without a definite route

giving thanks

so much for blogging through the pie day and thanksgiving cooking progress. i can’t imagine what i was thinking. the idea of stealing away from the hubbub of the kitchen for 5-minutes to upload a picture and write a line or two seems crazier on this side than it did the days before thanksgiving. that’s what i get for saying stuff out loud.

the last three days have been filled with wonderful conversations, great food, friends and family, culinary lessons, baby head smelling, hand-turkeys, laughter, a mysterious thanksgiving chupacabra and, because we weren’t quite busy enough, jasper’s determination that it was finally time to potty train. of course.

emmit's turkey

i want to be the kind of person who expresses my gratitude more often. so thank you to everyone who touches my life – friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers; neighbors; emmit’s team of superheros (doctors, therapists, teachers, bus drivers); smiling strangers; baristas; delivery people; trader joe employees who know emmit and jasper by name; musicians that inspire josh to continue creating music; writers, artists, filmmakers and musicians who make the world more beautiful; awesome people of the world i haven’t yet met or will never meet. i appreciate you.

have a cinnamon roll:

thanksgiving morning cinnamon rolls

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not a cooking blog

i love nearly every little thing about food: cooking it, baking it, eating it, sharing it, taking pictures of it, talking about it, sometimes even cleaning it up (if there’s a good conversation to be had, dishes practically wash themselves). but i’ve never really considered blogging about it. i don’t know enough to purport to be any kind of expert. i’m not even sure if i’m a good cook, really. i just know that i enjoy entering the kitchen with an idea and ending up with something to eat when i’m done. there are people who smile when they eat something i’ve prepared which generally fills me more with gratitude than accomplishment. i’m lucky to know both trained chefs as well as self-taught home cooks. i am neither. give me the blueprint of a recipe and i can usually follow it to a fairly good representation of whatever it was supposed to be, but i don’t have that inspirational magic that moves me beyond.

with that said, thanksgiving is a pretty big deal to me. it’s my favorite holiday.¬†wait, is that true? seems like such an important thing to just toss off without making sure. let’s see… what are the main holidays? christmas is certainly lovely with that whole spending time with family in jammies thing. also there’s the tree. i more than love the tree. my complete lack of interest in fireworks puts the fourth of july off the list. halloween is josh’s favorite, but it stresses me out too much. new year’s eve i can take or leave (although buffy marathons with prosecco keeps it on the list). new year’s day has become a highly anticipated glutton-fest of comfort food and fellowship.

so yeah, although committal statements are not my thing, thanksgiving is definitely a favorite holiday (see what i did there?). i didn’t always feel this way. it bothered me that instead of a holiDAY, it was more like a holiMEAL. days of planning and shopping and cooking all geared towards a meal just seemed odd to me. all that expense for 90 minutes plus leftovers? i didn’t get it. then years ago, my friend becky hostetter of duos invited me to make pies with her the day before thanksgiving. suddenly i discovered something deeper – cooking with people you like. this might seem like crazytalk to some people and duh to others, but the specialness of the day comes more from the cooking than the eating.

this year, we made plans to drive to maryland to spend thanksgiving with josh’s side of the family. circumstances beyond our control – an injury, emmit’s ongoing quest to use every single diaper on the planet, jasper’s tangle with the flu – have us changing gears, staying home and cooking for our family and a couple of friends.

the wednesday before thanksgiving, AKA Pie Day, is generally a big cooking day trying to get enough done to allow us to be more relaxed on thursday. although this isn’t a cooking blog, i’d like to post about our progress throughout the day maybe even with pictures. we’re hoping to see our good friends margaret, apple kellie and maybe bite sized by carrie as well as our (awesome) new neighbors mike, adrian and baby arlo at some point to roll out a pie dough, cut apples, whisk punkin pie filling, have food and non-food conversations.

here’s what we hope to get done…

  • emmit off to school on the bus; jasper to daycare; take a minute to soak in the silence
  • soft dinner rolls
  • cinnamon rolls (for thanksgiving day breakfast while we pretend to watch the macy’s day parade)
  • nut loaf
  • brine turkey
  • butternut squash puree
  • 2 harvest pies, 2 punkin pies, 1 pecan pie
  • clean
  • cranberry relish
  • hard sauce
  • figure out what to eat for dinner that doesn’t create leftovers that will take up space in fridge
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