Philly Fall in Review: Day 5

Well, my intentions were good. I intended to end the month of November with a five-day recap of our October and November. It may not have been five days in a row, but it is still the final day of the five-day series. (If you missed it, you can catch up here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4). And Day 5: Thanksgiving.

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m not the chef in the family. I know the basics of cooking and can follow a recipe, but it’s not my most favorite thing to do. I like to make an occasional meal or dish every once in a while, but to me, preparing daily meals is a chore. Sometimes I wonder what I used to eat back in my single days. I was waiting tables then, and I really think I just ate a lot of my meals at the restaurants where I worked. I made a lot of pasta and eggs and quesadillas and ate a lot of cereal and sandwiches.

We’ve hosted a small Thanksgiving gathering at our house the last three years. Two years ago, Tim made a bourbon-glazed ham. Last year he made pork tenderloin. This year, My sister flew in from L.A. for the long weekend, and we hosted Tim’s brother and his wife for the holiday meal, so Tim decided to be more ambitious and roast a 14-pound turkey.

He followed a recipe from Cook’s Country magazine, and it was very moist and delicious. Ben and Adrienne brought craft beers to sample and made an amazing brussel spout dish – I don’t even like brussel spouts and this dish was awesome. It probably had something to do with the bacon and the amount of butter used, but I definitely want to get the recipe. Tim also made his mom’s sweet potato casserole. It was covered in brown sugar, and was so sweet it was almost a dessert.

I took care of the signature cocktail of the evening. It was Smirnoff Kissed Caramel mixed into fresh apple cider (served either hot or cold). We had never tried caramel vodka before, and I must admit, I was surprised by how flavorful it was. I could just breathe in the aroma all day; pure caramely goodness.

I also made a bourbon sabayon and folded it into homemade whipped cream to top the pumpkin pie we purchased from Manna: Pie in the Sky. In the past we’ve ordered pecan pie from Manna, but the pumpkin was great. Plus, by supporting Manna we’re doing a good deed; each Manna pie purchased buys seven meals for families in need.

Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays. I enjoy watching parades, spending time with family or friends, and enjoying a homemade meal that took days to plan. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, to feel sorry for ourselves for this or that, and to wish for things that are still down the road, but Thanksgiving is one day where we can all take the time to pause and remember how blessed we are.

The family before digging in.

The bird.

It isn’t often that Adelaide and her two aunts are in the same place at the same time. (Also, notice Adelaide carrying around paper and pen.)

Adelaide showing off her first day of wearing real piggy tails.

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