Nov 21

Our First Thanksgiving at Home

Wow! What an epic weekend. Saturday was pretty relaxing day with some errands and football watching. Notre Dame certainly didn’t show up ready to play, but they still eeked out a win, so I’ll take it.  It was a nice way to decompress after a long week.

Sunday, however, is when it really got exciting. The day started out with a long run for me with Jennie accompanying me on the bike.  She was a trouper despite the cold and wind.  It was actually pretty nice weather, mid-40’s, for a long run.  But, for Jennie on the bike, it is hard to warm up when you are only moving at 7-8 min/mile pace.  Nevertheless, she was by my side for all 15 miles.  I felt great the entire way and was actually at the point where I could have turned right and gone 18 or left and gone 15.  I figured that Jennie would run me down with the bike if I turned right so I headed home for 15. 

Once we got home, it was time to get ready for our big Pre-Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner.  A little back story first.  We have never had Thanksgiving Dinner at our house.  Now, some people may enjoy not having to worry about the big meal, but it has been kind of a bummer for us.  However, after reading Colleen’s post the other day, I was standing in D&W (our local grocery store) and thought, “What the heck? Why can’t we just have our own pre-Thanksgiving turkey dinner?” So, I texted Jennie and she was all in.  I picked up the necessities, namely the turkey.  I found a small 7lb turkey that was perfect for the two of us. We put together a menu of turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, stuffing, cranberry sauce (for Jennie only – blah!), crescent rolls, and applesauce.

I think pictures tell the story the best, so enjoy!

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Our little 7lb turkey defrosting in the sink. We were a little worried about whether or not it defrosted fully, but everything worked out.

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Time to make some applesauce! 36 apples later and we had 4 batches of applesauce. The apple peeler is a huge time saver! Note the Gatorade canister in the background. That’s just how we roll.

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While I worked on the applesauce, Jennie made the dessert.  Dessert was Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars – Or as I like to call them, “Crack Bars” because they are just that addicting.

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The final product, 2 batches of plain applesauce, 2 batches of cinnamon applesauce, and a pan of "Crack Bars”.

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“Save the neck for me Clark.”

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Ready to go!

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A little appetizer to hold us over. Jennie cut the cheese – haha

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Basting. We worried a bit at first because we weren’t getting enough basting juice, but everything turned out in the end.

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Done to perfection!

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Carving a turkey for the first time. Thanks to Youtube for tips on how to do it.

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The final spread.

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Plated up and ready to dig in.

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It was good enough to just pick up and eat with my hands.

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Pulling apart the carcass to save as much as we could for leftovers.

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I believe the cap of my Magic Hat #9 pretty much summed up the night.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2011/11/21/our-first-thanksgiving-at-home


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  1. BDD

    I am loving this post!!! I love to cook, one of the few real skills I am good at, I have done Gooble Wooble dinner all by myself a couple times

    Brave eating on a white linen, I would never been trusted with that
    BDD recently posted..Weekly Ramblings

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Two words: Machine washable. That is the key. haha

      Gobble Wobble!

  2. Colleen

    Yay! I’m so glad that you guys did this. I hope that you consider making it a tradition. While I love my big family Thanksgiving, there’s something so special about the pre-Thanksgiving dinner that Tom and I get to share before the madness.

    Looks like everything turned out great! 🙂 And I might be requesting the recipe for the crack bars. YUM!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I absolutely think that it is becoming an annual tradition! It really wasn’t that hard. The turkey was the only unknown simply because we had never done it before. Everything else was just prep work and making sure things were timed appropriately. And like you said, it was a great way to celebrate without all the madness.

      Stay tuned for the recipe… I think Jennie will be posting about them later 🙂

      1. Colleen

        Timing is the hardest part of Thanksgiving! 🙂 But once you get it down, it gets easier!!! So glad you guys did this!

        And I’ll keep an eye out for the recipe. I will most likely regret that!

  3. Matt Smith

    What a great meal report. You guys know what you’re doing when it comes down to eating. Nice work! And, you’re the man fo being in the mix and making apple sauce as well as all the other yummy food. Those “crack bars” look amazing! And that apple peeler might be our next investment. It does take quite a bit of time to do it with a potato peeler.

    Your house looks like it’s a pretty cool pad. Somebody is a great decorator, and I don’t think it’s Bailey.

    15 miles? Good grief! I don’t even want to think about it. I’ll be lucky to complete 13.1 on Thursday let alone “think” about 18! Way to go on keeping your legs fresh. Are you training for something or just running for fun?
    Matt Smith recently posted..Last Long Run and Pic Dump

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I’m toying with the idea of going for a BQ time this spring. I’m doing some reading up on the subject (namely “Advanced Marathon” and “Brain Training”). So, right now I am just testing out my body to see what I can handle. I’ve done 13.1 at BQ-pace. Now it is just a matter of doing that twice in a row. Yikes!

