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thanksgiving 2014

How on Earth is it Thanksgiving time already? I swear it just turned y2k..

Like yesterday… right?

For those of you who have been reading for awhile, you may recall that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Not only the day itself, but the days leading up to the feast.

Life has changed drastically for us in the last few years, and the excitement of my whole family coming over is no longer a reality since we live so far away from any family.

I’m grateful this year that our youngest child was able to travel home for the week. She arrived from Providence last Saturday, and it’s been great to just have her here

My RYAN is halfway across the world studying in Scotland for a semester, and jamanda will be in Florida celebrating together. We will be missing the three of
them so much

This time of year can be very exciting, but also very depressing, depending of what the earlier part of your year had in store for you.

I have many friends and family going through tough times for one reason or another. It makes me sad, and I think about their individual situations a lot.

It makes me really stop and appreciate the little things in life, even when I think I’m having a bad day.

As we go forth in this holiday season, just take a second to think of others’ and send good wishes, whatever method works for you.

Tomorrow is big cooking day ( click the above Thanksgiving link if you have no idea what I’m talking about)

I decided to start a little early this year. I picked up my bird ( tiny.. 10 pounds… How do I even cook a turkey that small?) and made my brine IMG_1080.JPG

I’ve been BRININGfor about 10 years, and wouldn’t dream of skipping this important step.

There are so many reasons to do so.. I can elaborate if you’d like..

One of the coolest reasons? IMG_1082.JPG

I brine in this cooler.. I bought specifically for this purpose.. And what’s super-cool about this? My turkey never ever goes into the fridge! It frees up all of that precious fridge real – estate!

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Here’s this years’ bath 😁 ( with my yittle bird in there)

I’ve roasted the chestnuts

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And getting ready to peel them for dressing #1 tomorrow

I’ve made my creamed onions ( my favorite! )

And I’ve made my CRANBERRY SAUCE.. Although this year I made it in my vitamix… And it was awesomely easy and perfect!

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This years’ cranberry sauce is extra-special….

I received a knock on the door yesterday and a neighbor was holding a package addressed to me. It was from a dear friend, Laurie ..

Laurie sent me 2 pounds of organic cape cod cranberries and Eastham turnip! THANK YOU, Laurie! Oxox

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I am so grateful, as It was hard to find Massachusetts cranberries (which I’ve eaten my whole life ). ( last year my mom sent me some last mintue.. Thanks, mom! )

The other thing that I couldn’t find last year was Bell’s seasoning.. Something else With which I’ve grown up.

It took me 5 stores… But guess what I found today!!!

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It may not seem like a big deal, but to me it truly is.

I’m very exciting to make my two stuffings tomorrow!

I think in an overwhelming way I am thankful for not only my family, but my friends as well. I have some pretty fantastic friends, from all stages of my life. I have friends that I haven’t seen in almost 30 years, ( Wowzers!) and yet, we chat like it was just yesterday.

I have friends who are always there, regardless of time zone differences, and that I truly can talk to about anything, and vice-versa.

I have friends that I’ve met in the last year that I can’t imagine not having in my life. I look forward to spending time with everyone.

I have friends who have had layovers at DIA and because we are so close to the airport, I’ve been able to visit with them

I even had the pleasure of traveling to Austin this past September to stand next to a friend as she married the love of her life…. I’ve been friends with for years, but did not actually meet face to face until her wedding dress rehearsal!

If you know me then you know that I am who I am.

And I am truly blessed.

I’m working hard to keep TRADITION alive, despite all of our recent changes…

Like I said in my post about traditions ( click tradition link if I’ve lost you ) .. You don’t really realize when they are happening..

And in the same way, you don’t realize how dramatically we go through the stages of our lives until we are far into the next stage.

As always, thanks for reading. I’d love to hear some of your families’ traditions 🙂

Oxox
Michelle

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flashback…. Ali’s graduation party

Hello friends 🙂

Our youngest daughter, Alison graduated from high school just 2 weeks ago.. And since we were sooo busy I’m just not getting around to posting about it.

It was a very special time. Both my boys and my daughter in law, Amanda, flew In for this special event.

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And of course, Scott

It all went by so fast..

We had her party the day after graduation simply because everyone was in town. I spent many hours thinking about the kind of party that I wanted to have for her. ( which was really good for me because it helped to keep my mind focused on that versus my life changes right in front of me)

The weather was less than desirable. In fact, downright miserable. Scott had wanted to have the party at a hall, but Ali and I really wanted a big white tent in the backyard.

