Thanksgiving was obviously different this year. With spikes in cases of COVID-19, most states issued recommendations to limit travel, stay home if possible and remain socially distant. That was pretty much the case for us, too. This was the first year in many that we didn’t travel to Oklahoma to spend the weekend with the Boeckman family. I only recall one other time when we didn’t travel. I’m pretty sure it was before we had Maly and we didn’t go because Elise and I both came down with a horrible case of the flu on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
The girls and I stayed home. I had to work most of Wednesday, but peeled off a little early and Mara and I took a bike ride so I could show her the huge swing out in Legend Oaks.
I woke up insanely early on Thanksgiving morning. I think it’s because Elise has a tendency to stay up late and fall asleep on the couch in the living room. And then in the wee hours of the morning, she wakes up and comes to bed. Since I’d already been asleep for a long time, my mind and body think it’s time to wake up. Combine that with the excitement of smoke the Thanksgiving turkey. So, needless to say, I tossed and turned from 2 a.m. to 4:45, when I finally got up and started working on the bird.
I got out of bed, made my coffe, and went out onto the deck to get the Kamado Joe going as it usually take a good half hour for the fire to start getting hot. I rinsed the bird, seasoned it, stuffed it with lemons from Laura and Grant’s tree, a Granny Smith apple that Maly had bought for her awesome apple pies, an onion and too much rosemary.
This year I learned that I like the smell of rosemary, but not the taste. I pulled the rosemary out of the turkey after I’d cooked it, but you’d still get a taste every once in a while and it just tasted like burnt weed. Of the cannabis variety.
I also learned that you oughtn’t brine a turkey that’s already been brined, or pre-injected with a x% saline solution. The turkey came out really good and moist, but some of the meat, especially the dark meat was too salty.
The turkey went on the smoker at 6:05 a.m. My reciped called for 30 minutes per pound at 225-degees.
The girls woke up and got ready and we headed to the Circle C Swim Center to meet a small group of friends for our Unofficial Circle C Run Club Turkey Trot. Our “official” turkey trot was canceled last year because some curmudgeon of a neighbor complained that we were taking too much of the street, so the HOA and city shut us down. We were planning on attaining required permits and logistics this year, but COVID happened. Last month neighborhood bonehead hijacked Ana’s Turkey Trot collateral and organized his own unofficial neighborhood turkey trot. Ana and her family were out of town for Thanksgiving this year, so I organized a separate unofficial neighborhood turkey trot. Just typing that makes me think first word problems.
Anyway, eleven of us ran our little Turkey Trot. It was fun, low key, a great excuse to get out and go for a run, and it kept the tradition alive. Elise and the girls were there, and Tara dropped of Ava, so they were all there and did a nice walk. Scott, Erik, Shannon, Jessica and I ran.
Turkey Trot done, we came home, turned on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which was really sad given that it was a made for TV event this year, which meant no crowds. Elise started on all the side for Thanksgiving. I pulled the Turkey off the smoker right at noon, maybe a half our too late. I think it might’ve been a wee bit overdone. But not dried out, so that was a good thing.
Bill from accross the street came over and took me up on smoking two Cornish game hens for him and Sandy. I’d offered the free smoking service the evening before. Bill hung out on the deck with us for an hour our so, until we reminded him that he was supposed to be on an errand to go to Randall’s and buy whatever else it was that he and Sandy needed for Thanksgiving.
And then the girls and I ate on the deck because the weather was amazing. I think it was right at 72-degrees when we ate at 2 p.m.
My whole goal for the day was to gorge myself on food, hit the couch, turn on a football game and take a nap. I don’t think I’ve ever indulged in that typical Thanksgiving indulgance. And it never happened, despite pretty much having been awake since 2 a.m.
After our Thanksgiving meal, and since we wouldn’t be traveling to Oklahoma the following Friday, the girls decided to start putting up Christmas decorations. Inside and out. That means yours truly has to string the icicle lights up onto the roof. This is an endeavor that’s invariably frustrating because as progress is made, I realize that there are sigfinicant sections of my icicle lights that are burnt out.
The girls and I worked on lights in the front yard until it got too dark and we went in to snack on Thanksgiving food. We also spent each evening watching Harry Potter movies. Each night I’d be lucky if I made it to 9 p.m. before conking out. Thankfully I’ve seen all the HP movies, but it’d be nice to watch them with the girls. But, you can always re-watch HP movies!
The rest of the weekend has been pretty casual and relaxing. Cold front finally came in. Elise and the girls snuck out for Christmas decorations and lights shopping on Friday. Saturday was cold and wet so we stayed home and watched football.
All-in-all kind of a nice, relaxing, small Thanksgiving.