Sunday, November 30, 2008

thanksgiving's bounty

Being home was so nice, especially since it was a much needed break from school for both of us. We're excited to be back with our families again in a couple weeks for Christmas! Mostly because we love them and we love all the activities that being home brings to us. Like...

attending Kendal's volleyball game
hanging out in a middle school gym, enjoying Starbucks soy extra dark hot chocolate with a tiny shot of peppermint
listening to these beautiful girls' beautiful voices in Christmas concerts
and Amber's advanced clarinet-playing skills during her jazz band concert
soaking in all the views from Camano Island
tirelessly playing with Olivia

horseback riding around the arena, thanks to Joy (and Eddie and Klahani)

spending time with sisters
and monkeys
preparing for Thursday's beastfeasting with the families we love at a beautifully arranged table
gawking at the gorgeous turkey Jon brined, stuffed, and so carefully roasted with the classic herbs parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
loving Mom's stuffing
and the garlic, caramelized shallot, and fresh parsley mashed potatoes
also the maple syrup, butter, and roasted pecan sweet potatoes
and the carved beast
the freshly steamed broccoli and green beans
the shallot and blood orange olive oil roasted brussel sprouts (in all sizes) from the Alexander garden
and Jon Sr.'s butternut squash soup, with rolls, of course
and last but most definitely not least, the delectable pumpkin cheesecake with a dark chocolate glaze and a classic pecan pie with extra pecans
pouring over old photos and military souvenirs from the Albin side of the family
and most of all, spending the entire 8 days completely wrapped up in each other
Things learned from this year's Thanksgiving cooking adventure:
1. turkey is so wonderfully moist when it soaks in brine overnight before it's roasted
2. the oranges and lemons Jon used to brine and roast the bird made it taste rich and full of flavor, but made for some strange gravy
3. cranberry sauce is best with less sugar, a tiny bit of grated ginger, the zest and juice of one orange, and more cranberries
4. much more prep work should be done in the days before
5. cheesecake is so good, but should cook at higher than 250 degrees
6. Jon Sr. makes amazing butternut squash soup
7. Joy can't wait for Christmas

Thanks for the best holiday... we love you all!

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