It's wonderful to know that no matter where you are, Thanksgiving is pretty awesome. I went to a meeting tonight and we all gabbed about what we did for the holiday. One woman hosted in her home. Another hosted in her home WITH two other families, and every year they pore over past issues of the Bon Appetit magazines to try new recipes to round out their dinner. Three different baked bries, a Clementine and citrus salt rubbed turkey, and streuseled sweet potatoes with a lemon gingersnap cheesecake. Yes, of course I remember all the food. And I wasn't even there. Another woman went to her parents' house for all the usual, another goes out to eat Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant every year with her family, then drive down to visit a local dam and drive back. (And for Christmas, they go to Cabo - EVERY YEAR!! I started considering family restructuring...)
This was the second Thanksgiving I spent in the South. The first was on my mission in Georgia, and I can remember the members who invited us over (I made an apple pie) for dinner, but mostly I remember the Turkey Bowl we played with the ward members that morning. I was new to the area, so it was a little surprising when, during a game of flag football, I lunged for the flags of the 17 yr-old Bishop's son and ended up ripping his pants off. Not just the drawstring coming undone - actually ripping them off his body. It was pretty embarrassing for both of us, and I gained a reputation really fast.
This second Southern Thanksgiving wasn't as naked. Ted's parents flew out from Utah to join us for a week, and during that week, we drove up to Virginia with 3 desserts and a big batch of Apples & Yams (though a couple nights before, we learned from the Food Lover's Companion - thank you, Christy - that they're actually sweet potatoes and that most yams are improperly named). For the fourth time in two months, I made the pie pictured above - Chocolate Butterscotch Pecan. I can't get enough of it. Literally. Every time I make it, it's for some sort of function or party, so I get maybe a sliver or one bite and then pine for more until I make it again. I think I'm sated now, at least for another month.
Ted's aunt put on a huge spread, which is pretty typical of a Thanksgiving "Feast", but everything tasted so GOOD, too! Lemon & Chive Carrots, Garlic & Sour Cream Potatoes, Herbed Turkey with homemade cranberry sauce, Grandma's homemade rolls, Frosted Pecans, Zucchini Bread, Cranberry & Orange Pull-apart, Stuffing, Green Beans, and the Rasmussen special - a Shrimp Cocktail to start things off. In addition to my three desserts, she had made a divine Key Lime Cheesecake and Pumpkin Pie, so once the whipped cream was whip-it-good, we gorged all over on those, including my Apple Cream Cheese Torte and Caramelized Cranberry Tart.
Excuse my drool.
I could make an extremely long list of things I'm thankful for, and it still wouldn't be exhaustive, so I'm going to focus on the six things I've been especially grateful for (and that I've been thinking about at a near-constant rate).
1. I'm grateful for my husband of two and a half years. He cleans up after my messes, all while being as studious and patient as any man could be. Plus, he's a most sweet and wonderful father to #6.
2. I'm grateful that I lucked out in the in-law department. Not all folks can say that (but my husband sure can - and he better.)
3. I'm grateful for Chocolate-covered Peanut Brittle. Yeah, you heard me. Williamsburg hooking me UP.
4. I'm grateful that Christ allows me to screw up and start afresh way more often than I would ever let my own kids. That's why He's perfect and I'm, well, less than.
5. I'm grateful for my mom's unwavering dedication to the greater good. It's hard, it's often a huge sacrifice, but her example is something I've looked to countless times.
6. I'm grateful for this little morsel who I get to hug and slobber over every day. Tessa, you are the frosting to my cupcake, the peanut butter to my chocolate (ha! you thought I was going to say "jelly", didn't you? No comparison), the pride to my joy, and soon, the Merry in my Christmas. I love you, my little pumpkin pie.