A Cozy Grateful Thanksgiving

2020 has been an insane year, and being alive, healthy and having great food on the table is a lot for which to be grateful. This Thanksgiving was bitter sweet. Bitter because sadly I, and many others were not able to spend it with all the people we wanted to, but sweet, because despite all the horror this year has caused, I am still blessed that I celebrated my favorite holiday with a few special people.

The excitement around the holiday makes it that much more enjoyable to cook. I have never made or had a turkey at Thanksgiving, so this was my first experience with the full bird. Granted I did not cook the turkey this time either, but I watched and somewhat helped my friend with the brining, marinating and roasting. The Turkey came out perfectly. However, prior to the delectable Turkey, a little drama ensued where the hot turkey drippings fell onto a cousin’s leg, but my friend was more upset about the loss of liquid than a burnt family member. It didn’t matter if someone was slightly burned, what was important was that now we did not have the drippings for the gravy. What a disaster! In hindsight we should have just bought gravy from the store.

Besides the gravy incident, the other dishes were mostly flawless and everything tasted divine. We had a traditional American Thanksgiving menu, despite incessant requests from our significant others to make rice. I was tasked with making the mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, salad and the two dessert pies, apple and pecan. My friend made the turkey, stuffing, 4 cheese mac and cheese and sweet potato pie. To add to it, a cousin brought scrumptious pasta, that was perhaps a little too spicy for a few weaklings. My friend was organized with a list of everything that was being made, the times she should start cooking it and the time to move onto the next dish, with everything being ready to eat exactly at 4:30pm. I on the other hand was pretty sure if I rolled out of bed at 10am I could get everything done in time. We both of course finished cooking everything in time, with a little lunch break in between for grilled cheese so I was content with my relaxed method.

Dinner was arranged on our small table (sadly we did not have a huge table that we see in movies), and we sat on the floor and gobbled down all the mouthwatering dishes. Fortunately everybody ate quite a bit and liked everything, except for one friend who claimed he doesn’t like Thanksgiving food and only ate the chopped vegetables and dessert which he brought. We were only a little upset he didn’t eat after our hard work, so we have banned him from future Thanksgivings.

After a successful dinner, I started working on the desserts. I was bombarded about the pecan pie and how we should have bought one from the store that I was determined to make the best pecan pies, even though it was my first time. The dough was ready, but I had to blind bake it first. I had to put the dough in the oven and add baking paper and beans on top to weigh it down. The only problem is that I forgot the baking paper, so the beans stuck to the dough when baking and I couldn’t get it out. I started to worry a little because I was still getting pestered about the fact that we should have bought a pie, but I was still determined to succeed. Thankfully, I had an extra frozen pie dough (always have a backup in case of emergencies), and baked the new dough correctly with the baking paper. Both pies turned out exquisitely, despite the dough dilemma and I was complimented with the fact that it was good we didn’t buy a pie.

We finished the lovely evening with a competitive game of sequence; lots of screaming, passion and joy (even though I sadly did not win). Even though it was a small Thanksgiving it was a happy one, and that’s all one can ask for.

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