There were a lot of firsts this Thanksgiving. And it was the best Thanksgiving I can remember.
It was the first time I hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my place.
It was the first time I spent Thanksgiving with my best friend.
It was the first time the Ravens had a Thanksgiving day game.
Because Kyle and I had to fit in three separate Thanksgiving family events, we did a lot of schedule shuffling before we compromised on an itinerary. The result was that we got to see almost all of our loved ones during the holiday, even though our families live 200 miles apart. It was delightful to visit with everyone, and I owe a major THANK YOU to my mom, dad and sister, who drove down to Richmond from Baltimore to make it all possible.
We started by driving out to a horse farm in Caroline County. There Kyle’s dad and his wife hosted a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I had a drink and nibbled on sides, because I had another meal to eat that night.
Then I drove back to Richmond to prepare dinner #2 with my family and Kyle. Three out of five people in attendance are not fans of turkey, so we knew from the start that we weren’t going the traditional route. The only requirement from my family was that we give our undivided attention to the Ravens game at 8:20 PM. My biggest challenge was that I was away from home until about 6:30 PM so I did not have time to prepare and serve an elaborate meal before kickoff.
I had the idea in the shower last week. I always come up with my best ideas while in the shower. I decided to do a slow cooked vegetarian chili (normal football fare in my home) plus a baked potato bar with all the toppings we could possibly want on our spuds.
This is where I want to make a joke about how it was “totally tuber-ular” but I won’t.
Okay, maybe I did just make that joke. Sorry. Can I make it up to you with some steamy chili shots?
The feast consisted of:
- Baked sweet potatoes, baked russet potatoes
- Vegetarian chili
- Steamed broccoli
- Homemade cheddar cheese sauce
- Shredded Monterey jack cheese
- Sliced avocado
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Sour cream
- Crumbled vegan “bacon”
- Sliced jalapeños
- Hot sauce
- On the side: orange glazed baby carrots
I think everyone loved the tater bar, and it got us fed just in time for the main event. I highly recommend it if you need to make a no-hassle dinner for a crowd. Less time in the kitchen means more time for family and friends!
I failed to take a picture of all of us in our gear, so I’ll show you one from the 2010 playoffs instead.
I also failed to take a picture of this amazing dessert that I made: Pear Cranberry and Ginger Snap Crumble. Topped with some local Homestead Creamery vanilla ice cream, it was a smash hit!
The next day, all five of us headed over to Kyle’s aunt’s house for an Italian dinner for ten. We had so much fun at the kids table. Mind you, all “kids” were over the age of 22.
We had a delicious dinner, followed by party games and a movie. I learned a lot about our families during a round of The Game of Things. I’m going to leave it at that.
I am so thankful that I was able to be surrounded by the people I love for the whole weekend! I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Hope you had a tasty and memorable Thanksgiving weekend too.