Family, Food, and Fun in that Order

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without overindulging in butter laden carbs and sweet gooey pecan pie with your family by your side.  I’m thankful that I had both good food and family to enjoy it with this Thanksgiving.

We originally thought it would just be our immediate family, but at the last minute, Van’s sister decided to join us. I’m not sure who was happier, us or the kids. “Auntie” is one of the best house guests you can ask for. She’s very low maintainance, empties the dishwasher, and never seems to tire of playing UNO. Every time she visits, we beg her to relocate. Maybe if we issue a moratorium on kiddie card games, she’ll actually take us up on our request.

While Auntie spent countless hours entertaining the kids, Van and I cooked.

Homemade Pecan Pie with Vodka Pie Crust

I once again used America’s Test Kitchen famous recipe for vodka pie crust, which produced a beautiful dessert. The pecan pie tasted as good as it looked, but as always happens with Thanksgiving, my eyes were much, much, much bigger than my stomach, and eating a slice of this little piece of heaven put me over the edge of gluttony. It hurt me to shovel bite after sweet bite into my already huge stomach.

I’m not usually one for cranberry sauce, but I’ve got to hand it to Sunset Magazine for their cranberry pear relish recipe.

Instead of a gelatinous sauce, this tasted fresh and bright.

Van was responsible for the turkey, gravy, and dressing. This year the bird turned out brown and beautiful, and most important, not undercooked. Another near first: no lumpy gravy. It was smooth velvety, and really helped improve the taste of some lackluster mashed potatoes made by moi. The dressing was equally spectacular, moist and full of flavor. Sorry traditionalists, we did not stuff it in the bird. We bake ours separately.

As much as I enjoyed the food, the company is really what made Thanksgiving memorable. Our crazy kids.

It doesn’t get much better than watching your kids stuff their face with turkey and all the trimmings. Who would’ve thought a 3-year-old would  attack a turkey drumstick with such gusto? Clearly she is Van’s child.

Once all the leftovers were put away and the dishes washed and dried, I finally took a moment to really reflect on what I’m thankful for. It’s holidays like these, that are small and simple, and filled with laughter and love. What more could a mom ask for?

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