Friday, November 28, 2014

Hope it was a Happy Thansgiving



I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving shared with family and friends. We headed out to a cousin's little ranch with some sheep, chickens, one horse, 2 cats and a dog. Nothing like eating good homemade Thanksgiving classics made by the people who raised the food themselves. This time of year is beautiful in the Phoenix area, and we were able to eat outside under a long covered porch. Our two little girls just played and played for hours outside. It was just the type of day I had hoped for.

Mashed potatoes in process (with the compost bowl in background)

We were responsible for the mashed potatoes and the sweet potatoes. This year I tried cooking the potatoes with the skins on, and then used the ricer to help remove the last of the skins. It took a while to rice 10 pounds of potatoes, but I think it was worth it. Making large quantities of mashed potatoes is a workout! I thought that it's a good thing I'm hauling around a 30 pound toddler all the time, or I might have gotten worn out.  I used this recipe for the potatoes and this one for the sweet potatoes (but I cut out the brown sugar and subbed pecans for the walnuts. I love the combo of the orange zest and sweet potatoes).

We are extending our celebration to today, and cooking a turkey and making more sides and having another family over for dinner. They have two boys roughly the same age as our girls. It will be interesting to see how it goes. Today we are making turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry relish, green beans, brussels sprouts and more sweet potatoes. I love all of this food, and I'm looking forward to another feast today.

These celebrations always remind me of those who aren't here to celebrate with us. My dad always made the mashed potatoes and cranberry relish for Thanksgiving, so I've made sure to make them each year in his honor. This is my third Thanksgiving doing it solo. Hard to believe that that much time has passed, but it's amazing how doing the ricing, the mashing, the chopping - those physical movements - bring back strong memories of past Thanksgivings and help keep him close. That's the reason we have traditions.

I better get cooking.... Enjoy those leftovers!


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