  4. Jeff

    Some good looking eats right there!! Annie and I have done our own Thanksgiving a couple of times and it was pretty cool but with only two of us we had leftovers galore.

    Now we go to our friends house and they go all out and I can fall asleep after watching football – that is perfect!
    Jeff recently posted..Random Shit …

  5. Jon

    That turkey looks AMAZING! And now I could totally eat a huge bowl of apple sauce. Soooooo, you guys gonna bring some “crack bars” to Mont Tremblant? 😉

    I’m totally outa the loop anymore (aka clearly not stalking hard enough), but what is next on the docket for you? A marathon?
    Jon recently posted..Random Friday Facts

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I’ll trade you crack bars for Jon’s IMMT IPA next year. Deal? Although we probably shouldn’t be negotiating a trade for “crack bars” and beer online. We’ll probably end up on some watch list. haha

      Not 100% sure what is on the docket yet. Thinking of going for a BQ this spring, but don’t have mental confidence/attitude for it yet. Been doing some reading up on training plans (both “Advanced Marathoning” and “Brain Training”) trying to determine whether or not I should go for it. I’ve done the half at BQ pace, don’t know if I can double that though.

      So, for now, I am just testing out my legs to see how they are holding up. Even though I am slightly bummed to seem my time on the bike plummet, I am thoroughly enjoying the freedom of running.

  6. Emily

    Um, YUM. Now I’m so excited for Thanksgiving!

    I think doing your own meal is a great idea. I’m really looking forward to the day when I don’t have to travel for the holiday and can just make my own giant dinner with friends or family at home!

    Like everyone else said, share the recipe for crack bars?
    Emily recently posted..Weekend Adventuring

  7. Brent

    I still have never attempted making a turkey yet. I’ve taken at least a trial run at every other Thanksgiving menu item possible between my family and the pre-Thanksgiving dinner we do with our friends the night before (usually followed by a trip to the bars…but we’ll also be fitting in the Muppet Movie this year). However, the idea of making a whole turkey scares me for some reason.

  8. adena

    That loosk amazing. I’m going to have turkey with the Americans this weekend. I was going to have poutine but I’m still off cheese. ps – cranberry sauce rocks!
    adena recently posted..so I was…

  9. Heather O

    What an awesome idea! I think Matt and I need to start this tradition! The applesauce and crack bars look amazing….recipe please!!! I hope Bailey got to enjoy some turkey! How come he wasn’t in any pictures?

    And tell Jennie that I like her headband! Too cute!
    Heather O recently posted..Running in a Winter Wonderland!

  10. Mandy

    That is awesome!!!! After you do one, you figure out cooking a turkey isn’t super hard, just involved!! 🙂 Looks so good. I LOVE turkey.

    Did Bailey get any turkey??? 🙂
    Mandy recently posted..Allied Medal Hanger – WINNER!

  11. Marlene

    You guys are the cutest! Love that you made your own feast at home. It looks gooooooood! Our plans for Xmas are up in the air and Hubs is wanting to make a turkey dinner for two… hmm, I may be referring back to this post!

    Nice job on the run and so awesome that Jennie bundled up and joined you!
    Marlene recently posted..Sickie

  12. Elizabeth

    “okay Eddie”
    Elizabeth recently posted..A virtual turkey trot that’s good for you and for others

  13. DR

    nice work on keeping up with a long run
    do you have a winter event marathon>?

    seriously those pics and the food is like magazine pic perfect

  14. katie

    You guys are adorable! Holy cow.
    katie recently posted..Philadelphia Marathon: race report (guest post)

  15. lindsay

    aww you guys are precious. and i really like your scalloped thingy over your kitchen sink. we have one of those too. it’s so modern. 🙂

    but i’m mad at you and jason for moving marlene.com and not lindsay.com.
    lindsay recently posted..sat to death

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I’m guessing your house must have been built around 1955? It is totally something from the era and we’d feel sort of weird getting rid of it when we finally redo our kitchen

      BTW – Marlene.Com asked me to move her. Lindsay.Com did not. 🙂 Talk to me after Thanksgiving if you are interested in moving.

  16. Kiana Writer

    haha those were some fun moments I’m sure! I remember my first turkey with hubby, watching him all clumsy trying to do everything right was so adorable :))
    Kiana Writer recently posted..JCP Printable Coupons – Save more money !

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