It was time to put the new kitchen to the test. No, the kitchen isn't 100% complete yet - there are still shelves to put up, an island to buy, lighting to install in the upper cabinets, and a back splash to fabricate and install, but the appliances all work and we are at a point where friends are not scared they will get lung infections from inhaling dust anytime they visit. So it was time to host a gathering or two.
Gathering #1 FRIENDS!
For our first official party in the new space, we invited our good friends Jeff & Lisa
plus their two little boys and Keri & Jeff from Sandy
over to visit while Jeff & Lisa were in town visiting from Wisconsin.
For appetizers we ate moose meatball kabobs which I made using some ground moose we received from our Alaskan friends. They were so yummy the kids even enjoyed them. The main course was beef vegetable stew accompanied by Keri's cornbread and crunchy salad. The food was all great, but it was even greater to see our friends again.
Jeff and Lisa's cute kids William and Noah entertained Drew all night long.
Jeff & Keri's adult son Clay and his wife Lisa stopped by later. It was great to host such a lively and fun party.
Gathering #2 THANKSGIVING!
Drew, being the junior captain that he is, had to work on Thanksgiving. But being the savvy captain that he is, he was able to trade his assigned trip for one that had a Salt Lake overnight on Thanksgiving. Yay!
Drew talked about inviting the crew that he would be flying with over for dinner. I was game, but he told me not to count on it. So we also invited bike friends Rhonda, Andy, and Carl. As of Monday, we had 5 for dinner. The flight attendants accepted our invitation on Tuesday, so we were up to eight. I thought I could handle that, but since this was the first whole meal I had cooked for that many people, there was some apprehension. Wednesday after work I made the pies and prepped and cleaned and had things pretty much under control. Off to the gym on Thursday morning for some pre-pig-out calorie burn. Drew called while I was watching the Macy's parade from the treadmill with news that he had invited the first officer too so now we were nine! No matter that our table barely seats eight. Not a problem that we only have place settings for eight. We had lots of wine.
The first and last turkey I cooked 12 years ago turned out raw. If you have not cooked a turkey before, take it from me, they don't always thaw as quickly in the refrigerator as the package says. This year I made sure the bird was completely thawed. I dressed it with sister-in-law's herb butter, placed it in the new roaster pan we got five years ago for our wedding (proof we don't roast large things), and into the oven it went. The oven automatically turned off according to the internal temperature probe two hours before the turkey was supposed to be done. Oh well, that just left more room to cook the scalloped corn and sweet potatoes. Guests arrived just as I was finishing up. It seemed that Mandy, Mike, Constance, and May were happy to be celebrating with all of us instead of hanging out in the hotel.
Appetizers of cheese and crackers, fresh vegetable tray, and hot sweet peppers, went well with the first bottle of wine while I made the gravy using pan drippings.
was over and it was time for the man to carve up the bird.
It was finally time to eat our feast.
Everything was good, except the gravy got a little too salty.
But we still had room for dessert. I made two pumpkin pies and a strawberry rhubarb. Yum.
Pies are even better when eaten with friends and served on fancy heirloom china with coffee in fancy china cups.
Our Southwest guests were fun to have and I thought they were excellent guests - they did all the dishes! They can come back anytime! It is always fun to hang out with Rhonda, Andy, and Carl and they lingered longer chatting and finishing up wine bottle number four. So all in all, we called it a success. Drew and I were proud to host our first Thanksgiving for such as fun crowd.