because there weren't a zillion things going on in the kitchen at the same time.  And, three, the kids were already in bed and there were no conversations/visiting that he was missing out on while he was carving.

He placed the carved turkey pieces right in the insert of the roaster and we filled it halfway with the juices from the bird (reserving the rest for gravy).  We roasted a 20 pound turkey and all but a small bowl of it fit inside the 6 quart roaster (there were two layers).  Once the turkey had cooled, we placed it in the fridge.

The next day, I set the insert back in the roaster (with the lid on) two hours before we were planning to eat and set the temperature for 250 degrees.  Once I could tell it was heated through, I turned it back a bit.  The turkey was so nice and moist.  We are definitely going to do it this way again.  A big bonus is that it frees up oven space on the big day as well...and boy did we use it!  Here's what we had (please remember this wasn't all me)!

streuseled sweet potatoes (recipe to come)
baked corn
green bean casserole
mashed potatoes (made by my cousin's 12-year-old son- they were awesome!)
brie and cranberries with crackers
cranberry sauce/salad
chocolate swirl cheesecake
apple pie
chocolate pecan pie (recipe to come)
pumpkin pie
vanilla ice cream
sugared cranberries (recipe to come)

While the food was wonderful, it truly is the relationships and the air of thankfulness that really makes this holiday special.

To God be the glory, great things He has done. Pin It


  1. Working the turkey early sounds like a great idea and I'm glad it worked out for you. Our big family and friends gatherings usually go the same way: Everyone pitches in with cooking and clean-up, and it's time with the family and giving thanks to the Giver of every good and perfect gift that makes it the most wonderful. I've spent holidays away from family when I was young and in the service. It's an experience that helps you appreciate the special times with family even more for the rest of your life.

    God bless you and your family!


  2. That does it. Next year we are making the turkey the day before.We have been debating this for a few years....I trust if it worked for you, it will work for us. All your recommendations have in the past.(especially the Mother R peanut butter cookies hee hee)

  3. I love your table and your menu is wonderful. I roasted the turkey in a bag and it made such a difference. The turkey was so moist for days, I put a wet paper towel over the breast part.

  4. I've learned a lot about simplified hospitality over the last fifteen years or so, and it's made it so much more enjoyable! I also find that I'm able to do it more often since I'm not worried about having everything perfect. Your dining room with the set table looks so cozy and inviting!


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