Hi, remember me? I used to blog. I’m not sure exactly how things have gotten so out of control lately, but between a short work week, prepping for our Thanksgiving gathering and more, blogging just took a backseat to everything else.
But I’m back, with a smorgasbord of photos for you!
This was our third year in a row (and fourth overall) for hosting Thanksgiving at our house. Someday we may perfect the menu, but we’re still in the phase where we tweak things a bit each year. This year, we took a big risk that, to be honest, I was really skeptical about and caused a lot of fear: we deep-fried our turkey!
Here’s DadJovi getting the fryer ready for the big event:
The diciest moment of the whole process was inserting the turkey into the boiling hot peanut oil. Everything we read online said to make sure the bird was as dry as possible. After paper-toweling the heck out of him, the big moment was here. DadJovi slowly lowered the bird in, and although there was a lot of splattering, there were no major disasters!
The craziest thing about deep-frying a turkey is that it only takes 3 minutes/pound, plus 5 minutes. That means for our 15-pound turkey, it only took about 50 minutes to cook. As the one who normally spends hours babysitting the turkey in the oven with lots of basting, foil tenting, untenting, more basting, temperature up, temperature down, I LOVED this frying process.
I can’t believe I did not take a picture of the done bird, but I was a little nervous by how black the skin was. But after letting it rest for 30 minutes, we cut into that sucker and it was DELICIOUS! So moist and juicy and perfectly done. We’re frying converts!
Now some pics of the Thanksgiving crew:
Our celebration included my grandparents, my father-in-law and our close friends, Katy and Lucas. E. was especially glad that Lucas was there. Someday I think she’ll tell stories about her first crush and they’ll all be about him.
Ah yes, I think I’m officially a Southerner now. We fried our turkey and at the end of the day, my daughter’s feet were FILTHY from running around the backyard bare-foot all afternoon. See what happens when I’m busy in the kitchen and leave Dad in charge of her upkeep? Hobbit feet and marker stains all over her body:
But at the end of the day, we all had full bellies, good memories and thankful hearts for having such wonderful friends and family around to share the day with.
You’d think after such a busy day, we’d take it easy today? Ha! DadJovi has, in the words of my late grandfather, a motor in his ass. He is always up for our next adventure. (Oh, and I didn’t even tell you about his failed attempt at Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving night. He headed all the way to Toys ‘R Us but aborted his mission when he saw the hundreds of people in line. Instead, he woke up at about 7 this morning and hit TRU to finish up our Christmas shopping for E. His energy exhausts and amazes me).
Anyway…we met some good friends at noon today to see “Tangled.” E. and I LOVED it! I’m going to have to learn the words to one of the best passive-aggressive songs of all time: “Mother Knows Best.”
After the movie, we decided to see if the place where we got our Christmas tree last year was still there (you know, just to scope it out). It wasn’t, so we drove down the road a little bit and found another one. DadJovi, again, said, let’s just see how their trees are.
Buying a tree in a parking lot still kind of freaks me out. I grew up in Pennsylvania where we always cut our own trees down every year. One year, I hope to take E. up to Pa. in early December to experience that, too, but until then, parking lot trees it is!
E. wasn’t so sure about trees under a tent:
And I couldn’t believe we were getting a tree in 82-degree weather. After almost 8 years in Florida, you’d think I’d be used to it by now. I’m not. Where’s my hot chocolate, dammit?
At last, in the spirit of the Griswalds, we found our perfect tree. You know, that one by the metal pole:
It’s a Blue Spruce and the guy told us it’s a good one for toddlers because if they touch it once, they probably won’t bother it again because the needles are so sharp. We should have taken a moment to realize that that also means it’s going to hurt Mom and Dad a lot, too.
After struggling to get it into the house, adjusted in its tree stand, lights strung and saving it from a near-topple, that bad boy has a new name in our house: the Cactus Tree. That Home Alone kid could have come up with some wicked booby traps with that thing. And, of course, the only person who seem immune to its razor-sharp defense system is E. She can’t get enough.
She got the honor of putting the star on top …
… and the first ornament on the tree: her new Tink ball.
Growing up, my mom always got my brother and me new ornaments each year. And one of the best things she did was try to tie it to what I was into that year. The year I turned 16, it was a car ornament. My senior year of high school, when I had decided to apply to Syracuse to study journalism, it was a newspaper. I love this tradition, so we’ve started the same thing for E. Last year, she got Dora and this year, given her love for all things pixie, she got Tink.
DadJovi and I also have our own tradition. Starting with our very first vacation together, way back in 2003 during our first trip to Key West, we started buying ornaments. It’s a great souvenir to get because they’re not all over the house and every year, we get to take all these trips down memory lane as we open up the ornaments. Here are a few from our travels:
From top to bottom, left to right, our ornaments are from: Key West; New Orleans; Bar Harbor, Maine; New York City; Costa Rica; Charleston, S.C.; Grand Caymen; Anna Maria Island; a Moravian Star from Bethlehem, Pa. (next to my hometown of Allentown); and San Francisco.
Great tradition, huh? Feel free to steal it. And now it’s time to turn down the lights and sing a new holiday classic: “O Cactus Tree, O Cactus Tree, Your needles are so unforgiving.”
Caroline Calcote says
Wow, long post! hehe. We deep fried a turkey once many years ago, and it was great! The worst part was getting rid of all that oil afterwards. It’s like a biohazard or something.
We go the artificial route with our tree since having kids (it’s just so much easier), but we put it up yesterday and the boys and I decorated today. I love their excitement at seeing all of their old ornaments (especially the ones with photos of our two dachshunds who are no longer with us). So sweet. And I hear you on the 80+ degrees! (I’m in St. Pete). PLEASE COLD FRONT! Come soon!
p.s. You MUST try the pumpkin-nutella bread. It is amazing 🙂
Ugh, we haven’t drained the pot yet. Been putting it off! I tried to get cheesecloth to strain it (apparently you can reuse the oil after straining it, right?) but I struck out at two places.
And I’m definitely trying that pumpkin bread on your site. I can taste it already!