It has been a total whirlwind here. My whole week pre-Thursday was spent in preparation for two wonderful get togethers we had planned. The first of these was Thanksgiving. It was supposed to be a very small dinner at my beach family's house - just the two of us, the two of them and her cousin. Suzan called me on Thursday morning to tell me to hold off a bit on coming out to the island because maybe we were adding a few more people to the guest list. Our party quickly went from five to fifteen. A good friend had family in town and we discovered that they were going to a restaurant downtown for dinner. Not because that seemed glamourous, mind you, but because they didn't have room to feed everyone. The island house could host an army so in an instant, our party tripled.
Most people would panic at the mere thought of this. I thought the girl at Whole Foods was going to cry for me. But one of the many things I've learned over the past few years is to take everything in stride and adapt. Very hard for a girl who likes A PLAN. So off to Whole Foods I went and everyone was given a job and all went smoothly. In fact, the day turned out even better than if it had just been the five of us. The additions were delightful people and even though we'd just met, they felt like family. My job was to make a gingerbread dressing, a recipe from Nigella Lawson's Feast. I made gingerbread the night before which was moist and wonderful. To that you add sauteed onions and apples and crispy bacon. We were curious but unsure so we had a second dressing just in case. It was oddly wonderful. I'm not sure it will make an appearance every year, but I definitely put it into my "recipes that worked" cookbook.
And we finally got to bust out the Turbo Chef. That thing is amazing. You just dial in what you're cooking and it does all of the calculations on temperature and timing for you. We cooked the turkey above (12lbs and stuffed) in an hour and a half!!! And if it hadn't been stuffed, it would have taken only 42 minutes!! I pine for one of those things. Someday. . .
Yesterday we hosted a huge oyster roast for somewhere between 50-70 people. It was a very fluid thing with some guests departing while new ones arrived so it's hard to say how many people we had. The weather was perfect. Chilly enough to be wearing jackets while you were gathered around the oyster pit and fire, but not so cold that you needed mittens to hold your frosty adult beverage.
The picture below is of people gathered around the oyster table. You roast them over the fire, load them up in a pail and dump them out on this table which is a plank of plywood balanced on two sawhorses. There is a hole cut out in the middle with a big trash can beneath for tossing the oyster shells (which are taken to the recycling center the next day).
I'm not a huge oyster fan but I love the party and all of the other stuff that goes along with it. And I'm fairly confident in saying that a good time was had by all. Now all I want to do today is nurse my tiny too-much-wine hangover and sprawl on the sofa with the puppies watching TV and knitting.
I'm working on a baby blanket for my two vets who just had a baby. Nothing exciting to show yet. And working on other stuff too. More pictures later.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you all. I love you all lots and wish I could've given each one of you a big hug this weekend. Just know that you're all in my heart.