the day after thanksgiving.

or black friday. or the day that you can officially put up christmas decorations and listen to the christmas pandora station, and not get crazy looks.

but back to thanksgiving. yesterday was such a wonderful day filled with family, friends & food! aaron and i started out the day with a little breakfast, knowing that we would be eating a big turkey dinner. though probably not the healthiest – hey, it was a holiday!

then i got to the baking & cooking stage of my day. i promised our thanksgiving host (my grandmother) that i would bring two pies and cranberries. the first of my pies was the pumpkin pie. (sidenote: i actually baked the pumpkin pie on wednesday night.) i was a little nervous since i normally don’t make the pumpkin pie in my family (mom usually does, and an amazing job at that), and i was using the TJ’s (that’s Trader Joe’s for you that are not in the know) recipe on the back of their canned pumpkin and not the recipe on the back of the usual canned pumpkin that you buy at the regular grocery store. everything went well and the only difference between the usual pumpkin pie and the TJ’s pumpkin pie was evaporated milk versus whole milk & half-and-half. i served the pie with creme fraiche as opposed to cool whip mostly because my grandmother thinks that all whipped cream is “shaving cream.” (this is totally true even though it sounds like i am making it up. when we are out to dinner and she orders an irish coffee, she will tell the waiter “now i don’t want any of that shaving cream on the top,” and we have to explain to the waiter that she actually means whipped cream in a can. but i digress.)

the other pie that i made this year was an apple pie, which is the kind that i normally make for holiday meals, so nothing too tricky about it.

i also decided to make cranberry sauce this year. cranberries are one of my favorite parts of the thanksgiving meal (do people really use cranberries outside of thanksgiving and christmas? i think not.) and when i saw a simple recipe for fresh cranberry sauce in the november cooking light, i knew i had to give it a try. plus, the recipe specifically said that cranberries are one of the easiest sauces to make. boy were they right, it was so easy – you basically just add things together and boil them. the color was gorgeous and the sauce was so tasty! (plus, there were no ribbed “can lines”!)

as i had mentioned earlier, my grandmother was hosting thanksgiving this year. she has always loved hosting dinner, especially thanksgiving. she makes the most beautiful centerpieces you have ever seen, and always with food (her fave!) – plantains, grapes, clementines, pineapple. we (aaron, my grandmother and i) were joined by old family friends for the evening which we spent a lot of playing cards (spite & malice, a family favorite). it was such a great evening, though aaron and i were both missing family celebrations in other states (idaho and indiana).

the turkey continued as a theme even into the day after thanksgiving thru leftovers (yum) and a very successful attempt at  making turkey stock out of the turkey carcass. i have to admit that we were a bit peer pressured into taking the rest of the turkey home, but after a little chopping and straining, we have some amazing homemade turkey stock. we are planning to make a delicious turkey soup for tomorrow night’s dinner. (and the turkey theme continues!)

despite the turkey-themed weekend, we also spent today doing a teeny bit of shopping. it is black friday after all, right? after aaron and i were in paris this spring and borrowing my parent’s SLR camera, we decided that we were going to get one for ourselves for christmas. we spent some time looking at the different cameras available a few weeks ago – nikon, canon, sony – and decided that the sony a55 was the one for us. while it isn’t a nikon or canon (which is what most SLR choices seem to be), the sony just felt perfect for us – not too bulky, good grips, nice swivel screen. we bought the “black friday edition” of the seattle times to scour what the deals would be, but aaron ended up finding the best price online. though there won’t be any surprises as to what christmas has in store for us this year, i am still so stoked to get this camera!

what a great thursday & friday. can you believe we have the entire weekend still? bliss.

how was your thanksgiving? did you do any damage during black friday, or avoid the crowds?

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