Our First Traditional Thanksgiving Feast

Happy day after Thanksgiving!  Has the food coma worn off yet?  I woke up super excited for my leftover turkey, cranberry panini!  As I mentioned before, this year was the first time just us “kids” celebrated without our parents.  That meant two things – no Korean food and I was to take the place of my mom in the kitchen.  My sister doesn’t cook (although she’d be really good at it..I can tell), and my younger brother…umm, I don’t think so.  Due to popular demand, for the first time, my family had a strictly traditional “American” Thanksgiving meal.

My all or nothing mentality reared its all too familiar face in this moment – go all out or don’t even try.  Although I’ve never cooked a turkey before, it was time.  I couldn’t have done it by myself.  You see, poultry germs and I aren’t on very good terms and cleaning a 14 pound bird…well, that was beyond me.  So I generously volunteered Tim.  He was just as confused as I was.  When he took out the giblets and the neck, I thought I was going to throw up.  Nonetheless, we carried on.  Tim cleaned the bird, and I took on the challenge of roasting it.  We followed Alton Brown’s “How to cook a perfect turkey” method.  It entailed brining the bird and then cooking it the following day.  His triangle foil method to cover the breast, thereby preventing it from drying out, was ingenious!  The best part was that there was no basting involved!  I knew I wouldn’t be able to babysit it as I had the rest of the side dishes to make.

As you can see, this part was not so glamorous.  However, definitely memorable!

I think the hardest part about preparing the meal was timing everything so that everything would not only be cooked but sizzling by the time my family arrived.  I was a one woman show as Tim had to work in the morning.  Along with the turkey, I made the green bean casserole, cornbread stuffing, mashed maple sweet potatoes, parmesan potato gratin, cranberry sauce, and gravy all before noon.

The turkey came out so incredibly moist, juicy, and flavorful!  If you don’t have a go-to recipe, definitely check out Alton Brown’s!

Tim still wasn’t back from work so we went ahead and started our feast. I so wished he could’ve joined us.  My brother-in-law did the honor of carving the turkey.  Again, none of us knew how to do this.  A lot of first times this year.  My nephew, Noah, was fascinated by the huge bird that was sacrificed before him 😉

After we stuffed our bellies full, we snapped some pictures.  It took more than 10 minutes to take these two pictures.  My sister caught the laughing bug and just couldn’t stop!

The three of us have been and always will be inseparable.  My sister and I are almost 2 years apart, and she is my best friend.  I guess sharing a room (sharing a bed no less) until I was 16 was a bonding experience ;).  She is the kindest, sweetest, and prettiest woman I know.  She is not pretentious, and she is hilarious without even trying (if only she knew).  She has so much going for her, and my only wish is that she would believe in herself more.

My little brother has now joined the workforce.  It’s so awesome to see him evolving into a more confident, daring, and responsible man.  Oh my goodness, I never imagined I’d call my lil’ brother a “man!”  I need to stop babying him.  He has a great future ahead of him, and I’m already so proud of how far he’s come.  Keep on truckin!

This was Noah’s first Thanksgiving!  My family’s inside joke is “Noah, who’s your daddy?”  He is half Mexican but nobody would guess it.  My sister has some STRONG genes haha.

Tim came home around 5 and was able to join in on the fun.  I am so thankful for this wonderful man.  Thanksgiving is a really special day, as it’s the day that I sparked Tim’s interest…and the rest is history ;).  With just a glimpse of my face and he can tell how I am feeling.  I don’t have to say or explain anything to him.  He just understands me.  How amazing is that?

His specialty – hugs around the neck while sticking out his butt.  “I’m sexy and I know it”

Last but not least, I am thankful for my lil’ shadow, Kona.  He is an extremely needy boy, and we think know that it’s my fault.  We got him during my really rough days, and I held and took him everywhere I went.  He was my source of comfort, and he seriously got me through some tough, lonely times.  He always knows how to make me smile.  I am sure all dog owners say this, but he seriously is the bestest!  Oh and can I just say, I think he looks so much cuter than the mini schnauzer that was in the National Dog Show.  Kona looks regal..poised, cute, sharp… no? 😉

Doesn’t he look cute in his gobble gobble bandana?  He got to enjoy some turkey and sweet potatoes, too.  Then this happened…

Looked awfully like his mama.  Food coma…I guess it affects both humans and dogs alike.

This picture is def worthy to be featured in Cinnamon’s 23 Paws party ;). Any other 4-legged buddies feel this way yesterday?

Yesterday was a lovely day!  Sure, I was extremely stressed out as I was cooking and making sure that all the dishes came out perfect.  However, as soon as my family walked in the door, all was forgotten.  That’s the power of family.  And I am so happy to be a part of this one.

Hope you had a wonderful day with your loved ones!

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20 Responses to Our First Traditional Thanksgiving Feast

  1. What a lovely thanksgiving, Mon! The spread looks wonderful and more than that, you spent it with your loved ones. Like you I have a sister and brother and am very close to them. Although we all live in separate countries, I am so grateful to be so close to both of them!

