Hello to anyone who reads this! While most of the world has drifted to instagram, facebook, vine, and pinterest... I still think blogging is great, and a fantastic back-up for my photos.
Let's talk about holidays. Although my sister's family lives in the DFW area, they tend to voyage northward for holidays. Last year they were gone for a chunk of time that included my birthday, General Conference, and Easter. And though I was sad, and would always prefer to spend time with them over anyone else, it gave me a new opportunity to celebrate with just friends.
|Pumpkin sale at Central Market|
Last year for Thanksgiving, my roommates and I took it to a whole new level. We had moved into our new apartment just 4 days before Thanksgiving. We had received so much help from our friends during the move that we were a little overcome in gratitude. We also had 2 dining tables. So we came to the obvious conclusion that we needed to host Thanksgiving, or as we chose to call it "Friendsgiving."
|Dallas Arboretum House of Gourds|
As Gilmore Girls fans, we thought it would be exciting if we told everyone to dress up for the festivities... but we got a resounding negative response to that idea. So casual it was!
The day's festivities were packed. When we woke up, we got on our work-out gear and had our own informal turkey trot:
From left to right we have Shana, Ahlin, Shawn, myself, and Robert. (Both the girls live with me.)
After the turkey trot (which involved them running in a big circle and me walking through the middle :) we headed home to prepare our "tablescape" as Ahlin affectionately called it.
Sweet Ahlin even purchased harvest colored plates so that all 11 of us could have matching dishes.
On Wednesday before the big day, I was feeling a little down. My siblings were giving me updates about what they were all doing in Utah, all together without me. To what to my surprise and delight, the mail guy at work brought a big box to my desk, right when I was feeling particularly bummed out. Inside was this beautiful bouquet of flowers in a glass vase. It contained a note from my parents wishing me luck to host my first Thanksgiving. Their thoughtfulness came at the most precise time! Good one, mom and dad.
Ahlin bundled each silverware with a little foliage from my bouquet.
She also collected these little jars and put tealights in them so we could eat by candelight.
And of course my name tags allowed us to analyze the seating arrangements in advance.
We all contributed a myriad of dishes. I was shocked that so many 20 year olds could make such a delicious feast. I think we had more food than most Thanksgiving meals because everyone wanted to make their family's traditional dishes.
I cooked the turkey! My first, to be in fact. Someone else was lined up to do the turkey, but he had to cancel at the last minute. My roommates suggested that we just buy a few rotisserie chickens instead. No, no. Not under my roof (or at least the roof I pay rent for). So I volunteered to handle the turkey. We immediately ran to the store to buy a turkey before they all ran out. I laboriously watched many a Today Show tutorials online, read tips from bloggers, and read tons of online recipes. But in the end, I decided "momma knows best" and stuck with the classic oven bag method.
I was pretty nervous about it and between greeting our guests, having a video chat with my mom at home (so she could make sure it was done), and wanting to make sure that I had time to make the gravy. So unfortunately I couldn't do a little photo shoot of my finished project, but my friend Danni snapped this one...
Looks pretty good eh? And if I say so myself, it tasted pretty great.
Ahlin made this beautiful and delicious apple pie.
And here is the only photo we got of the group enjoying the spread.
Thanks to Ahlin for capturing this one!
Danni took this final photo of the midway point. Looks like a pretty great spread to me!
Ahlin, Shana, and I decided that we really like hosting Thanksgiving because everyone left us a portion of their leftovers. It was fabulous! There were plenty of extras so we got to recreate the feast for a few extra meals.
After the meal, a few other friends came to join us for dessert. We brought out the pies and Shana's amazement dessert: pretzel crust, raspberry jello filling and whipped cream on top. It was a pure joy! I think it was definitely the favorite dish of the whole day. We also turned on King's Speech and got sucked into that for the next few hours.
Last up for the day... our second annual Korean karaoke night. We all met up at our place and carpooled to the other side of town to a place called "Little Korea," where a large room had been reserved just for us. A few other folks gathered from the corners of the metroplex for some belting of the Spice Girls and a lil' Justin Bieber.
So all in all, I still missed my family, but Friendsgiving was certainly a success. Here's to new traditions!