I am a little late in publishing this post, but there is a perfectly reasonable explanation…I have been rereading Catching Fire and Mockingjay and for any of you who have already read those novels, you can understand my procrastination. But tonight I’m abstaining from reading until I get this post up!
We celebrated Thanksgiving with my husband’s family the Sunday before the actual big day, and for my first time solo-cooking/baking, everything turned out exceptionally well! Understandably, there were some dishes that weren’t a hit with everyone (pumpkin pie is a very American dish, after all), but there were also a couple that were nearly wiped clean! Here was our menu (for future Thanksgivings):
Turkey – I combined these two recipes (here & here), and although I was a little grossed out from handling raw turkey, the meat was perfectly moist and Matt has already told me I have to make it like that again next year. Putting the vegetables at the bottom of the tray made the entire kitchen smell like delicious turkey soup all morning :)
Mashed Potatoes – very simple recipe here. Mashed potatoes are one of the easiest things to make.
Browned Butter Sweet Potato Casserole – I made this recipe twice (we celebrated two different Thanksgiving meals last week). With my in-laws I didn’t brown the butter (mainly because I was pressed for time), and honestly I thought it tasted worlds better without that browned nutty-butter flavor, but it’s up to you. Everyone raved about the plainly melted butter version, so that is the one I’ll be sticking to for future Thanksgiving meals.
Green Bean Casserole – I take it back, this is the easiest thing to make since you don’t even need to follow a recipe. If you’ve ever had green bean casserole, it’s extremely simple to make yourself. We found fried onions at a Lidl here a few months back, and although they don’t have cream of mushroom soup here, they do have mushroom sauces, which probably made it taste better. This was the second favorite dish of the day, after the sweet potatoes.
Apple and Onion Stuffing – Recipe here. Originally I wanted to make these into muffins, but I only had paper muffins cups and no muffin tin so the muffins wouldn’t hold. I think I was the only one who really liked this dish (I loved it, actually), so next year I may have to make two different types of stuffing…oh darn ;)
Cranberry Sauce – Because we couldn’t find fresh cranberries here (not very French apparently), I found a recipe using dried cranberries instead. It wasn’t my absolute favorite, but it was still decent. Next year I may have to have my mom mail over the good old-fashioned canned cranberry sauce (seriously though, I love that stuff).
After stuffing ourselves with all that goodness, we moved on to a couple of activities! Thanksgiving Bingo, which was fun but next time I’ll have to find something that lasts longer than 2 minutes. It was a good vocabulary exercise for all the Frenchies though ;)
After that we played some “paper football” (I guess that’s what it’s called?). It was fun seeing everyone flick a paper triangle at each other’s faces! We had a little tournament, which neither Matt nor I won, despite the fact that no one else had ever played before. But I always love those types of competitive games :)
Overall we had a marvelous Thanksgiving celebration. I’m so grateful that I was able to share my favorite holiday with my French family! They were really open and welcoming of my traditions and hopefully they’ll want to celebrate with us again next year!
And now it’s Christmastime!! If I don’t end up procrastinating again, tomorrow I’ll be posting about all of the decorating we did last week :)