Thanksgiving is always the hardest holiday for me to be away from family.
I guess it's because I feel like the whole celebration involves being with a lot of people and eating a lot of food. And cooking a big feast of foods our kids don't like just for just our family doesn't seem worth it to me.
We've had a variety of celebrations in the past, but we have generally at least gotten together with some friends. I wasn't sure what Thanksgiving would look like this year since we aren't gathering much with friends these days (Thanks, COVID). We even toyed with bagging a traditional celebration and staying at a cabin in the woods!
My sister, Breanne, decided to move out of Philadelphia and she stopped in Memphis to stay with us for a few days on her way back west! And her stay happened to be over Thanksgiving.
Suddenly, even with just one extra person, everything seemed more festive and I felt so happy about our little celebration.
Thanks for coming, Breanne!
I made the poor decision to make all the food on Thanksgiving Day, including the pies, which made for some serious hustling in the kitchen, but we were ready to eat by a little after 2:00!
I made a quick stop at the store in the morning while Sam read to the older boys and Breanne took Maxwell and Benson on a walk. I obviously didn't see Maxwell before he left--his unzipped sweater and shorts combo make for quite the fashion statement.
Sam and Breanne continued to keep the kids quite entertained and happy while I worked away in the kitchen and decorated the table for our feast.
We aren't huge meat eaters, and especially not turkey eaters, so I knew an entire turkey would be overkill for just our family. When I happened upon a recipe for a bacon-wrapped turkey roulade a few days before Thanksgiving, I decided we would take that route! I just used a turkey breast, and I stuffed it with pesto before rolling it up.
Our feast included:
-bacon-wrapped pesto-stuffed turkey roulade
-mashed potatoes and gravy
-roasted sweet potatoes with pistachio-cilantro pesto
-roasted green beans with cashew-honey sauce
-rolls (I went with frozen ones this year)
-pineapple and raspberries
-crumb-topped apple pie with vanilla ice cream
-pumpkin chocolate layered cheesecake
-creamy lemon pie
After dinner was finished and mostly cleaned up, we played a new game Breanne bought the night before: "Poetry for Neanderthals." It was hilarious and quite fun--especially once the kids started to get the hang of it! You have to describe a word using only one-syllable words, and if you slip and say a word with more than one syllable, someone gets to hit you on the head with an inflatable club. Needless to say, we got giggling pretty hard a few times.
After the game, we appreciated a few of Elsie's expressive faces...especially her smiles!
And then we set up our projector and watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving, complete with lots of popcorn. After it was over, none of us felt quite ready to be done, so we searched around for another Thanksgiving movie and ended up watching Arthur's Thanksgiving.
The boys had wanted to set up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving to make it extra festive and welcoming for Aunt Breanne, and I was a big fan of having it up for our feast! It may become a yearly tradition to put it up right before Thanksgiving.
And of course, after the boys were in bed we had more pie.
Such a happy day!