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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

What a wonderful 5 day weekend! It is going to be hard to go back to work after all the fun and relaxation. Luckily I have a cookie exchange party on Friday to look forward to this week.

I took Wednesday off this year, this is the first year I've taken the day before Thanksgiving off - and I'm very glad I used the vacation day. While it was gloomy here on Wednesday, it gave me an opportunity to get some needed chores done - things that can only be done on weekdays - like a trip to the DMV. Plus, I'd barely slept because of the terrible rain storm. It was a nice way to ease into the weekend, and I spent Wednesday night at an extended Zumba session, pushing myself as hard as I could.

Thursday morning I woke up early from the noise of a storm. After the driest fall I can remember, we were on our third day of nothing but rainstorms. I spent some time on the internet, and then got out of bed and headed into our living room around 8 am. We don't watch TV normally. We have an old TV, and a box for the digital conversion. We turn on the TV about 3 times a year. But the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade warranted 15 minutes of fiddling to get the TV on. Even though the parade didn't start until 9, I enjoyed some of the Today show before the parade.

I have always loved the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. The floats, the musical interludes (like the Rockettes!) and Al Roker. As a child I wanted to go to the parade "some year". Now, I have no desire to go to the parade (unless I get some sort of VIP seat). Otherwise, I'm happy to watch it on my TV. While watching the parade I sat at our kitchen table (the nice part about having a combined living room/dining room) and began peeling veggies. My father has always hosted Thanksgiving, so growing up this was always been a part of watching the parade - peeling veggies (or chopping up dry bread for stuffing, or washing cooking items we'll need to use again in the minute). I remember the first year I was living on my own for Thanksgiving - I wasn't even bringing a dish then - so I joyfully watched the parade and did nothing else. Now, as an adult I have to bring a dish so that there is enough for the 25-40 people who show up to eat!

This year I decided to make roasted root vegetables. This dish is healthy, a very fall dish, and manages to disguise vegetables without the use of velveeta cheese or cream of mushroom soup - something that is missing from most of my family's traditional Thanksgiving dishes. I peeled and chopped 6 pounds of sweet potatoes, 4 pounds of parsnips, and picked 2 pounds of grapes off of their little stems. I also chopped a red onion, six garlic cloves, about 3 tablespoons of fresh sage, and threw in the olive oil, salt, and pepper. I then spread it out in a variety of baking dishes, a pampered chef baker, a le creuset baker, and a brownie pan from USA pans. The best roaster was the metal brownie pan, and the worst was the pampered chef baker. I was surprised by these results, but made the mental notes for next year.

After roasting we loaded up the car and headed to my family's Thanksgiving. It was wonderful! We had a smaller crowd this year, only about 25 people, but the food was excellent. My vegetables were tried by almost everyone, and several people sitting near me complimented them without realizing they were mine. Success!

After a few hours of my family, we headed over to my husband's family's Thanksgiving. By this time it had snowed in St. Louis, and everything was pretty in a light dusting of snow. I had no appetite, but they had these amazing roles there with all sorts of grain on them, so I ate two of those!

Then we headed home, and I made my Black Friday plans. I had trouble sleeping that night, but figured I could get a nap in sometime on Friday..

Friday the alarm went off at 6:31 and I was out of the door - to a frosted over car. :( After scraping, I was on my way to World Market. I was able to scoop up two of the color your own playhouses at 50% off. I then met up with my friend Meredith, and we quickly hit Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Kmart for doorbusters. Meredith was the really trooper, having started her shopping at 5am. We spent the bulk of our time shopping at JCPenny, where I picked up a ton of clothes, and then Famous Brand shoes - where I got some awesome boots! (and shoes for Mr. Hobby). Pleased with my shopping successess, I returned home. Later that night I had Chinese Food with my in-laws and sibling-in-laws, and then we went to a Korean Karaoke bar, as a big, out-of-tune family.

Saturday, I woke up to notice that on some of the blogs I follow, they've posted their crostata. I was having so much fun I didn't realize it was Nov. 27! So I made my post, then headed for some more shopping. This time it was Target for some serious coupon shopping. I scored some excellent deals with my coupons! Then, it was time to have our friends over for a mac 'n cheese cook-off, that I will post about soon!

Today, I have to study for my Spanish class. But the good news is that I only have 3 weeks left of the class! Then, I go from my Spanish class that isn't working for me, to the Mr. Hobby school of Spanish.

I'm looking forward to December, and it has been a great Thanksgiving 2010!

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