Thankful for: The Big 3.

Here it is, the ubiquitous post about gratitude.  It’s the spirit of the season, and though the traditions of Thanksgiving have a controversial background, it doesn’t make the holiday less special for those of us who look forward to it year after year.

I could list the million and one things that I’m thankful for throughout the year, but I’d probably just end up annoying myself.

So instead, I’m going to list the Top 3 things on my thankful list this year.  Technically, there are 4 things I’m especially thankful for, but rather than rehash it, you can read why Captain is my most important one here.

1) My kids.  They are healthy, obnoxious, thriving, beautiful, demanding, and bring out the absolute worst in me.  They test my patience almost constantly, and it has made me into a better person than I’d ever imagined.  They have opened my eyes to the complexity and glory of a life worth living, and I will never stop being grateful for it.

2) My family.  Both blood related and not.  We have recieved such an overwhelming amount of help and support from my parents, Captains parents, and the friends we have surrounded ourselves with.  Whether they were babysitting so Captain and I could have a night out, bringing me coffee, donuts, and company as a pick-me-up, rallying at the last minute to help us move, letting us live with them, or lending their support during the birth of the Kraken, we have been enveloped in so. much. love.  I can never say Thank You enough.

3) This tiny double-wide.  Never would I ever have imagined myself to be grateful to be living in an old mobile home.  But here I am.  Here WE are.  Together.  After several months of uncertainty, our family separated by a 2 1/2 hour freeway drive, and lots of gut-wrenching tears, we are all under the same roof, thanks to this little, affordable house.  It is allowing us to be whole while we save for our future, and that is an amazing gift.

These are the things I’ll be reflecting on while I sneak bites of dressing out of the slow-cooker at my parents’ house today.

What are your Top 3?

Early Thanksgiving from a Tiny Kitchen: Part 2

It was a success!!  Dinner was ready on time, and the only thing that turned out iffy was the dressing, which was a bit on the soggy side.

I couldn’t decide which roasting recipe to follow, so I combined a few that I came across and the turkey turned out amazing!  I rubbed it with butter, sea salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder.  Then I stuffed it with chopped apple and diced onion.  Poured half a quart of chicken broth into the roasting pan with most of a bottle of white wine.  Covered it with a foil tent and roasted it at 375, basting it every 30-45 minutes.  It was perfectly done in just over 5 hours.

The rest…

dessert sides sweets tablefood uglypie

Ugly, yet sooo amazingly delicious.

Early Thanksgiving from a Tiny Kitchen: Part 1

We’re having an early Thanksgiving dinner with Captain’s dad tomorrow, since we’ll be out of town for the actual holiday.

This will be the first holiday we’ve celebrated with him since Cabin Girl was a baby.

He’s been a bachelor for years, self sufficient, proud, and a pretty good cook.

Needless to say, the people pleaser in me is practically desperate to knock his socks off.

This year, I don’t have the arsenal of a huge kitchen with all my gadgets, 2 refrigerators, and a gorgeous wall oven behind me.  I have a tiny kitchen with possibly 10 square feet of counter space, a single, smaller than standard wall oven, and a single, smaller than standard fridge.

With the elimination of space to spread out all of the various cooking projects I’ll need to undertake tomorrow, I’m taking advantage of time instead. pumpkin

Last night I put a chicken in the crockpot with diced onion, some celery and spices.  Not only does it eliminate the need to cook up lunch for a few days (I love me some cold chicken), but now I have the broth I’ll need for the dressing, gravy, and potatoes.

Today I baked up a pie pumpkin (the only one I managed to snag out of my garden before we moved) and turned it into one of the ugliest gluten free pumpkin pies ever.  But, from the tiny sampling I scraped off the foil, it is deeeelicious.  Baking from scratch is the schiznit, yo.

I cleaned and seasoned the seeds from the pumpkin with cinnamon and granulated coconut nectar, then roasted them for a bit as an extra little snackadoo.

I diced up red potatoes and stuck them in the fridge, peeled, diced and boiled a sweet potato, which is also waiting in the fridge, and boiled another sweet potato and turned it into the filling for a chocolate sweet potato pie… only I’m going to serve it more like a mousse so I don’t have to deal with making another hideous pie crust.

I diced up the celery and onion and baked a loaf of gluten free bread for the dressing.

Set the turkey out to thaw.

And did 2 loads of dishes.  I hate doing dishes.


First thing tomorrow I plan on making my own pumpkin spice creamer to add to the several cups of coffee I intend to down.  Then, the dressing will go in the crockpot.  The turkey will go in the oven.  I will make a cranberry persimmon sauce.  The red potatoes will be reheated in broth and then mashed.  The sweet potato will be doused in butter, honey, and pecans and set to warm in the oven as the turkey rests and gets carved.  I’ll cheat and use whipped topping out of a bucket, mostly because Captain loves it.

My father-in-law will bring rolls and veggies.

All the while I will pretend to really enjoy the sparkling cider I’m drinking, since pumping and dumping doesn’t really work for me and The Kraken gets an upset tummy when I drink wine.  And I’m hoping against hope that it will turn out.  Because this is my first ever attempt at preparing a Thanksgiving meal on my own.

I’ll update you with Part 2 tomorrow.

Do you have any turkey tips for me?

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