I did a grocery run on Monday and Ian picked up a few more items Tuesday -- other than that, we avoided the crowded stores. When planning out the menu, we focused on what we really loved and cut out all of the extra side dishes that would just add time and effort. For example, we knew we wanted stuffing and mashed potatoes, so to reduce the starches we decided to forego the sweet potato casserole and dinner rolls.
Football played during the day (which I actually love as Thanksgiving background noise) and I did as much food prep as I could on Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon. We even were able to get in two walks during the day -- one in the morning with hot chocolate, and one in the afternoon. We walked 2.25 miles total, so not a full 5k Turkey Trot, but still enough to help make up for the big dinner ahead!
I had fun setting the table -- I used a tartan round tablecloth as a topper that I picked up at an estate sale this summer. It matches our tartan plates and saucers from Williams Sonoma perfectly and is a fun nod to Ian's Scottish ancestry. We whipped out the fancy (i.e., non-dishwasher-safe) glassware for the evening, Ralph Lauren stemware and gold-banded Williams Sonoma water glasses. The tartan plates and gold-banded glasses were all post-holiday sale finds last year.
Right before sitting down around 5pm, I realized that I didn't have a gravy boat -- for the girl who has every cooking vessel under the sun (according to my husband), I was shocked! Luckily I had two of these little white pitchers so we had our own individual gravy servers. It ended up actually being pretty cute.
Rather than cooking a large bird, I went with a 3-lb turkey breast roast that I cooked in a turkey bag -- so easy, no elaborate carving required, and it still was enough for dinner and next-day sandwiches for two days.
That last-minute grocery store trip Ian took Tuesday was primarily to get canned cranberry sauce. He loves the old school, sliced-right-out-of-the-rippled-can version. I also made fresh cranberry sauce and a cranberry salad.
Another huge time-saver was a pumpkin pie from our grocery store bakery ... delicious and as easy as removing it from the box. :)
Before dinner we both spoke about what we are grateful for this year, and boy did we have a wonderful list going. We listened to Edith Piaf on the stereo and mmmmmm-ed through the entire meal. It was so delicious!
Our Thanksgiving 2013 Menu
Pepper Vinegar Turkey
Herbes de Provence Stuffing
Whole Cranberry Sauce
Plain Ol' Canned Cranberry Sauce
I had to get creative with drinks this year and I was so excited to find this all natural cucumber soda at World Market last week. It was so tasty! I would definitely recommend picking this up and plan to get several more for upcoming holiday parties and get-togethers.
And who are we kidding -- the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers! Ian picked up the most amazing rosemary bread that made for a delicious sandwich with Duke's mayonnaise, turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
I'm proud of us that we carried off a full Thanksgiving dinner with absolutely zero stress, tears, or meltdowns in the kitchen. It was just easy and chill. We have so many blessings to reflect on and it was such a special way to toast an exciting year ahead for us.
I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with lots of love!