  2. Well done Min!! What an amazing job you did, it all looks absolutely fantastic! Not sure I would have been able to do the turkey bits either… Love the photographs of you and your family, you all look so happy, healthy and it is great to see what a great time you have together.

  3. carol says:

    Kudos to you Min! You did a beautiful job. So sad that Tim could not enjoy the entire day with you and the rest of the family, boo. Happy day after as we roll around our houses.

  4. Wow, nice job!!! 🙂 That looks like a fantastic thanksgiving!!

  5. Great job on the turkey! Glad you had a great Thanksgiving:)

  6. eatpraytri says:

    GREAT job!! Such a success for your first one!! Kona looks awesome in his bandana and I love him all passed out on the floor. My pups did the same thing! And they hardly had any turkey. Maybe just from the excitement? Either way it was a great day!! 😉

  7. Happy day-after-Thanksgiving, Min!! There’s so much joy in this post! I can tell that you had a wonderful celebration with your family—perfect Alton Brown turkey and all! I’ve actually heard about this “perfect turkey method,” but have yet to try it. I’m grateful that you (or Tim…what a champ he is for cleaning that bird! I’m skeeved out by those parts too!) did the testing for me. Next year, I’ll know which recipe to turn to. 😀

    The side dishes you made look absolutely delicious! We had maple mashed sweet potatoes as well, and they may have been the best item on my plate. Either that or roasted coconut oil kabocha squash. I can’t decide! I made sure to get my fill of leftovers today because I head back to DC tomorrow, where there will be none. 😦 That’s okay though, because Christmas feasting is just around the corner; I need to save room for all those cookies. 😉

    I’m so glad you were able to spend the day surrounded by the people you love most. You’re truly blessed to have such a loving family, Min! Enjoy the rest of your long weekend. Sending love and hugs to Texas! ❤ xoxo

  8. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says:

    Congratulations on your first solo, American Thanksgiving! I am so impressed – I have never cooked a turkey either and would not know where to start 😛 I’m glad you had a good day.

  9. Ellie says:

    Oh, Kona….he is so adorable~jhahahha. And I would have to agree that your sis has strong genes, lol! But I’ve come to notice that when one of the parents is only half/half and not full of a more westernized ethnicity (but the other parent is full korean), he/she tends to look super korean! 😛 And great job on your Thanksgiving feast~isn’t it sooooooooooo much fun?! I feel like that day was the only one in a loooong time that I’ve enjoyed cooking since pregnancy, and it’s prob. because it was out of LOVE for my fam. 🙂 have a beautiful weekend, hugs!

  10. balancejoyanddelicias says:

    what a great feast of food. I’ve never cooked turkey, it looks fun! 🙂
    it’s so. ice to spend that day with your loved ones!

  11. What a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
    You did a great job! Everything looks delicious! 🙂
    Hope you are enjoying the rest of your weekend!

  12. thefoodery says:

    What an exciting first Thanksgiving! Looks like you did everything right, that turkey looks perfectly done and everyone looks like they had a great time.

  13. Min, I loved all the pictures of you with your family! Looks like you created the perfect family holiday atmosphere 🙂 You did an amazing job, I am so impressed that you got all that done in one morning and the food looks so delicious!

    Love the tributes you wrote about your siblings, they were so touching! I’m sure they feel the same way about you. You are so blessed to have such close relationships with your siblings! And I can totally relate to what you said about Kona being your comfort during a dark time…I remember when I was feeling really down and lost, I took so much comfort from just cuddling with my Kona, knowing that he loved me just as I was, despite all my brokenness.

    p.s. I love the look on Tim’s face as he is taking the giblets out of the turkey, classic! I think that’s the face I make every time I have to touch raw meat, yuck. So glad he was able to join you guys at the end, why did he have to work on Thanksgiving Day??

  14. Glad you had a great Thanksgiving and the food looks amazing!! You did a great job! I totally agree about dogs, they cheer you up no matter what and it is an amazing feeling!

  15. everything on the table looks so good..very very impressive for a for first timer. Your family is so adorable and its such a blessing to have a good relationship with siblings.

  16. Corrie Anne says:

    Everything looks beautiful — you’re right! Family time is the best part!!

  17. Linz says:

    Aw! Happy thanksgiving! Looks like you put on an incredible feast! I don’t think I could ever do a turkey either… the sides, though? I could handle that! Your fam is adorable and I totally know what you mean about your lil bro growing up! Mine is 25 years old and I’m still like whaaat?!

  18. Happy Thanksgiving love!! It looks like you did a great job on everything. My “baby” brother wasn’t there this year for Thanksgiving so it was really hard. He is 22 and I have a hard time thinking of him as a “grown up”!

  19. Fantastic post, really lovely family and for a first Thanksgiving, you look like a pro!

  20. Christine R. says:

    What an amazing thanks giving! You guys looked like you had a lot of fun. The food looks delicious by the way 🙂

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