Thanksgiving this year was unlike any other I have ever experienced before. I decided that (because this is the first year for me where I do not have any immediate family members within 1,000 miles of me) I wanted to host a Thanksgiving dinner of my own! Two of my lovely roommates (Katherine and Miriam) jumped on board, as well, and we turned it into a mini ward party/potluck. (:
Katherine baking her pumpkin pie:
Aaand her (beyond delicious) "temple rolls" - aka her mama used to be a temple worker in the DC temple where they have a cafeteria...and her mama got the recipe for the rolls they make there and sent it to her!:
After I enjoyed a nice-and-easy 2 mile run, I headed home to get the main dish started: the turkey!
Step one: Put it somewhere where it's okay to get dirty/messy/slimy.
Step two: Look less than pleased to be holding a huge, dead, raw animal. Note: Putting your hair in a huge bun at the top of your head is probably best to ensure that no hairs make your way into the food, right?
Step three: Man up and get excited to be tending to such a big bird.
Step four: Massage the turkey with lemon juice. Don't forget to massage the temples!
Step five: Double check that it is actually turkey you are preparing by flapping its wings once or twice.
Step six: Rub the turkey with a light amount of canola oil...don't forget to scrub under the wings!
Step seven: Put the little $0.92 mesh "stuffing bag" you bought at the store inside the bird's body. Proceed to fill with the mega awesome delicious stuffing you finished making five minutes ago.
Step eight: Tie the bag up in a pretty little knot!
Step nine: Place the uncooked bird in a 2 tsp.-floured oven bag, tie it up, cut six 1/2-inch slits in the top, and stick the little guy in the oven (in the pan)! Note: Don't forget to stick the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey...wherever you can find a place to stick it. (:
After all the aforementioned craziness, I finally headed upstairs to shower and get ready before our amigos started arriving around 4pm. Everyone brought over some equally yummy stuff! Everything everyone brought was homemade...aka beyond fantastic.
Elinor with her sweet potatoes/candied yams:
Stephen with his square banana bread loaf/cake and vegan whipped topping:
Derek with his apple pie (it already half-eaten and he already half-asleep at this point because I forgot to get his picture before the festivities began):
Katherine with her pumpkin pie and temple rolls (um...not even an exaggeration that I have never eaten a more delicious roll...don't worry Mama, I'll be bringing the recipe home with me for winter break (: ):
Miriam with her smashed potatoes (with paprika sprinkled on top - genius!):
And then it was my turn to show off my goods...just a little nervous to see how my little birdie turned out.
I opened up the oven and to my surprise...
A perfectly-cooked turkey right before my eyes (right down to the perfect 180 degrees F)!
The stuffing was mega-easy to deal with: just take the bag out of the turkey, cut the bag open, and voila!
Yummy yum stuffing for all! (:
Then it was time for the main event: carving the turkey! Which I'll have you know is way mega harder than it looks hahaha.
Success! Lots of yummy (even if they weren't completely perfectly cut) pieces to share. (:
Our little baby kitchen table could barely fit the six of us eating, so instead we displayed everything across our counter space/stove top haha (: with the pies at one end, and all kinds of other yummy sides (some not even pictured, oops!) leading down to the turkey at the other end!
So we ate, and ate...
And ate some more...
Then followed our eating with some Catch-Phrase and card playing...
(and some minor passing-out from all the Tryptophan I cooked into the turkey)...
And then we ended our little party by comparing food babies. (:
Note for amateurs: The best way to win is by wearing a coat that can make your stomach look like it is sticking our far more than it actually is:
Miriam, Katherine and I ended the night (after sending everyone off with their fair share of leftovers, thank you very much) by cleaning up our mess (making our kitchen sparkle in only like 20 minutes flat...probably a record or something!), changing into more comfortable (stretchy) clothing and watching 10 Things I Hate About You.
I'd say it was a pretty successful Thanksgiving. (: Hope yours was as grand as mine was and that you all have many, many things to be grateful for!