My favorite holidays, in order, are Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, and Thanksgiving. It may get third billing, but I really do love Thanksgiving! For most people it is a time when they gather with as much of their family as they can get under one roof. This used to be true for me as well. But on and off throughout the years, and now again (probably for good) it is when my family focuses on us. As families grow and change it has become far too complicated to plan family activities that are inclusive without being awkward.
Mine and the Mister’s parents are divorced, which means that we have at least four separate family groups. Add in Grandparents and cousins and it becomes a chaotic mess with people coming and going and stressing and fretting. We try to shelter our lives from this hustle and bustle. We are introverts, we try to avoid “busy-ness” at all costs. It is important that we try to put meaning and thought into the choices we make, and one of those choices is not rushing around for the sake of it.
I will admit this has not been a popular decision with some members of our extended family, but I am confident that it is what is right for us. We are able to take the time together and do what we enjoy. One of the things my little family enjoys is food! Preparing and eating it. We spent Thanksgiving in the kitchen together, all three of us. The Mister and I are trying to introduce Sean to the culinary world as much as we can while he is young, so that when he is older he will know how to cook for himself and his family.
The Mister and I have always loved to cook together, Thanksgiving is when we really pull out all the stops and create a lovely feast for us to enjoy together. This year was one of the finest we have crafted together. The baking began two days in advance when I whipped up a loaf of bread to use for homemade stuffing. On Thursday, I started the day with my mother’s famous “Houston Sweet Rolls” I have loved these rolls since I was little. I make them every chance I get, and always on Thanksgiving.
I then moved on to the aforementioned stuffing, homemade green bean casserole (none of that can-of-mushroom crap in this house), and some creamy corn. The Mister tackled the turkey along with some mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, and butternut squash. This was truly a feast and our fridge was full for days after.
The best part was how well everything came together. My OCD kicked in a bit beforehand and I had about seven lists, but it worked! Plus everything was delicious! It was a very busy day, pretty non-stop from when Paddy woke up, to when we ate around 6, but so worth it!
To continue with the overload I made honey cakes for breakfast on Friday, homemade soft pretzels for a snack that evening, and apple pie bread on Sunday. Everything was made at home from scratch with love, and it was delicious!
Making a feast like this for my own family created so much less stress than trying to help with someone else’s dinner. No time crunch (my family always ate at 1pm), no judgement, and I know what my boys like and do not like. Thanksgiving was restful and enjoyable. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.