Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

This year we hosted our own Thanksgiving dinner. I was much more optimistic about it earlier in the week before the colds hit us hard, but I medicated and stayed on my feet all day, so that I wouldn't be tempted to slow down, and everything turned out pretty well. Thanksgiving is the one holiday that we celebrate after you do--we don't get Thursday off, so we celebrate on Friday.

Thankfully, Costco has continued to carry artichoke hearts, so I was able to make my favorite artichoke dip after Eric managed to find sour cream on the third try. We also had baked brie with persimmon sauce and pomegranates.

Mashed potatoes are easy enough. I tried a new recipe for sweet potato casserole that turned out to be the favorite amongst our guests. I'll admit it was pretty good! We even managed a green bean casserole with ingredients from one of the foreign food marts.

Our turkey was ridiculously expensive, so it was a good thing I didn't mess it up. In fact, it tasted pretty good, as well. The only disappointment was the lack of real stuffing. This was the first year that I hadn't brought back a bag, so we were stuck with Stove Top--it was better than nothing, I suppose.

I refused to bake dessert, so I sent Eric to Costco to pick up a pumpkin pie. He came home with cheesecake--Korean cheesecake. I wasn't going to have this elaborate meal end with bad cheesecake, though, so I candied some walnuts (turns out pecans are hard to find when you don't know what you're looking for) and melted some caramel to drizzle over the top.

We had a couple of new teachers over for dinner--they're actually the two youngest staff members--so they were thankful for a home-cooked meal. I'm sure that it wasn't exactly as their moms would have made it, but they seemed grateful. It was fun to see the shock on their faces with every item we pulled out. I remember feeling the same wonder our first year--where did these people get this food?!

On Saturday, after cleaning the house (again) and finishing the dishes from the night before (we were just too exhausted from our illnesses to do them before bed), we put up the Christmas tree.

The kids did almost the entire thing by themselves while I drank a homemade caramel sauce latte. Yum.

I put the lights on for them and then they hung all of the decorations.

I still haven't had the energy to move some of the ornaments to the top half of the tree.

Afterwards, we introduced them to A Christmas Story for the first time while we drank hot chocolate.

And then it was time for bed--which is where I'm headed right now. In spite of feeling miserable with this cold, it was a nice weekend spent relaxing with our family. It was nice to see so many of you on Skype (okay, Eric did, while I cooked), but it's not quite the same. We miss each and every one of you and hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

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