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Thanksgiving 2009

With Thanksgiving slowly becoming a distant memory, all the focus has rapidly turned towards Christmas. However, I would like to pause for a moment and write a quick blog about our Thanksgiving this year.

It all started early this year. Four days early, to be exact. But, any time is a good time to be thankful to God for what we have and who we are. In order to coordinate with all the family members, my mom had Thanksgiving dinner at her house the weekend before Thanksgiving Day. I thought that I might wind up at work Monday with a turkey-hangover, but all was well.

It was a good time. I really enjoyed getting to hangout with everybody, particularly my brother and his family who braved the trip from Michigan. It was a beautiful sunny day, so we all took advantage by hanging out outside and watching the kids ride motorcycles.

Then, for the big day, we hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house for the first time with Jodi's family and even some of mine. Jodi's family usually has Thanksgiving at Jodi's Aunt Marilyn's house in West Plains. But, she rented the house out this year and I doubt that the renters would have appreciated a bunch of strangers showing up at their door and letting themselves in.

It was a lot of fun and everything turned out wonderful thanks to all the family and friends that pitched in to help with bringing items and preparing the last minute dishes.

A friend of ours brought a cooked turkey with him. Had I known to expect this, I probably wouldn't have bought the largest bird I could find weighing in at over 21 pounds. Oh well. The more the merrier. Both birds were good, but I must say that Jodi did a fantastic job of cooking it and I benefited from a tip that I saw that morning, during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, to carve the turkey against the grain of the meat. This makes the turkey really tender and avoids that tough meatiness that most of us associate with turkey.

Having two turkeys left us with a good problem of having multiple pounds of awesome turkey left over. We knew that with the sheer volume of turkey leftover that there was no way that we were going to eat all of it without growing tired of it no matter how good it may be. So, we got inventive. One night, we had fajitas and used the turkey in place of steak or chicken. It was excellent and it took virtually no time at all to prepare since the meat was already cooked. We just heated it up in a pan with some water and a fajita seasoning packet and wahlah!

We still had plenty to go around so I took a bunch and pulled the meat into strings. I then cooked this down slowly with BBQ sauce, water, and brown sugar to make pulled turkey sandwiches. Instead of using bread, I had a bunch of dinner rolls left over that worked perfectly. They were still connected to each other from baking so I took four rolls in a square and cut them in half sideways to make two thick pieces of bread. It was probably full of calories, but tasted wonderful.

The two carcasses made an awesome turkey soup that had a surprising amount of meat. Jodi slow cooked it all night and it was delicious.


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