Thursday, December 02, 2010

thanks for the memories

thanksgiving has come and gone and it was a whirlwind of activity.  we hosted both sides of the family at our house for the first time.  i love the fun-ness of having people over and hanging out. but as my dear, sweet husband recently pointed out, i also have the type of personality that gets me all into a cranky frenzy when preparing to have people over.

i decided that the best way to keep myself from going over the edge was to take a logical approach and prepare for everything ahead of time.  armed with my menu and grocery list (all stored in my whiteberry) i hit wal-mart on the sunday before thanksgiving.  i picked up all of the food items that i would need and also got a much needed oil change.  gotta love multi-tasking at wally world.

at this point, i was feeling ahead and the game and like i had a handle on things.  until tuesday night, when our air conditioner decided to stop working.  normally this shouldn't be a problem in late november, except that i live in houston, tx, home of the purple sprite crazy weather.  supposedly a cold front was going to hit by turkey day, but all i could picture was 15 of our relatives sweating to death in our hot ass house and the holiday being ruined for everybody.  i had taken the wednesday before thanksgiving off from work, so after a frantic call to our home warranty service and a few fervent (shouts out to DP) prayers, i had an appointment to have someone out to the house that afternoon.

wednesday morning i dropped babylove off at daycare and went by my neighborhood heb to pick up all the drinks for thanksgiving. i was planning to make some sangria to go along with the usual sodas and waters.  even though i'm grown with a child of my own, i always feel like my mother is silently counting my glasses whenever i drink "adult beverages" around her.  with sangria, at least i could disguise it with a bunch of fruit and stick it in a nice little pitcher.

i also needed to buy one of heb's cajun seasoned turkeys, which ended up coming with a bunch of assorted items as part of the combo loco. usually, i love combo locos because not only is it fun to say "combo loco", but, everyone loves free ish. however, i REALLY hate when the items are not all grouped together in the same spot.  here i was on a Mission to get in, grab my turkey and drinks and get out, but there was no way that i was leaving free items on the table, even if the free items were an foil pan, some salad dressing, iceberg lettuce salad, store brand sodas and ice cream, frozen asparagus tips and some store brand stuffing.

so, after schlepping all over the store for my items, i was back home by noon and ready to start cooking. i had baked the cornbread for the dressing and boiled sweet potatoes for the casserole just as the a/c guy showed up.

when i tell you this guy had me SO worried that thanksgiving was gonna be a bust!  he just seemed generally out of it and unsure of himself and was puttering around for like 2 hours before he finally found the problems.  besides the freon not circulating properly, apparently some duct work blew out in the attic, so we basically had a stream of nicely chilled air blowing out through this giant hole and disappearing into our hot ass attic.  lovely.

a/c guy wasn't authorized to repair duct work, but he was nice enough to rig up a covering for the hole with a bunch of trash bags and some duct tape. very macgyver-like indeed.  needless to say, this was a bit nerve-wracking being so close to quitting time on the last business day before a national holiday.

while he was working, i cut up the fruit and combined all the ingredients for the sangria.  apparently it needs to marinate chill overnight for all of the flavors to be at their best.  once the a/c guy left, i decided to run by hobby lobby to whip up my DIY table runner.  i had drawn inspiration from a couple of blogs that i frequent, so i was feeling very creative.  i had already used metallic spray paint on some gourd vegetables and a couple of leftover halloween pumpkins to use as a centerpiece, so i found this cute gold and black fabric to match that theme.

plus spray paint

equals fabulous. eat your heart out BHG!

late in the afternoon, i was starting to second guess myself about the amount of food that i had bought.  i'm used to cooking for two, but more than that-not so much.  after some googling, i ended up making another run to heb for a second, smaller turkey (which was, of course, followed by me hunting down all of my free combo loco items).

i got back home with all my loot and then decided that i needed to make more sweet potato casserole.  at this point, my feet were hurting from standing all day.  with my well-orchestrated shopping plan in ruins, i didn't have the heart to go back to heb where the cashiers could probably recognize me on sight, so i slunk over to fiesta instead.

by wednesday night, things were back on track and i made plans to start the final food prep the next morning.

the thursday morning cooking was pretty uneventful.  i did have one last minute snafu and, yes, ANOTHER trip to heb after i discovered that the foil pans that i had baked the side dishes in were a little too big to fit into the base of my chafer set.  picture me 5 minutes before the store closed with my huge foil pan from home in one hand in the aisle literally testing out the smaller ones to make sure that they would fit. not a pretty sight.  once i got home, i then had to transfer four pans of food into the new ones, which i was still doing when guests started to arrive.

check out the spread:

front entryway
for the non-turkey eaters

winner for best repurpose of free loco salad goes to...

 i forgot to take a pic of the sangria, but trust me, it was good!  i really had a great time getting my black martha stewart on and spending time with family.  and after 3 years of marriage, a bunch of previously unused wedding presents (like our margarita pitcher set, fine china and silverware) all saw the light of day.

hope y'all had a good one!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks fantastic! Makes me miss T-Day in the States :)