Turkey Wrangling

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Here's the issue with the Thanksgiving turkey.... it is THE Thanksgiving turkey. It is the main focus point of the meal. You spend hours on end slaving away in the kitchen over side dishes and deserts all to complement a big chunk of meat. I mean, think about it- if you burn the turkey, that kinda ruins this whole meal that you literally have spent a month preparing and hours prepping for. It's kinda scary to most people to put that much pressure on one piece of meat!
Yes, even after doing this many years, it is still intimidating to me. Not to mention the whole "prepping" the turkey.
Here's what goes through my mind on Thanksgiving morning:
How the heck am I going to rinse this awkard lump of meat that weighs an insane 24 pounds ! Um...o.k. So I'm dangling this in my sink and trying to control where the faucet is hitting the turkey while trying to not drop it. It's freezing too! It's been thawed out in the fridge and happens to be very cold. And it's slippery! Oh crap, totally just dropped it- hope that didn't bruise it or tear the skin. This thing is bigger than a kid! It'd be easier to hug this thing and rinse- but eeew. Well, do I have another shirt? Hmm...no. Ok, bad idea. Ok, got most of it rinsed by this point. Oh darnit, the turkey just hit the faucet- mental note: Disinfect that when I have to disinfect the sink later. And, LIFT. And then try to gently set this monster of an obese bird on a roasting rack. Phew. Now just pat dry.....and thoroughly scrub myself and the sink and possibly floor where water went splashing everywhere. Now yell at the dog to not lick the water on the floor, dangit that's going to make him sick. Kids!
No running in here! Don't come over here!...... When do I get to open the wine?!

Here's the good part- it turned out perfect! After I patted it dry I rubbed it down with a salt/herb mix and slathered with butter and olive oil. It was soooo good. Yay for a successful turkey roasting!

Organizing the Chaos

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I have a "junk" drawer in the kitchen and it seems like it's gotten even more cluttered recently. It seems like the junk drawer always coincides with how my life is going. When it's insanely cluttered I feel overwhelmed and am constantly busy. So I am taking the "junk" out of my "junk" drawer today. Thanksgiving is next week and I'm definitely feeling overwhelmed about that. I'm looking forward to it but it just seems like there is so much going on between now and then .... so much I have to do, clean, prepare, etc. I feel like Turkey day is racing here and I'm not ready! So I need to suck it up and get ready. I'm starting by cleaning out my junk drawer and organizing the house a bit. This way I'll get the cleaning done early. Hopefully this will free up some time closer to Thanksgiving and I won't be so stressed out. I will not be a stressed out mess, I will not be a stressed out mess, I will not.... maybe if I say it enough it will come true :)

Adult Place Cards

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Every year in our house we put place cards on the adult table that say "We are grateful for our friends and family." It's our way of saying thanks for coming and we love you guys. This year I was walking down an isle at Target and came across these adorable felt stickers. All I did was print out our little saying on white card stock. Then I took the stickers and stuck them on the sides of the cards. Ta-da! Super simple, super cute. You can take this idea and customize it to whatever you have on hand.

The silver ball place card holders add a touch of elegance and are available through "beau-coup": http://www.beau-coup.com/silver-ball-place-card-holder.htm

Children's Place Cards

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Taking the few extra minutes to make place cards for kids can make a huge impact. I really like turkeys so I decided to do a turkey for the kids but you could really do anything. I went to my local craft store and purchased large foam sheets of brown for about $1.99 each. The eyeballs were also purchased there for $0.99. This craft is pretty inexpensive. It would actually be a great craft to do with kids (age preschool and up).

1) I cut out a circle shape with scalloped edge scissors. Two per turkey.
2) glue feathers to the top of one brown circle. Apply other circle on top. Do not apply any glue to bottom half
3) I glued the eyes on. The beak and gobbler were hand made out of construction paper. Glue under eyes.
4) I hand cut a little sign like the turkey was saying the kid's name out of white construction paper.
5) Cut the base of the turkey so it's flat.
6) Let dry. Then gently pull the bottom apart to create a standing turkey. Done

Time to decorate for Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Last week I took down all my Halloween decorations and put up all my thanksgiving ones. Thanksgiving is such a fun time for me. It means lots of yummy food, good times spent with friends and family....and it's the precursor for Christmas! But before I can even think about Christmas I need to plan out my turkey day. And part of having a great turkey day is having a house that feels warm and welcoming and in my house that means lot of leaves. I think people can be a bit intimidated by decorating for thanksgiving. Don't be! Add those scarecrows and leaves! Here's how I decorated:

My welcome sign when I step in from the garage:

I always save pumpkins from October and use them to decorate for Thanksgiving. I also lite a lot of candles in the fall/winter, why not combine the two on a counter or side table?

A little pumpkin scarecrow, this one I positioned on some leaves.

My awkward steps above my fireplace..... I decorated them with pumpkins, scarecrows, lots of leaves and...

...a pumpkin turkey. What can I say, I thought he was cute!

See the hidden pumpkin behind the leaves???

I also like to decorate my china hutch. Everyone gathers in this area to eat and to be honest, it's a safe place for my Jim Shore woodcut figures.

I'm a little obsessed with Jim Shore woodcut figures...you'll see what I mean when I show you Christmas pictures...It's slightly "re-dunculous" as my hubby would say.

Cornucopia stuffed with leaves :) Simple and easy.

I even add a touch of leaves inside the hutch. It provides a nice pop of color and ties it all together.

I picked up this guy for $5 at my local craft store and the kids gave him a pilgrim hat :) I think we should name him.

Even our fridge is decorated. Turkey hand prints are the best! And so fun and easy. Just paint your hand with brown paint, then press on white paper. Glue feathers and ta-da! 

I purchased a bird houses at my local craft store and decorated it with fall colors and places it on top of my fridge. I'm not sure where this idea came from, but I like it.

Yes, my guest bathroom has fall towels and soap ;)

And I've replaced the real plants with a fall leaf assortment

My kitchen even gets a few touches

And Duke's treats

We made little American Indian pupets after reading a thanksgiving story. Simple craft and my kids love these guys! ....hmm....who knew.

And we can't forget our thanksgiving toys! :) The kids get really excited when they see these since they only come out of the garage once a year. Quick reminder: when storing seasonal toys remember to remove the batteries! 

I hope that gives you all a few ideas or maybe some Thanksgiving decoration inspiration! Happy decorating!! 

Halloween Recap

Monday, November 1, 2010

To say that Halloween was crazy is an understatement. It kept me up late at night planning, crafting and baking. I made a witch's shack halloween booth, 100 cupcakes and a costume for my great dane (....which he loved!). So I'm actually a little bit relieved today that it's all over. Although it was probably one of the most fun Halloween's we've ever had. Our neighborhood carnival was a huge success! The kids had so much fun! And I had a lot of fun in my little shack handing out those cupcakes. 

Left side pictures:

 notice the cat chasing the mouse??


And the right side, with my little cardboard shutters:

...and here I am inside my booth: 

And I did finish my dog's costume! And he loved it! I think he never gets to wear those things since he's so big, so it was a special treat for him. The next morning he kept whinning and nudging his costume...so I let him wear it the next day....he's just like a kid! 

I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween too! Guess what... it's only 8 weeks till Christmas! Yikes!!!