This Thanksgiving was probably the best in terms of it feeling the easiest. I started hosting dinners when my Mom passed away. We now always host - and whomever can come is welcome - friends, family, our door is always open. It is fun because sometimes small and sometimes big.
I really love doing it, but I've always felt stressed. That first year, in particular, I was so worried. So many dishes that had to be done at the same time! Not knowing what recipes were good, how the timing would go. This year, I felt like I finally have it down! Practice really does make a difference. I've learned to do whatever I can in advance (I always make my pies the weekend before and put them in the freezer). I chop away like a sous chef in advance so I have things ready on the day of preparation. It does help that my mother-in-law makes things I've never attempted, or am not good at. We almost never eat gravy so I never make it, therefore, I'm not very good at it. Plus, we cook the turkey on the Traeger so we don't have drippings anyway! I've never tried making rolls and hers are so good, so I haven't had to!
Here is what we made this year:
The turkey is always the star of the show. The Traeger just rocks the turkey. It is so flavorful and tender.
The slow cooker stuffing was a new recipe and I will most definitely make it again! So easy as it cooked in the crockpot and it was quite good! The pumpkin chocolate chip cookie pie was also good - not too sweet, but amazing with whipped cream. It was a pie Bill actually liked - score!
I might try a new cranberry sauce recipe next year. Sorry, Pioneer Woman. Hers is just a little runny and I seem to forget that every year and still make it!
Rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy and another pumpkin pie contributed by Francie and Marcie. So good.
Carson and Elyse had fun on the swings.
You people with your awesome family dinner pictures! I don't know how you do it. Maybe one day I'll get a wide angle lens. Hey, maybe I'll use my new lens for my iPhone next year!
They had a ball together (Jaxin in the mix too, just not pictured)!
Yes, love my dinner photo? - people's backs. Oh yeah.
The kids were playing so hard. Carson was hot and took his shirt off.
Someone had to copy. They looked so cute with their sweaty, blonde hair and matching black pants. 6 and 3. Grandma Kathy is smiling down on them for sure!
Elyse on the run again.
Sweet baby boy had a fever.
Look at those long locks!