Thanksgiving and Chill

While every holiday is special in its own way, Thanksgiving 2017 was particularly Ann-appropriate. And I cooked the turkey!

My employer graciously distributes frozen turkeys to its workers each year, so rather than just bring it for my father-in-law, as done before, I decided to take responsibility. A brine seemed the easiest way to go to decease the odds of a dry final product, and one of the first hits on Pinterest was for a recipe with bourbon. Done!

It felt very adult, productive, and responsible to travel to my in-laws with a turkey in a cooler in a brine. Even though the bags leaked. Whoops.

The corgimutts were so excited about traveling, they Would Not Sleep Wednesday night. Eventually, I gave up, and started Thanksgiving Day off early on the couch. Truthfully, it wasn’t a huge sacrifice, because I had a book I was dying to start! Bonfire is a thriller by Krysten Ritter, a fellow native Pennsylvanian whose acting work I greatly enjoy in Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 and as Jessica Jones. My hold at the library came in just in time for the holiday — although as I approached the doors a few minutes before they closed on Wednesday, the security card tried to discourage me from entering. Silly security guard; never underestimate a wannabe librarian when new books are on the line! I was in and out in less than a minute. Guess that MLS is good for something (;

recipe for a perfect morning

Bonfire was a very quick and easy read. The narrator is just unreliable enough to keep you guessing, and the knotted mystery unraveled in a satisfying way.

As the rest of the house woke up, my father-in-law, Tom, helped us truss the bird and leant his handy fancy thermometer. The rest of the day passed in a gloriously lazy way as we waited for the turkey to get to temp.

the best part: Hampton doesn’t care about the football game that’s on. No yelling!

The gravy (with additional bourbon) came together easily, and Tom gave Hampton and me carving advice. While it may not have been The Most Amazing Turkey ever, I’m still happy with the results – and have a new-found confidence for the next time!

the closest we’ll get to looking like proud parents

Dinner itself was at Hampton’s sister’s. The nephews were watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when we arrived. I love seeing good parenting in action!

While this year’s menu included frozen apps and to-go sides, the easy, scaled-down affair was still dominated by laughter and good chats. And olives.

I knew I was getting involved with the right family when multiple bowls of olives were set out at any gathering.

Tom had set the turkey remnants to simmer before we left for dinner, and when we got back, he and I made quick work of cleaning the bones. I was planning to make soup ASAP, but tried something else to use up the leftover meat first. More on that next post!

IMG_3346 (1)
George really wanted to help.

Due to the antsy corgimutts the night before, Hampton was in bed before we finished with the stock, and I was not far behind, second book of the day in hand, puppies getting out the last of their energy before snuggling up for what turned into an amazingly long sleep.

A day of easy cooking and reading by the fire with a glass of wine, cozy pups, and good company. Doesn’t get much better than that.

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