This year, due to circumstances beyond our control, my daughter and I were unable to be with her Daddy for Thanksgiving, so instead we did something I haven't done in a long, long time...we went to my parents' house for the holiday. We weren't alone, my brother Jim and his family, my brother Rick and his wife, and my brother Brian and his girlfriend were all there as well. And though it was an exhausting, busy day (heck, week!), it was also a lot of fun, and very filling!
Another reason to love Thanksgiving is the food. The Thanksgiving meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and more is one that I look forward to each year. It is a lot of work, and worth every second when things go as they should! Now, as I mentioned before, I am a gravy loving girl, so the gravy is a hugely important part of the meal for me! So, I want to do it right. I went to my butcher (Iowa Meat Farms), and got my hands on some turkey necks and wings, which were added to a stock pot with some onion, celery, and carrots to make our turkey stock. Everything was roasted before simmering, for extra flavor, and I used chicken broth instead of water, so the flavor was rich and heady.
My sister in law, Carrie, made a mashed butternut squash dish which was similar in texture to mashed potatoes, and decadent with melted butter and fresh ground pepper. Mashed yukon gold potatoes were also given a butter and black pepper treatment before being served.
And then, there are the pies. We had a total of 7 pies! I know it sounds like a lot, but believe me, everyone wants pie to take home, so it's not too much. Pumpkin and apple, traditional choices, were just the tip of the iceberg! Cherry was next on the list, being a favorite of both mine and my brothers. And this year was a special treat because this was the first time my daughter made a pie. She did everything herself, with the sole exception of the crust, which we got at Trader Joe's (very good, by the way!). She made an apple crumb pie, but added a secret ingredient: fresh pomegranate juice! It added a tart-sweet flavor that was such a great contrast to the crumb topping! It was equally good, hot and cold- I should know! I tried it both ways :)
Here's hoping you all had an amazing, delicious Thanksgiving and that you had a lot to be thankful for on this special day.