Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

thanksgiving, crafts, and werewolves

We made our annual trek to Minnesota for the Thanksgiving holiday this year. Mike picked up the girls from school while I made the finishing touches on our laundry basket luggage, and then we left shortly after. I can’t tell you what a relief it is now to know that we only have to travel 3 hours instead of double (when in WI) or sextuple (when on the east coast). Normally, we have the traditional dinner on Thursday like most everyone else in America, but this year we moved it to Friday. Jake and Dave’s families were both hosting Thanksgiving for their in-laws’ families at their homes, so it would have been too much for them to try to be at Kathy’s as well. Kathy had a bit of a flooding issue, so it was probably best that she had the extra day to get her home ready for almost 30 guests.

For Thanksgiving we had the usual cuisine of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, rolls, etc., but Jake added a twist to the way the turkey was prepared. He brought over what can only be described (in my mind) as a pool for Barbie dolls with a temperature-controlled heating mechanism attached to it. The turkey was prepared by cutting it up into parts, marinading it with a sauce and then vacuum sealing each part into plastic. The parts are then placed in the water and “cooked” in the warm water for several hours. This technique for cooking is called sous vide, and here’s a picture of the same equipment Jake had. What I can tell you is that it was the best Turkey I’ve ever had. There no loss of juice, so each piece of turkey is very tender and flavorful. I kept hearing everyone comment and say they may never be able to enjoy a roasted turkey again after eating sous vide turkey. Delish!

Anyway, it was a full house again with most Grandma Kathy’s children’s families in attendance. Of course, we always miss those who are far away and can’t attend. I told Kathy that one year once we’re settled into our final home that we’d love to host a Thanksgiving with EVERYONE in attendance. That means all the Smiths and Evans (including the ones away at college). On with the pictures.

thanksgiving in mn - 2010

thanksgiving in mn - 2010

thanksgiving in mn - 2010

thanksgiving in mn - 2010

thanksgiving in mn - 2010

Notice Violet and Maya not eating in that last one. I did finally nail Violet down long enough to shovel a few spoonfuls of food into her mouth.

After the tables were cleared of the meal I gathered all the children together to make candy turkeys. Most were reluctant, but once they knew candy was involved then they were game (even the “big big” kids). The turkeys were made of Oreos, Reese’s PB cups, candy corn, Whoppers, and icing for the “glue”. Sadly, the activity didn’t turn out quite as I had envisioned it where most turkeys fell apart as soon as they were put together. However, the kids seemed to enjoy themselves and gobbled up their turkeys just as quickly as they assembled them.

thanksgiving in mn - 2010

thanksgiving in mn - 2010

At the end of the night we played a game I hadn’t heard mention of since our trip to the Cascade Lodge in Colorado a few years ago called “The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow“. Marissa brought it along and had never played it and was hoping we’d play it with her. Of course, most of the kids were game, but many of the adults needed a little more convincing (or arm twisting). We eventually ended up with a group of about a dozen to play with Sara being the moderator for all but the last round. {We discovered that Sara had never once gotten to play, so we “allowed” her in on the last round. Sorry, Sara!} We had a lot of fun and laughs, and I’m glad I got another opportunity to play again.

thanksgiving in mn - 2010

thanksgiving in mn - 2010

thanksgiving in mn - 2010

On Saturday Sara and I got together for our annual craftapalooza at her house. We each came up with a Christmas craft to make. I found this adorable tutorial of snowmen made out of socks, and Sara found some ideas of using mason jars to make luminaries (no, not the Febreze Flameless Luminary). Lots of giggles and chatting later, and we came up with some pretty nifty Christmas decor.

Crafting with Sara

Crafting with Sara

And let’s finish off with the oh, so beautiful Sara:
Crafting with Sara

It was once again a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday in MN. We are so glad we got to spend ample time with all the relatives (the girls especially love to see their cousins). On a last note, I took Kathy to get her a 32″ flatscreen tv with a DVD player attached. She is very happy about her latest leap into the 21st century.

4 Responses to “ thanksgiving, crafts, and werewolves ”

  1. Shoebox Princess says:

    Mother and her penchant for the latest technology! (Where was Mom when our old black and white TV quit working?)

    Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow was lots o’ fun, even if I mostly moderated. I kinda like being in control. I’m glad Marissa brought the game and suggested we play it. And I’m glad that even though arms were twisted, the twistees were good sports and didn’t complain.

    That turkey was so good. All the food was deliciously awesome! And the company was fabulous too. I’m glad you were there to get so many pictures of me. (haha)

  2. Julie says:

    I just got off the phone with my sister and she was telling me how she tried to make those same Oreo turkeys and how they did not come out at all how she wanted them too. Weird! Still fun for the kiddos to play with candy though so I am sure they didn’t care. I usually do activities with the kids all day but this year I had football to watch and sent them to the basement so at least you tried.

    Oh, and no fair having a chef cook your Thanksgiving dinner, although….I do make a pretty mean turkey, you know, for commonfolk anyway.

  3. Jenni Smith says:

    The turkey sounded delicious. Turkey is always delicious, but something new (NOT FRIED) is interesting. Looks like you had a nice visit with everyone. Your crafts were so cute. Lani and I saw mason jar snow globes at Anthropologie and she has already made a knock-off, so I’m sure you’ll see one of those in your mailbox someday!!

    A Thanksgiving on the Farm sure sounds nice – although, Christmas is logistically more doable for us. We are thinking of another white Christmas in a couple years!!

  4. Erin says:

    Cute crafts – you are such a talented lady! I seem to only be painting, sanding, tiling of late…that counts at crafting, right? Glad you had a nice Turkey day! – Erin

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