Our Thanksgiving 2013 (pics, recipes, and my schedule)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We were thrilled to host Derm Dad’s parents, who drove down from Connecticut, and my mom, Mimi, who flew in from Kansas. And then, we also had our dear friends the P family for dinner on Thanksgiving day.

I didn’t actually take any pictures (bummer!), but here is one from last year (pretty much everything looked the same).


Here are the recipes and the schedule that we used this year. I wanted to keep it simple, so we didn’t have a million different dishes, but it was still wonderful and even extravagant in its yumminess and abundance. If another busy mom of littles is reading this, you can do it! Just take a little bit every day and it’s really doable!

On Sunday, Kent and Adele made the Secret Ingredient Apple Pie (recipe HERE). He also made and baked a crust for the pumpkin custard pie. I also made my lactofermented apple chutney.

On Monday, Kent’s parents arrived and Grammy and Adele made a cherry pie.

On Tuesday, the 26-pound pastured turkey was delivered from our farmer, so I brined it (brine recipe HERE). I did modify the brine recipe a bit – I used Celtic sea salt instead of Kosher and blackstrap molasses (which I didn’t measure) instead of brown sugar. Don’t forget to bring the ingredients to a boil before dumping them in the bucket – it really brings out the flavors. I also made the fried onion rings for the green bean casserole (recipe HERE),┬ábut I didn’t use her instructions for the fried onion rings. Instead, I heated up some bacon grease and sliced some onions super thin on the mandolin slicer. Then I got two bowls and put an egg plus a half cup of milk in the first bowl and a quarter cup of flour plus a teaspoon or two of Celtic sea salt as well as some pepper. Then you dip some onions in the first milk bowl, then coat in the flour mixture, then drop in the hot oil until medium brown. Then scoop them out onto a towel-lined bowl or plate. Taste one from the first batch to see if the seasoning is right. My advice is to make more onions than you think you’ll need because they are soooo yummy and everyone wants some onions with each scoop of green bean casserole. – I snitched a few and they were VERY delicious! I also put the pie pumpkin and some butternut squash in the oven to roast for almost an hour. It stayed in there until I was ready to use in on Thursday.

On Wednesday, we were in Virginia for therapy all morning, so I didn’t get anything done except a few loads of laundry =). Next year I’d like to get both casseroles done on Wednesday.

On Thursday, I made the mushroom sauce and green beans for the green bean casserole (recipe HERE). Also, my mom made the sweet potato casserole and Grandy made his famous mashed potatoes. Kent also made the pumpkin custard pie and we baked the turkey in two hours (turkey recipe HERE) – we put it in at 11:30 and took it out to test the temp at 1:30. Grammy set the table (beautifully of course) with our wedding china and crystal goblets.

I even had time to make some calligraphy place cards! Of course, I forgot to take a picture until they were a bit soiled =) If you want to make something like this and you don’t really know how to do calligraphy (although I am hoping to learn how to do it the right way), just type the names on the computer and select a font that you like (I used Edwardian Script) then print it out and trace it so that your hand gets used to the shape. Then try to approximate the loveliness on your cardstock, making some parts thicker by going over it with your pen a few times.


I HIGHLY recommend the turkey method we use because it results in a no-fail, delicious, moist, and extremely flavorful turkey that only ties up your oven for TWO HOURS!

I also tried a new recipe for the green bean casserole this year and I highly recommend it! It’s quite a bit more labor-intensive than using the onion topping from a can and the canned cream of mushroom soup (the method we always used growing up), but I have to say that it was worth it in flavor and also knowing that I wasn’t feeding MSG and other yucky chemicals to my family.

One thought on “Our Thanksgiving 2013 (pics, recipes, and my schedule)

  1. Wow, Nicole your description of your dinner had me salivating . Wish we lived closer to family, but we seem to be spread all over the place now. We spent Thanksgiving evening with Tara, Justin- her boyfriend, boys and Justins’ family. Tyler and Justins’ Mom had to work that day. We drove down to El Paso from here. It is about an hour and a half drive. We had it easy as far as cooking. All of the young people, and Justin’s Mom did it all. We just provided all of the drinks and extra table and chairs.

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