Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and to say we're excited here is an understatement. The menu is planned. The shopping is 90% done. My leaf has been in the table since A. Julia & U. Scott were here for dinner. I even purchased a beautiful base for a centerpiece at Yankee Candle Outlet for $3! And my gourds are just WAITING for us to finish the oranges so they can get all snuggled in it for the big day.
Something that hubby and I have ALWAYS desired to do was to invite someone to Thanksgiving, that didn't have anyone to spend it with. Our first year of doing this we invited a couple from church. They were SO honored we invited them and we really enjoyed it. Last year we started searching early for someone and D stumbled upon a person at work. At the time he was working nights, and one of his co-workers is from Ghana. They had some things in common (Christianity, a love for soccer - or football as it's known in Ghana). D also determined that this co-worker had no family here at all. He's here working and saving money so he can someday return to his country and build a Christian school. How cool is that?? Anyway so D says to me "I think this is who we should invite this year" I of course agreed. And asked him to get anything in particular that he likes eating, doesn't like eating etc. So D starts asking Danny finally says "I like those scallops you have" Easy enough. I bet there was scallops at the first Thanksgiving!
Oh and D says "He doesn't like Turkey"
WHAT???? I seriously thought my heart stopped. How in the WORLD will we have Thanksgiving with out Turkey? Or with a guest who doesn't like it? I pretty much panicked to say the least. D continues on and says that "He says it has no flavor" I think at this point I wanted to just cry. But then he finished with "but he also said he's never had a traditional Thanksgiving meal"
CHALLENGE ALERT CHALLENGE ALERT (Is what I heard in my head)
I started searching for recipes for a wonderfully flavorful turkey recipe. I started watching every cooking show I could find ~ and seeing it was only a week or so before the big day that's what ALL the shows were about. Thanksgiving.
I was e-mailing friends left and right - give me you recipe! Not that I don't have faith in my recipe, but it wasn't anything over-the-top.
And then I found it. Martha did it again. A turkey that you brine for 24 hours BEFORE you put it in the oven. I made a shopping list, white wine for basting, bay leaves, leeks, thyme, coarse salt. I borrowed my mom's pressure cooker (really I had nothing else to soak a turkey in!).
A day and half before I started the bird. Boiling water, adding spices, wiping the little guy (or girl) off. I stuffed him with care. I baked pies, made fudge, cut vegetables to snack on. The list went on and on.
D came home from work on Thanksgiving morning at 3 am (I had to get up to slip the bird into the oven) and announced he didn't know where Danny's phone number was. I panicked again. I spent HOURS slaving over a flavorful bird and you don't know how to call him and get him here????? Needless to say I TORE our apt apart and found the phone number. He called and arranaged to meet him.
The turkey cooked. I basted him carefully in wine & butter all morning. He was a golden brown when I pulled him out of the oven. We set the table. We watched the parade. Danny arrived and the scallops were just finishing up. We sat down to the table and fear overtook me. What if this was the most awful turkey? Poor guy would think terrible things about me!
The dishes started passing around the table. He loaded his plate up with everything ~ including my turkey. I know I said I silent prayer "Lord if this turkey is awful, please reach down and flavor it for me!" We said the blessing and started in.
This was THE. BEST. TURKEY. EVER.
Danny even said so himself! "This good turkey" (keep in mind he's from Ghana)
So this fall has come around and we started talking about Thanksgiving. Lovergirl and I have been planning the menu (I'm so excited she likes doing this). She's requested carrot sticks & crusty bread as additions to it this year. And then she asked the question ~ is Danny coming? So we made him a beautiful invitation. I traced leaves on a giant piece of paper and we painted them. Then we added turkey stickers to it. On the inside she had daddy write "Please come to Thanksgiving" and then wrote her name.
Danny is coming. :)
Two days ago I dug out my recipe from Martha. I've only had to add a couple of things to my grocery list (like leeks & bay leaves!). I have my own pressure cooker to soak the bird in :) We'll start some pre-cooking this week. Making the fudge, mixing up the cookies, and such.
More than all the baking, and cooking and preparing. I'm excited that Danny is coming. He becomes part of our family that day. He loves playing with the kids and watching American football (or he at least amuses us with watching it). I'm so thrilled that our desire a few years ago to reach out to people during this time of year has turned into something that our kids will never forget.