Thanksgiving 2013: Turkey Trotting and Bursting with Flavor!

It’s been a busy few weeks and this blog of mine has suffered. I literally have a month’s worth of updates and with the holidays upon us, it’s likely I won’t ever get caught up. I have some career changes I’m trying to navigate that, right now, are causing an uproar but in the end I’m hoping they’ll be good things. When a door closes a window always opens, right? At this point, I’m hoping for a skylight with a heavenly messenger telling me what the heck I’m supposed to be doing.

We’ve had a great Thanksgiving week. We skied Copper Mountain (details forthcoming), played a lot and ate even more. Jamie’s wonderful mom Linda is in town to help his sister after back surgery so we’ve been busy juggling everything.

I’ve stated before that Thanksgiving is probably my least favorite holiday because of all the gluttony and football but it’s  growing on me. We started out with our 7th Annual Turkey Trot Hike. It was a gorgeous day and I can’t believe how much my kids have grown since the first year we did it.

Please disregard the finger of the dude who took our picture in the top corner. He didn’t appreciate being asked to do it so I’m hoping it wasn’t his middle one.

The hike was as steep as always but these kids of mine are becoming intrepid hikers.

Plus, I gave the pitch as an excuse for Bode to hold my hand to give me balance on the way down. Gotta soak up these moments while you can!

Even in late-November, the views at the top were gorgeous.

We couldn’t fit our fat heads in this selfie but we had to try

Hadley has to free climb every rock wall or boulder she sees

Hiking Turkey Trot is always a great lead-in to our meal. We each had food assignments. Jamie’s brother Chris smoked the turkey (thankfully he gave in to my pleading NOT to do a deep-fried one), we did the sides (garlic-mashed potatoes, jalapeno sausage stuffing, pomegranate-pear salad, green bean casserole and cranberry salsa), while Linda made her famous rolls and was in charge of desserts.

Complication: The day before Thanksgiving she called to say poor Lisa was in the ER in pain so could we please pick-up the cheesecakes from Cheesecake Therapy and run to Costco for some apple pie? The cheesecakes weren’t a problem and Jamie grabbed egg nog, gingerbread, pumpkin and white chocolate raspberry from this darling bake shop.

The apple pie was a problem. I hate crowds and finish most of my shopping before Thanksgiving in an effort to avoid them (and yep, I don’t like shopping, either). So come hell or high water, there was NO WAY I was going to go to Costco the day before Thanksgiving and stand in line for an hour for just one item. Another complication: Jamie loves Costco’s apple pie but I came up with a solution to bake our own. I just added it to our list of items I was already making that also included several dozen cream cheese cutout cookies. Basically, my kitchen looked like a bomb went off. But Hadley was an excellent helper.

Jamie was incredulous. “So, you’d rather spend all this time making a pie just to avoid going to Costco?” Yup.

I retorted. “So you’re actually whining that your wife is making you a homemade apple pie instead of a store-bought one?” Touché, my friends.

In the end, everyone was happy. We had an amazing spread of food, Linda’s rolls were better than ever and Chris smoked some unbelievably delicious gouda cheese in the smoker.

Rolls, pomegranate pear salad and our appetizer spread

Chris smoked his best turkey ever: moist and bursting with flavor

The kids did a wonderful job setting the table with my mom’s china and grandmother’s beautiful utensils. My heart was full of love for this wonderful family of mine, the life we’ve created and the miracles that surround us.

I’m sure Jamie feels the same way regardless of the fact that every picture I took of him that night he looked like was going to burst.

Just chalk it up to an overabundance of culinary blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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