Thanksgiving Breakdown

Because I’m in Germany this year, Thanksgiving was a little different. Karin and I hosted dinner for twelve people which is way beyond what I’ve contributed to the Thanksgivings of years past. Her and I spent some of Wednesday and all of Thursday creating this amazing meal. Because I’m me, I kept a running log throughout the process.

Tuesday
4:07 PM – I’m crafty as fuck so I just produced this gem: 

I am thankful for

Would’ve been nice to remember that America and Canada are the ONLY two countries in the world that use 8.5×11 as their standard paper size, but oh well.

Wednesday
7:05 PM – Just made the fourth Thanksgiving-related trip to the store. Two of those have happened within the last hour.

9:02 PM – Made stuffing and watched Karin handle a cold, dead bird with a steady ass hand. Impressed.

9:30 PM – Decided that one of the many reasons I find giblets horribly disgusting is that they’re called giblets which is a horribly disgusting word. Also, I find it gross because that shit is just gross.

Thursday
7:30 AM – Woke up at 7:30 and briefly contemplated ways to cancel Thanksgiving because 7:30 should only exist in PM form.

8:10 AM – Stuffed the CRAP out of that bird. Yeah. That turkey knows what’s up.

10:35 AM – Discovered I’m growing a massive zit in my ear and proceeded to feel blinding pain after discovering it. TMI? This is Thanksgiving, people. No such thing as TMI in a time like this. I put it ALL on the table. (That was a Thanksgiving pun, my friends.)

10:42 AM – Realized my day is nowhere near as busy as I thought it would be. Like, I have things to do, but they don’t really have to do with Thanksgiving. So…I guess I’ll go take a shower.

11:04 AM – Finished the cupcakes. Other than my sudden inability to make a frosting with the right consistency that has plagued me since coming here, they seem pretty legit.

11:30 AM – Perfected (almost) my homemade eggnog. I have a great recipe, but I really like the store bought taste. Classy, I know. I found out this flavor can be achieved by adding in lots of rum flavoring and sugar. Thanks, internet! Side note: Thanks to having to taste said eggnog 57 times while fiddling with it, I got a stomach ache because sometimes enough is enough. Even when it comes to eggnog.

12:30 PM – Finally took a shower because for the love of God…ew.

1:15 PM – Ate lunch because lunch is great. As is Karin, the woman that keeps me fed on the reg.

2:05 PM – Peeled a lot of potatoes and cut up a lot of pumpkin.

3:07 PM – Realize that people who host Thanksgiving dinner without having everyone bring a dish (like my family does at home) are unsung holiday heroes. It’s 3:00 in the afternoon and I’m tired as hell and Karin is either tired too and amazing at hiding it, or she’s Superwoman. Either is a viable possibility.

4:00 PM – Set the table like a badass. That shit had tablecloths, fall colored napkins, the cornily adorable card shown above, and some festive ass candles.

4:17 PM – Nothing. I’m doing nothing. I’m drinking a cup of coffee I’m ready for bed and dinner is still five hours away. I AM AN ADULT. THIS SHOULDN’T BE SO HARD.

7:30 PM – The time is nearly here. Still a decent amount of food to cook since a lot of stuff only takes a little while to cook. But everything is pretty damn ready for when the time comes. The turkey is doing great, that little trooper.

9:00 PM –  People come. General merriment ensues.

10:30 PM – I keep thinking of things to write in my Thanksgiving timeline. Shit is getting REAL SENTIMENTAL in my head right now.

11:17 PM – I am now certain I’m thankful for every single thing everywhere.

11:48 PM – Wine is good.

12:57 AM – People have left. I’m kind of drunk. So happy about my life. I love everything.

1:30 AM – Time to skype my sister because that’s the thing to do when you’re a little drunk, tired, and full of the holiday spirit.

Friday
10:32 AM – I feel like I’ve died and this is the sad leftovers of what I once was. (Note: I was not THAT drunk. I just have a tendency to get really, really bad hangovers.)

10:49 AM – Someone has cleaned the entire kitchen. Something tells me it wasn’t the cleaning fairies.

1:30 PM – Karin made an awesome lunch. I slept on the couch while she and Sophia enjoyed it.

7:22 PM – Karin made me the food they had for lunch because she’s the best person on the entire planet. I’m still thankful for life.

Final notes: I tried really hard to make this post only funny and not mushy. That got really hard because honestly this is the most special Thanksgiving I think I’ve ever had. Mine at home are always nice, but this one just meant so much more because Karin and I created it together and even though it’s only an American holiday I had a houseful of wonderful Germans here to celebrate the crap out of it. Karin, if you happen to read this, what I am crazy thankful for this Thanksgiving is you. And I mean that in the most mushy, gushy, sentimental way possible.