Having it at home was also important to us as we knew that only 5 short days after the party we would be completely moved out and that this would be the last time that we would get together with our friends and families in this home.

I ended up calling and having sides to the tent added once I saw the forecast.. And the morning of the party I called and ordered a heater.. ( it was in the 40s, damp, windy and cold)

The heater was the best decision EVER!!

Everyone seemed to have fun ! It was so nice to have the majority of our families there and so many of Ali’s friends and a few of mine

Here are some random pics..

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Yes.. Flat Dave was the first party guest… With my family, I’m not surprised at all

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Ali with a few of her friends

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My adorable niece, Kalli

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Lots of family, including Scott’s 102 year old grandmother!!!

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A lot of the food I was able to make ahead

I served

Baked ziti
Chicken broccoli Alfredo
Sweet and sour meatballs
Lemon orzo salad
Anniversary chicken ( chicken with bacon and cheddar cheese)
Homemade pickles
Southwestern bean salad

Lots of snacks and drinks including homemade sangria!

I have all of the recipes that I used in case you are interested. Everything was easy to make a head of time and came out great ( I think)

Of course, I have zero pics of the food, except for the cake and cupcakes 😉

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It was everything that I envisioned her party to be.. We are all so proud of her!!

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It may have been cold and raw outside but it didn’t matter… The love inside that tent was awesome… ( not to mention the fabulous heater 😉 )

Oxox

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there’s a turkey in the backseat…

howdy friends!

I know that Thanksgiving seems like it was sooooooo far away, giving the shopping weekend that followed, but I had a few things to share with you and couldn’t get around to it until now, so do me a favor.. fire up the Delorean and come back to Turkey day with me… just for a minute ( or 10 )

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a few of you have asked me what I did with Theo after his 2 day salt spa bath….. when I was ready to put him in the oven, I removed hime form the brine.. rinsed him and patted him very dry with paper towels. I place some carrots, celery, onions and fresh herbs in the bottom of a roasting dish , the placed a roasting rack on top ( this makes the gravy extra yummy ) I stuffed the cavity with fresh herbs, onions, lemon and clemetines. Trussed him, then stuck a few fresh sage leaves between the skin and the breast an brushed melted butter all over him. Season with salt and pepper.

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place on bottom shelf ove 425 degree oven for 30 minutes… then reduce heat to 325 and tent with aluminium foil…Roast for a few hours ( depending on the size ) basting every 45 minutes or so….

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oops….. dont hold it in the oven too long…. 😉

remove the bird when the internal temp in the leg is 165… then let rest.

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ok.. so I have a story…. pull up a chair.. ( I LOVE storytime!)

Every year, after the dinner, we bundle up and take a walk.. ( like everyone else does 😉 So about 4 or 5 years ago, we were walking in downtown plymouth when we saw a rollerblader. Unusual? hmm.. not so much.

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but the station-wagon chasing her ( clearly a family member) well… that was a bit odd.

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The driver of the car was screaming at her ” get in the car…. I’ve got the turkey in the back seat” and she in turn was rollerblading as fast as she could screaming back to the driver ” I’m trying to get away form you.. can’t you see that?” and again…. ” but the turkey is in the back seat…

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now I know we all have some sort of drama around the holidays ( myself included ).. and although I’m not making fun of what was happening…. when all was said and done… we all just looked at each other and said, did that just happen?

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so our standard thing to say was ” there’s a turkey in the backseat”..

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then I found this card…

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ugh.. the pic is horrible.. but it is a station wagon full of turkeys!

So the following year, as we headed out for our walk . we were remembering the crazy walk from the year prior and discussed how we wouldn’t see anything that crazy that year….. so we decided to change that. We began the ‘Thanksgiving walk o Shame”

we all dress up in crazy attire and sing and dance and ‘decorate’ the downtown

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this is a pic from last year

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you can’t miss us… trust me 🙂 Its fun and like I said, we sing a dance around and remember all the little things that we are thankful for !

the pic is dark, but here is Jo & i from this year 🙂

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I love crazy traditions… SO MUCH!!

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so I’ll leave you with a few pics from our holiday…

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<img class="alignnone wp-image-2580" title="Thanskgiving table with flowers form my kiddos

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and lastly… I found this on the web… and decided to tackle it…. I am super proud of it..

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It’s entirely edible!! I made it out of bread!!!!

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one very last note.. you may want to re read I’m Thankful again…. I was afraid that I would leave some out and it turns out that I did….. and half of the paragraph about Scott disapeared… it made me sound heartless, really..

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so I have updated it 🙂 smoooches!

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now.. head back to the future! it’s Cyber Monday! .

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