For the first time in three years, we ate our Thanksgiving dinner indoors. With temperatures barely reaching 10 degrees Celsius, it was inconceivable that we would dine al fresco, and although I was initially a tad disappointed that we couldn't keep up with our new tradition, I think it worked out just as well in the end.
I don't have any photos of the main meal - I find it difficult to serve food while simultaneously taking pictures - and to be honest there's nothing remotely photogenic about an overflowing plate of poultry and its accompanying sides doused in thick gravy. Instead I grab a few Instagram shots before our guests arrive, or during the fun with the kids, and then tuck my camera away for the evening.
What you see above is a cookie tree I made for the kids. I wanted something special for the little ones who were coming, so the cookies were made from the initials of all the kids at our dinner, plus a few fun items like pumpkins, leaves and apples. It was certainly popular and I already have ideas for making another one at Christmas.
I kept my holiday decor really simple this year and made apple votives for the dining table and a bucket I set up outside. Halloween is around the corner and I promised the kids we'd decorate this week, so for Thanksgiving it was really simple: a few pumpkins, the cookie tree and the apples.
For the past few years the kids have had a donut-eating-on-a-string contest. Each year we have new participants as the babies in the family become toddlers, and can finally join in the fun. We have two more little ones who will hopefully be able eat their way through the fun next year.
The main attraction was none other than the bird. All 26 pounds of her. She was so big, Rob had to fashion a roasting pan from a few different foils in order to accomodate her girth.
With this many people we have to do dinner buffet-style. It's china dishes, linen napkins and silverware for the adults, and plastic plates and cups for the kids. They had their own table downstairs this year, and I hear there were some interesting food combinations being ingested without the watchful eye of the parents around. That's all part of the fun though, right?
We almost always exclusively serve wine and beer when we have company, but this year I made a welcome drink. Spicy Caesar's serve in mason jars and garnished with lime and celery.
I really don't like serving ice cream tableside. So I pulled out a trick I learned from Martha, and pre-scooped the ice cream for the pie. It made dishing up dessert much easier, and cleaner, and the kids were all clamouring for the ice cream and skipped the pie altogether.
The pie. Oh, the pie. I made this cinnamon crumble apple pie. It was spicy and sweet, and even though I made it on Saturday and we ate on Sunday, I think it tasted best on Monday, when I had a slice for an afternoon snack. Next time I'll reduce the sugar a little. It was a bit too much for even my sweetest tooth, but definitely worth making, if you're looking for a recipe to try.
Lastly, there was this lovely thing. A maple pecan pumpkin trifle with cinnamon whipped cream and white chocolate cream cheese ganache. Don't worry, I'm sharing the recipe later this week.
I hope you're weekend was a lovely one filled with good food and your favourite people, even if you weren't celebrating a holiday.