Our Thanksgiving was special. Friends now have joined our family festivities, for the second year.
My main goal this year was to simplify. I eliminated one big chunk of time by purchasing a pre-cooked Butterball turkey. The instructions said to put the bird in the oven at 325 degrees for about 2 hours to heat. The house filled with the wonderful aroma of turkey, there was no basting or constant temp checking for doneness. And remarkably, it turned out PERFECT!! Everyone one said it was one of the tastiest and juiciest we have had in years. Even my husband who doesn't typically enjoyed turkey, loved this one. He even ate turkey as leftovers the second night. (That was a first, I assure you!)
I was shocked, of course, because for years our turkeys were always special purchases with special preparations. Since I was taking this short cut, I really didn't hold out much hope that this turkey would measure up. But I am a believer now. And after all, shouldn't Butterball know how to cook a turkey perfectly!??!
And it looked pretty darn good as well. Beautifully browned. It weighed only 12 pounds but that size turned out perfect for us as well.
Every last bit of that bird is now gone - either eaten in the last few days or frozen in many containers as turkey soup in my freezer.
The only down side of all my holidays now is that mom cannot be with us. Still ... those 20 steps that lead to my house are beyond her abilities. So my son and I went and shared lunch with her on Thanksgiving at Assisted Living. The main meal served at noon was, of course, a turkey dinner. :-)
I wish I could be casual about this whole thing and make excuses why she wouldn't enjoy the business of the holiday at my house ... but I can't. Holidays for us traditionally are family times. She is my dearest of family members, and she is not with us on these days. Christmas will be another hard holiday for me that I just need to get passed because there is a sadness that I won't have her with us. Oh yes, we will take her out to lunch on Christmas Eve and I will take her to Christmas Mass on Christmas Day. But it is not the same.
It is just not the same.