Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday.
I love that there are no presents.
I love that it is all about being with family.
I love the food.
I love the colors.
I love feeling thankful.
I love that my first born is a Thanksgiving baby.
I love to host the holiday in our home.
This year I ordered a 28 pound turkey as I'm a Jewish mother and feared the 15 guests would leave hungry. I also love leftovers and isn't bigger always better?
Not until I was leaving Paulina Market juggling my 28 pound fresh turkey and my 23 pound child acting like a turkey, I knew my first error was the size. I was anxious to brine the turkey for the first year and needed to get the bird in brine as soon as possible, allowing it to soak for a minimum of 12 hours. I couldn't wait for my better (and stronger) half to get home. I figured me and my almost six year old could handle it together.
I was wrong again. First, I asked him to hold the large brine bag as I poured the previously made brine into it. My boy screamed, "I'm going to barf" and proceeded to let go of the bag as water, apple cider, herbs and salts spread throughout my just cleaned kitchen. After I mopped up the mess and calmed my boy, who was convinced he ruined our Thanksgiving, I finally got the bird in the bag.
Once in I had to get the 28 pounds of turkey plus 2 gallons of liquid into the fridge. This is where the irony comes in. That same day I went to a pre-Thanksgiving yoga class and easily moved in and out of backbends and headstands with little pain. I lift a turkey and pull out my back.
My husband comes home to find our turkey on the floor and me on the couch paralyzed with a heating pad. I fell asleep hoping Thanksgiving would flow more smoothly.
Thanksgiving morning arrives and after a 7 am grocery store run, I got the turkey in the oven, the tables set and even had time to watch the parade. I asked my husband to watch the turkey while I jumped in the shower. Just as I lathered up I heard the sound of the smoke alarm. Quickly I hurried out of the shower, grabbed my robe and found my kitchen smoking and my children panicking.
It was a chaotic few minutes until we heard the sirens. My first thought, when I knew everything was under control, was that I had to get a photo of this. A fire truck at our house hours before we are hosting 15 guests? The firefighters (there was a lady on the team) laughed at another turkey incident.
After we opened all the windows (thankful for a beautiful day) and turned on some fans, we got back into party mode and finished our final touches. The evening was relaxed, the food was delicious and everyone helped clean up.
Despite the drama, I am already excited for next year. In the meantime, I need to find a recipe to use up all my turkey? What are you doing with your leftovers?