Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving -- Hip Hip, Hooray!

Today we are off to Dan's sister's house so we don't have a crazy hectic morning tomorrow, what with the 5K and all. I volunteered (or was asked?) to bring pies and rolls, so I've been preparing since Monday.

I made two different kinds of rolls on Monday. First I made potato rolls, melt-in-your-mouth delicious and a reminder of the Fredonia establishment The Upper Crust. Later in the day I made oatmeal rolls, complete with some white whole wheat flour (love that King Arthur brand!).

Yesterday I made pie crusts and put them in the fridge, and this morning I finished up the pies. Chocolate pecan pie and apple with a crumb top. My motto is that cooking/baking ALWAYS takes longer than you think it will. And I was right. The kitchen looked like a war zone even with that step out of the way, and I spent all morning making the fillings for 2 pies.

Now they are cooling on the counter (and the kitchen is cleaned up), so I have some time to reflect on the past few Thanksgivings.

In 2007, our first "married" Thanksgiving, we went to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving #1 and then to Fredonia for leftover Thanksgiving #2.

In 2008, the first year we were in Wisconsin, my parents and my sister made the long drive out to Williams Bay, and we celebrated with my Aunt Faith and cousin Frankie, too. That was the first Thanksgiving I was somewhat in charge of, although my parents brought a turkey, stuffing made and frozen, and some other Thanksgiving essentials (including recipes, which I now have safely tucked away). I made cornbread stuffing (I think?), Dan made mashed potatoes, and I also made the most amazing crescent rolls, if I do say so myself. It was also the first year we tried Chocolate Pecan Pie, and I fell in love.

In 2009, we did a pre-Thanksgiving celebration at Halloween with Dan's family because my student-teaching break far too short to drive all the way to PA. It was fun to have Thanksgiving with everyone and then go trick-or-treating. I loved it.

Then, for the REAL Thanksgiving, Andrew & Shelley drove out to WI to celebrate with us! They got totally lost in Ohio, but made it out to Williams Bay. It was my first Thankgiving without any parents, so I was (overly) prepared. I made a list of the menu, complete with what dishes the finished food would go in. As I was student teaching, I had to go to school on the day before Thanksgiving, and Shelley and Dan did most of the prep work for the big meal. It was like having a sous-chef.

On the day of Thanksgiving, we were joined by our friends Ryan & Virginia (and her amazing sweet potato casserole) and Jay. It was awesome -- I absolutely loved everything about this Thanksgiving, and apparently had so much fun that I didn't take a single picture. Of course we missed the family members who weren't there, but it was great to have friends and family to share the day with.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. You spend lots of time making delicious foods, which are laced with memories of years gone-by. You get to sit around eating and talking and laughing with family and/or friends. And then you can relax for a few hours, only to get out the leftovers to enjoy them again. So excited for the memories that this Thanksgiving will create.

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