Monday, November 22, 2010

Gobble, gobble

Turkey Day!  It's almost here!  My very favorite holiday EVER!  Well, not including my birthday, which while not a national holiday, is certainly a day worth noting.

So!  We! Are! Hosting!  I've hosted three or four times, but not for a few years now.  We're having 10 adults and three children, including Nelson and our boys.  About half family and half friends.  A good crowd, but not huge.

There are Things to Do to prepare for Thanksgiving and associated company.  The first thing to do is prepare the menu.  Done.  We are traditionalists in the Oscarelli household, and I also don't believe in overcooking.  I try to take it easy on myself, so I also always say "yes" if a guest offers to bring something along.  Here's what we are having:

Veggies, cheese, and crackers (provided by a guest)
Glazed ham
These mashed potatoes, though I don't bake them (I've made them before and they are delish.)
Stuffing (or dressing if you prefer), my mom's recipe
Candied sweet potatoes (I don't do marshmallows on top of mine.)
Fresh green bean casserole
Rolls (provided by a guest)
Corn pudding
Homemade cranberry sauce (and some canned for my Mom)
Green salad (provided by a guest)
Apple pie (provided by a guest)
Pecan pie (provided by a guest)
Pumpkin pie

We like also like our Thanksgiving startchy.

I'll put together the corn pudding and the green bean casserole on Wednesday, and I'll do the cranberry sauce then as well.  Wednesday will also be the day I make the candied sweet potatoes pumpkin pie.  I'll also prepare the stuffing, because I stuff the bird (I know, I know.  I keep some out for the kids and those not willing to take a culinary gamble.) and it has to be cool before you cram it into the turkey's behind.

On Turkey Day, I'll get up early, stuff the bird, and toss her in the oven.  I got a 16 and 1/2 pound bird so it should take around 4-ish hours to cook, so I'll put it in around 9:00AM.  I cook the turkey with a digital thermometer inserted in it, so I can monitor the the internal temp and I baste every 45 minutes or so.  I don't do anything fancy to the bird; I butter it, salt it, stuff it, roast it.

When the turkey is done, I'll put the ham in for about an hour to heat through an I'll start the mashed potatoes.  When the ham is heated through, I'll put the corn pudding, green beans, and extra stuffing in to cook and at the very end I'll nuke the sweet potatoes so I can serve them warm, and my sister will make the gravy while Nelson carves the turkey.  We should eat by three, if all goes according to plan.

So that's dinner.  There's also house prep, which we've already begun.  I've already washed all our curtains and re-hung most of them.  I also went through and de-toyed our living room a bit in preparation for Christmas, and so we have a little more space in our living room.  I need to do more of that, maybe tonight.  Tonight, I'll also wash our chair covers, Nelson will finish up some touch up painting , and hopefully we will hang some photos that have been sitting in frames begging to be put on the wall for over a year now.

I've been a cleaning fool.  I scoured the kitchen this morning; will do the dusting tomorrow; Nelson will clean the bathroom and wash the walls (crayon/markers) on Wednesday (he took off) while I cook; we'll do a final vacuum of the floors on Thursday morning.  Oh, and I really need to get a white curtain for downstairs hallway, but I don't know when that's going to happen.  Wednesday morning?

On top of all this, I've promised Oscar we'll do a special craft tomorrow, and I've set up a playgroup for 10AM. And then there's regular housework, dishes, laundry, three meals a day M-W.

Phew, right?

I am dangerously tempted, DANGEROUSLY TEMPTED, to get a few newer photos printed out, put into frames, and hung on the walls before Thursday.  Our most recent printed and framed photos are from Mother's Day a year ago.  Abysmal, I know.  And, we have some really good photos from this spring and fall that I really want to have done.  But, I'm trying to rein it in because there is a lot to do and I don't want to make things difficult for myself.  I mean, of course I really DO want to make things difficult for myself because that's just who I am, but I am resisting!  Encourage me to resist!

Alright, chickens, what's cooking?  Tell me, tell me, tell me!


Michele said...

I am always dangerously tempted to do/plan too much before a holiday also. I'm not sure how to get over that affliction.

Aliceson said...

First off, YUMM! All of that sounds delicious! And I'm impressed that your pre-Thanksgiving cleaning involves washing your curtains. You are one ambitious woman!

We're doing Thanksgiving here on Thursday with my husband's parents, brother and brother's gf. I had planned on spending all weekend and a better part of this week cleaning and prepping and brining my bird (a local, free range chicken) but my husband decided that yesterday would be a good day to start a heating project in our house that requires him to cut huge holes in the plaster walls and ceilings spreading the dusty mess throughout the house. Yippee! Not to mention (although I AM) the stack of duct work and sheet metal supplies taking over our entire back porch that was also on my list to clean and tidy this week. Aaaaack!

VandyJ said...

WE are going nontraditional for the holiday. Turbo and one set of grandparents are gone so we are having prime rib and lobster. Just the three of us. We already did the turkey thing at the beginning of November with all the family.

Denny P 3 said...

I say, never resist the urge to do things! You only live each moment once and if you want to do something, do it! Have a great and wonderful holiday. Try to get some relaxing in with that family as well.

Strawberry said...

Rock on! You are a brave woman. Sometimes I'm really happy we live in a small house so we're never expected to host these things! Nutella is making a cranberry-caramel-almond tart for when we go to her family's place for dinner.

I totally hear you about updating the wall pictures. I hate when they get too out-of-date.

Anonymous said...

I plan stuff like this to death, too. Just part of my nature, I guess.

Mmmmm...corn pudding. No, I'm not going to ask for the recipe. Nope. (Would you?)


Heidi said...

I'm cooking the traditional meal even though only 2/5 of us will eat anything but the cranberry sauce and rolls. My oldest is determined to have a turkey leg - THAT ought to be interesting. I'll post photos on my blog; you can find the recipe for cardamom bread there (what I'm using for rolls.) Happy Turkey Day!

Amanda said...

Okay now I'm STARVING! It all sounds amazing. We've already had our Thanksgiving here in the Great White North, so I'll have to wait till Christmas to justify another massive binge. Can't wait!

Becky said...

I am glad to see you're having turkey AND ham both AS GOD AND THE FOREFATHERS INTENDED. And everything else looks delish!

I have hosted before but it has been a few years. This year I only have to cook the cornbread dressing, and I've had to email my mother in Australia to remind me how she does it. This stuff is hard for me.

Have a wonderful time!

Patty O. said...

Resist! Resist!

I do the same thing--try to squeeze too much in while my husband looks on in horror as I melt down. What makes us do that?

FoN said...

What is corn pudding? I've never heard of that. Although I really like corn and pudding, so I would imagine I'd enjoy it.

I married a Romanian, so now all our 'traditional' dinners come with perogies and cabbage rolls. Do American's eat those? They're huge here. And OHMYGOD good.