Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thanksgiving with the Ferris

Because traveling 8 hours home for Thanksgiving is always so hectic and stressful for us (hello, week before my exams) we decided to have my family down for Thanksgiving this year. In hindsight, I can't tell you if traveling or hosting a house full of guests was more stressful, but we sure did have fun in the kitchen :)

We sent these invites out to all the attendees two weeks before...

Pardon the black block that keeps creepers from finding where we live...

Luckily, my Nana and Papa arrived a day early and my Nana was up late into the night with me prepping food for the next day. Eric and my Papa handled the turkey. (See, because I have this weird thing about holding raw meat that has bones in it...almost hit the floor holding a small cornish hen at the sink last year. True story. They remind me of like...small children or something. I don't know. Moving on.) Eric, my Nana, and Papa were such a huge help - couldn't have pulled it off without them the day before.

My Papa handling the dirty work.

Perhaps the funniest picture of the weekend.

We made a 20 pound apple-bourbon roasted turkey (this recipe)and then Eric grilled a 6 pound breast (this recipe).  It was our first time hosting Thanksgiving so I really wanted to do a traditional roasted turkey, but I think in the future, we might just do a few breasts because everyone always wants the white meat anyway.

While the boys dealt with the birds, my Nana and I got started on everything else. I decided to try Southern Living's Apple Blackberry Pie with a White Cheddar Crust this year. People - holy. pie. It was SO good...but by far the most time we have ever spent on one recipe. Made the pie dough from scratch and the filling from scratch. Seven hours later, we had a beauty. I can tell you, it was worth it. Perfect mix of savory and sweet. This will be a Ferri Thanksgiving Tradition for sure.

I can't even tell you how excited I was that the dough rolled out perfectly...

This might be my favorite photo of the my sweet Nana in the background at the sink. Such a huge help.

We were fortunate enough to have the G's with us for Thanksgiving this year! Which is totally appropriate because as far as I'm concerned, they are family. Don't you love friends like that? G outdid herself with the muffins (pecan pie ones didn't last very long) and her delicious cranberry chutney (didn't get a photo of But you should harass her for the family recipe...)

In addition to my immediate family, we also had Eric's grandparents join us this year. We are so thankful that they only live an hour and a half away and we get to visit with them pretty often. You really just can't beat time with grandparents can you?

As everyone started to arrive, we put out a slew of appetizers to hold everyone over to the 2:00 dinner time. 

Baked Brie with jam and honey.

Cranberry Salsa
Eric's Gram (rear) and my Nana (front) keeping me company in the kitchen
Finally, the turkeys were ready to come out and the resting/carving/serving process began.

The first ever Ferri turkey!

I love how intent we all are...all on a different task. Notice how I have an apron on, but am watching G do all the work :)

The two basting masters...
Also on our menu for the day were mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, crock pot mac n' cheese, sweet potato souffle, confetti corn, green bean casserole, and garlic rosemary biscuits.

We finally got everyone corralled and settled down for dinner. Our dining area was packed with 11 people, but these photos just go to show that it can be done in a small home! The most important thing is being together at the holidays, and as far as I'm concerned, the more the merrier.

Friday was full of Black Friday shopping (although most of mine was done already, so it was a smaller haul than normal), leftovers, and the Christmas Tree Lighting at the Shops at Wiregrass (an outdoor shopping mall near my house). We took my little chihuahua Polka Dot and my mom's dog, Candy, along with us.

Afterward, we headed back to our house, put on Home Alone, and Eric and I put up our Christmas tree. Ordinarily, I would have waited with a house full of people, but since we won't be with my family for Christmas this year, I wanted to have the tree up to open presents with them on Saturday morning.

Polka Dot keeping an eye on the tree trimming from her comfy perch on the back of the loveseat.

Eric preparing to put the star on...our tree literally touches the ceiling so it can be tricky!

Eric made breakfast on Saturday morning, and we all exchanged gifts  together.  My mom headed back home around lunchtime, but my Nana and Papa were with us until their flight left on Sunday morning. Eric had to do a few things for school so I just sat and chatted with them on Saturday afternoon over bloody marys (my Nana will want you all to know that hers was non-alcoholic).

We did some mall shopping for a bit, made dinner, and then watched the Carolina/Clemson game before heading to bed. Their flight left super early, so Eric and I had breakfast and coffee at a little beach diner and then walked barefoot on the beach for, literally, hours.  The weather was perfect and it was a really nice way for us to chat and have some alone time to wrap up the weekend.

We have so much to be thankful for :)

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