I have hosted Thanksgiving at my home for 9 the past 10 years. The exception was two years ago when my little sis, Vangie and her hubby, Kery opened their tiny home to the fam - Mom, Dad, John, Joel, Amy, and my family of 4. The turkey was not done at the appointed time and my dad filled up the one little loveseat on the main floor (I'm not complaining - it was easy-peasy for me!). The following week, I got a phone call from Vangie. She was returning Thanksgiving.
So, this year, the whole of the family - plus my mom-in-law (and maybe her boyfriend - er, "friend") - will once again converge on our home ... and I'll LOVE it!!!
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday: no gift strings attached - lots of delicious food - and my favorite people in the world, my family. We eat and talk - sometimes simultaneously (to my hubby's great horror) - and lay around. Weather permitting, we take a walk around the block in the afternoon to aid in digestion (must make room for the next round of feasting) - and most Thanksgiving evenings, we hit the theater and catch a new release. LOVE, love, love this holiday!!!
The very first Thanksgiving we hosted, I think that I tried to purchase and prepare nearly EVERYTHING we ate all by myself. It was exhausting, but I was also not a mommy yet, so I had plenty of time to recover later. By Thanksgiving #2, I had wised up - and assigned a different dish to each guest ... and continue that tradition today!
My mom-in-law has been bringing the turkey for the past 4 or 5 years (SO lovely that this night owl need not drag herself out of bed in the wee hours of the a.m.!), so I'll not prepare one myself. However, IF I were, I would try this suggestion that I found in my November 2009 issue of Marie Claire magazine (p. 93 by Sarah Z. Wexler).
"Don't cook the bird all day. Instead of the typical 275 degrees for 8 hours for a 12- to 16-pound turkey ... cook it at 500 degrees for 30 minutes to get some nice color, and then bring it down to 350 for 2 1/2 hours. You'll have the perfect turkey."
How fabulous is that?! You could sleep in and dine on turkey at noon! I love it!!! Odds are, I'll pick up a cheap-o turkey during the Thanksgiving sales - and give this a whirl after the holiday!