If you guys follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have noticed that Babyface and I are housing the whole lot of his family this week! We’re so excited to have the Canadian contingent spend some time with us, and it’s awesome that they were all able to be here to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with us here yesterday.
We always try to do something for Canadian Thanksgiving (like last year)—it’s important to both Babyface and I to celebrate both of our great countries in this house—but this time it was extra special for us all (Canadians and hono(u)rary Canadians) to be together under the same roof.
Prep actually started a few days back (more on my prep schedule and other ways to cook a
stress-free stress-reduced Thanksgiving dinner coming up in a separate post), but the real star of the show had to go into the oven bright and early at 7am yesterday morning. So I was up before the sun with my hand stuck in a turkey’s various orifices. That’s love, my friends.
Once Mr. Turkey was nice and settled into his toasty home for the next 4-5 hours, I tackled my favorite task of any holiday—setting the table! I love setting the table and making it pretty, and it’s always nice to get it out-of-the-way early in the morning before things get chaotic. This year, I went pretty simple with a burlap runner, flowers from our back yard, solid placemats and napkins, and my great-grandmother’s china. I thought it ended up being a pretty nice looking table.
I don’t know how it is in your family, but in ours, the dessert table isn’t just reserved for after dinner. Desserts are like appetizers! So I set out the whole selection (brownies, pumpkin spice cream cheese cake balls, chocolate chip cookies, persimmon pudding, pumpkin pies) along with some real appetizers (apples, pumpkin dip, roasted nuts, and deviled eggs) and let everyone pick and nibble all morning long.
I had finished quite a few dishes ahead of time (and pawned a few off to my Mama to help with) so my day-of cooking list was actually pretty short. I just whipped up some chicken ‘n’ dumplings (standard in my family growing up and something I’ve turned Babyface’s family onto) and finished heating up and assembling everything else once Mr. Bird was done. In the grand scheme of holiday cooking, it was a pretty chill day. I’m starting to really rack up the number of turkey dinners I’ve cooked and using tried-and-true recipes and taking seriously detailed notes each year has really helped make it run smoothly.
Having kitchen helpers also makes it easier.
Soon enough, dinner was served!
I think everyone really enjoyed the food. If you’ve ever cooked Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd, you know that it’s really hard for you, yourself to enjoy it. By the time dinner is served, it’s just so nice to sit down and not have to juggle any more recipes that the food doesn’t even really register. But no worries, the leftovers will register. I’ll be swimming in leftover HappyLand for days. A turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce has my name on it for lunch today.
We ate dinner early in the afternoon, which gave us time to head out and burn off some of those carbs. It was a really chilly morning, but it ended up being an absolutely gorgeous day outside. The games started off with slingshotting black walnuts into the lake and ended with a little bit of shooting around the hoop—Indiana style, yo. I’m a little ashamed to type this, but the Indiana girl got her ass handed to her in a game of
HORSE PIG by all the Canadians. Shame. SHAAAAME.
Although I did totally school Babyface in a game of one-on-one.
Once we’d worked off at least a slice of pumpkin pie, we headed back up to the house and lit up the bonfire. It’s been so chilly at night the past few days, but it’s been really nice with our fire ring and some expert fire-building. I snuggled up to the flames with a cup of Echinacea tea. Babyface has had a cold for the past few days and I’m just starting to feel the tickles of a sore throat. Not. Allowed. Santa says so.
After my tea, it was early-to-bed for me (well, after a plank, of course). All that cooking wears a girl out, but it was totally worth it to have such a special holiday with my Canadian family. I get asked a lot (by Americans) if it’s weird to celebrate Thanksgiving in October, but I honestly love having this holiday now. The weather is always gorgeous, the trees are always beautiful and it’s a nice time separation from Christmas. It really gives you a chance to enjoy the holiday and embrace the reason for it without it being overshadowed by Christmas. A lot of times I think thankfulness is an afterthought to Thanksgiving, but today, I had a marquee list of things I’m thankful for running through my head all-day-long.
I am thankful for so many things. Too many to list here. So here is just a big blanket “Thanks!” to the universe for blessing me with such a special, happy, and love-filled life. I’m so fortunate.
If you celebrated yesterday, I hope you had an amazing, wonderful, delicious holiday! And if you didn’t…uh…happy Tuesday!
Canadian or not, we can all use a dose of gratitude. What are you thankful for today?