Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. In college, Cinco de Mayo came in a notoriously close second, thanks to the sombreros, Mexican beer, bright colors, and all-around good fun. Yet, even all of that combined cannot compare to Thanksgiving. I absolutely love the food, especially my mom’s menu growing up: turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cream spinach, corn, white salad, cranberry, etc. Then there’s the football, and being from Dallas, you can always count on the Cowboys game. With football comes beer, something I grew to appreciate on Thanksgiving more and more after attending college. Add colorful leaves outside, sweatshirts, and the especially tired feeling you get after the food has been devoured, and you have the most wonderful holiday EVER.
I will say, my mother spoiled us all, because she would do all of the cooking (she’s amazing), and Melissa and I would watch football with our Dad and our beer. Then, magically, all at the same time, the hot food would be set out and ready to serve. Unfortunately, this means that I will be cooking my very first Thanksgiving dinner, on my own, here in Dublin, where turkey is not popular and I’ve never practiced. Plus, Matt invited coworkers over, so I’m now on center stage. Yikes!
European refrigerators are rather small, so ours is currently packed - check out the turkey!
In preparation for the best holiday, I decided to do a few things the night before while Matt cleaned the apartment. It was my mother’s advice to do this, as it would eliminate much of the work the next day when I had bigger things to worry about – like an 18 pound turkey! So, tonight, I made the cream spinach, browned the meat for the queso dip appetizer, cleaned all of my dishes, and made my chicken stock. You might be wondering why I didn’t just buy that pre-made, but chicken stock is just another thing that I’ve learned does not come easily here. Our main grocery stores close by do not carry pre-made chicken stock – I’ve only seen vegetable and beef – so we make ours from scratch. Easy, but not something I wanted to worry about the day of.
At this very moment, everything is secure in the refrigerator. In the morning, I’ll make the white salad and stick it in the fridge to cool all day. At around 2, I’ll get my mom and Aunt Jen on video chat to walk me through the turkey preparations. And then from there, it’ll just be about timing. Wish me luck! I’m hoping to emulate the amazing Thanksgivings of my past and give Matt his first proper Thanksgiving since his relocation here over a year ago. Trust me, you’ll hear all about it the next day!
“I give thanks to the Indians and Pilgrams for creating this most wonderful and gluttonous holiday!” ~ Me
Mmmmmm...cream spinach casserole ready to go!