The First Ever Joel & Jenn Family Thanksgiving

This year Jenn and I decided that we would try to do our own Thanksgiving. It wasn't an easy decision but given the circumstances it was the right one. So the two novice chef's went out into the world, picked up some supplies and prepared what honestly was one of the best Thanksgiving meals I've ever had. 

The story begins the night before Thanksgiving. Given how long it takes to cook a turkey we decided to finish off some of the sides the night before. Jenn made her famous cherry pie, while I cooked both corn bread and rice crispy treats. Everything came out surprisingly well, even if Jenn blames me for not stirring the Cherry Pie ingredients correctly. 

Thanksgiving morning (or as Jenn would says gobble gobble morning) we woke up and made Jenn's Mom's amazing garlic mashed potatoes. These mashed potatoes are quite a lengthy cooking process (and as unhealthy as they come) so we wanted to make sure we got them done early in the morning. 

After the two hours of prep and cooking the potatoes were finally done. We were then off to Crystal Cove for a hike before coming back to cook the turkey. We had planned this hike the day we decided to do our own Thanksgiving. But during the week leading up to Thanksgiving the weather called for rain. Luckily that wasn't the case and we had one of the most beautiful Thanksgiving days I can remember. A lot of others had the same idea and we were joined by plenty of hikers throughout Crystal Cove. It was a gorgeous time to walk and really got us in the Thanksgiving spirit. 

We had such an incredible time on the hike. Not only was the weather perfect but it was so nice to get away from all of the cooking and just enjoy the day itself. We don't get many days off of work so its always nice to be able to sit back and enjoy the beautiful area in which we live in. 

After our incredible hike we topped it off with a regrettable run to the golden arches of McDonalds for a quick bite to eat for lunch. Once we got done eating lunch we were then ready to begin prepping and cooking our 12lb turkey. We found a really easy recipe that just called for chopping up some vegetables and making a rosemary and sage butter that we spread all over the turkey. To start we cut up our vegetables (carrots, celery, and onion) and put them on the bottom of the pan. Then we took a half stick of butter and put it in a pan with rosemary and sage and cooked that for a minute. We put the rosemary and sage into the cavity of the turkey and painted the bird with butter. We then took a dry rub of salt, pepper, and cayenne and generously spread it all over the turkey. And that was it, simple but turns out quite delicious. 

The turkey was now in the oven and we had three hours to kill before we could partake in this Thanksgiving day feast. We watched some football (to Jenns demise) and even played a game of Life with a glass of wine. 


The long wait was finally over and our turkey hit the right temperature on the easy read thermometer. So we took the beautiful bird out of the oven and let it rest while we re-heated all of the sides and prepared for our Thanksgiving Dinner. 

Our full menu for our Thanksgiving dinner ended up being Turkey, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus, Corn Bread, and Cherry Pie/Rice Crispy Treats for desert with an excellent bottle of red wine. 

We had an incredible Thanksgiving. Even though it was our first turkey it turned out amazing and was one of the best ones either of us has ever had. It was so much fun making the meal and enjoying it with the love of my life. What an incredible Thanksgiving.