Weekend Shenanigans: Tgives Edition

 {turkey and some counter clutter}

This Turkey Day, D and I made the 12ish-hour drive down to Ohio to spend Thanksgiving with my family. Somehow, after tense negotiations, I found myself in charge of roasting the bird. In years' past, D has taken control of turkey duty, but he opted out this year. For my first turkey-roasting experience, I followed Ina Garten's recipe for "perfect roast turkey," and dare I say, it actually did turn out perfectly. Perfectly browned, perfectly moist, perfectly flavorful. Score one for my team! In addition to the turkey, I also made savory dressing (aka stuffing that is cooked separately from the bird), including one "normal" version and one gluten-free version for Ashley, my sister-in-law. My Dad was in charge of his wonderfully-lumpy mashed potatoes, my brother Chris made a delectable sweet potato dish, and we also had homemade cranberry sauce (recipe later this week), yeast rolls, green beans amandine, a raspberry jelly salad I dubbed "raz-matazz" from Dorothy Lane Market (where our locally-grown free-range turkey also came from), and our entire meal started off with a fresh fruit salad courtesy of my Mom. Whew! Oh, and then for dessert we had a delicious gluten-free pumpkin spice cake that Chrashley baked as well as slices of apple pie from Costco. Yeah, I should definitely find my way to the gym this week ...

{filling up our plates while D carves the turkey in the kitchen}

I'm not one for Black Friday sales (I'd much rather sleep in). But later on Friday afternoon D and I headed out to check out a few local furniture stores (just to get a feel for what's out there; one of these days our home will be fully furnished) as well as a trip to Ikea to grab a few essentials.

{ikea!}

On Friday night we headed out to dinner and then back home to celebrate my brother's birthday, which was on Sunday.

{happy birthday!}

Though D and I originally planned to leave Saturday morning, we ended up staying an extra day, since it is such a rare occasion when we are all together as a family. In the afternoon, my Mom, Ashley, and I hit up a few local craft shops. If you're in the Fairfield, Ohio area, I highly recommend a trip to Art On Symmes -- there you can find room upon room of great handmade items for sale.

In the afternoon, D, Chris, Ashley, and I went out for a little sibling/in-law bonding at the Wise Owl Wine Bar in West Chester. Their extensive wine list, along with a few nibbles (cheese, meats, fruit, and crostini), perfectly complemented our conversation.

Back at home, we all gathered for dinner and a movie -- in our case Tgives leftovers and The Heat.

Following breakfast on Sunday morning, it was officially time to hit the road for the long drive home. Which included a lot of cornfields. Like, a lot a lot. We opted to take the southern Illinois route via Champaign-Urbana and Bloomington to avoid the mayhem of Chicago traffic, and both our drive to Ohio and back were characterized by free-flowing traffic and no back-ups. Yay!

{endless cornfields}

And now, back to the Real World! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving -- did any new dishes make it to your Thanksgiving table this year? 

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