Today. Instead of mindlessly spending money at crowded shopping centers. Like a number of my local counterparts, I completely avoid the downtown mall in Columbia and any of the megastores between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Tomorrow I will go out and get the beginnings of our Christmas decorations, namely the garland and the poinsettias. From our local farms. I may head up to Breezy Willow to get some presents, but with the Howard County Conservancy holiday natural crafts fair next Saturday, the 6th, I may just do all my shopping there. Making my presents to friends and family completely locally sourced.
Today, though, we had our private Thanksgiving. Where we gave thanks for continued good health. For 35 years of Thanksgivings together. For friends who we will be seeing over the next few weeks at holiday parties. And family who will get together again for Christmas eve.
Yesterday we went to a family dinner, like we have done for most of these 35 years. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I made my first turkey as we were always in PA for Thanksgiving.
Now, we stay home. With no close relatives left on my husband’s side of the family, we no longer deal with the congested, sometimes icy and snowy trip up I-81. Watching the weather Tuesday night into Wednesday, I could understand the thoughts and actions of those trying to get home in bad weather.
Still, my MIL did the turkey in PA. My brother does the turkey here in MD. I never cooked a whole turkey in my life until 2006. Our second Thanksgiving after moving here. Our first without a trip to PA. We do Thanksgiving on Friday for us. Just a small “hen” from Boarman’s. This year was 12 pounds.
This year I “did good” on the brining and the browning. Not so good on the gravy.
Even though I washed off the brine before baking the bird, the pan drippings were too salty to make gravy. Happily, the turkey was moist enough not to need gravy and the stuffing was moist as well. We did a simple meal. Turkey. Stuffing baked on its own. Brussels sprouts. Dinner roll. And, I forgot to bring out my homemade cranberry relish.
Served with a light pinot noir. Leftover pumpkin roll for dessert. As for that cranberry relish. It will get used with all the leftover turkey.
I have a whole container full of breast meat to make meals. I also have the carcass and the innards in the crockpot making stock.
Turkey soup next week on the menu definitely. Here’s to the holidays! Full of friends and family, and great local food.