And now for a heartwarming collage to top it off:

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Turtles and Ice Cream

My brother in law wanted a couple new tattoos recently. That meant he needed to make the two and a half hour drive to where I live because there are better artists. Can’t really fault him there since it will be on his body forever. He brought along my sister and nephew and it turned into a really fun time for ME (because that’s what matters)! I got Justin to pick me up from work and with sister and baby in tow we got some delicious pizza. Then, because I love ice cream (hence the name) and my sister is obsessed with the stuff (she’s worked in multiple ice cream shops), we went to her old college workplace and got their TO DIE FOR cake batter ice cream. Heaven.

Today, we went over to Chik-fil-A and there was a balloon artist. I’ll repeat that for emphasis. There was a balloon artist. I still maintain that I did it for the child but I flagged the girl down and she made a turtle that you could where around your wrist. PLUS, she put sugar into it so it doubled as a rattle! I may have kept it for myself after the fam left… There was a picture or two taken of the child with it, but they were on other people’s phones so I don’t have them. I did take a picture of the turtle to show you, though. It’s just too cool.

I’m going to spend some time at the pool becoming a bronze goddess (haha). I might work out later. And then tomorrow I get to spend the day with a wonderful friend and we’re seeing Hunger Games again! All in all, this is looking to be a very welcome, very awesome weekend.

Pi Day

I didn’t know Pi Day was a thing until last year. I’m pretty sure that’s around the time someone made it up. I mean, I get it. I’m not that bad at math. I feel like people are grasping at holiday straws, though. Why not something like Old People Day on January 22nd?  Jeanne Calment lived to be 122 years old, hence the date of my proposed holiday. We could celebrate by planning for our possibly really long retirements. Just some food for thought.

Anyway, in honor of the holiday I think you’re supposed to make a pie. Having spent thousands of dollars on my baking education I feel I’m somewhat obligated to participate. But then again, it’s already the day of and I don’t have any of the stuff and so on. So instead I’ll show you some pictures of pies that I want to make, have made, or just want to consume whole. If you want recipes for any of the ones that I’ve made (or some that I haven’t, I still may have a recipe) let me know!

(P.S. I’m getting the pictures off google because I don’t make it a habit to take pictures of the pies I’ve made. I’ll source them at the bottom, though.)

I have a REALLY easy recipe for this one. Tastes good, too.

I think I've made this before but it might have just been in my dreams.

My aunt shared with me the BEST Blueberry Pie recipe. It has a crumb topping unlike the lattice in the picture. SO. GOOD.

I actually prefer pumpkin squares which is like pumpkin pie except with cake instead of pie dough (easy favorite, right?). But I made a pie this Thanksgiving using Paula Deens recipe and while I now am 30 lbs. heavier due to the amount of heavy cream it called for it was totally worth it.

I'm not a huge fan of apples (except in pie or juice form). It must be included, though, because I don't want to be called unpatriotic. ESPECIALLY not on Pi Day. The pie in the picture+vanilla bean ice cream=YUM.

So there you have it. I think I have recipes for all of those, if you’re interested. I also have a great and easy pie dough recipe if you want to brag to all your friends that you made your own pie dough from scratch. (People brag about that, right?)

Sources (*note: I’m not saying any of the recipes these pictures come from are good/usable. They just looked good so I snagged them):

Lemon Meringue

Chocolate Silk

Blueberry

Pumpkin

Apple

Journey Into the World of Crafting…for Christmas

So a good friend of mine decided that we needed to CRAFT. Better yet, craft for Christmas! Seeing as I’m a destitute college student I pounced on the idea. If I can make a Christmas gift that people will love, why the heck not?

We made our way to Jo-Anns (after planning for ohhh…about two hours). We perused the aisles and generally gazed at the splendor of it all. After that, we went to Publix and similarly gazed at the splendor. Once home, we went at it.

We decided to make Cookies in a Jar and Citrus Bath Salts. Who wouldn’t want those?! We began on the cookies. It was soon apparent that we were both hungry and kind of worn out. Two hours of planning (AKA Pinterest and a little Googling) and shopping at two (I repeat TWO) stores will do that to a woman. We ate dinner and revisited the project.

It was going fine until this conversation started:

Jen: Did we put the brown sugar in the jars?

Kay: Ummm…yeah?

*Look into each other’s eyes and just know*

Yeah…so then we scooped some of the innards out, put the brown sugar in, scooped most of the innards back in and screwed on the top. Phew! We fixed it. This conversation soon followed:

Kay: Jen, did we put white sugar in these?

Jen: Yeah, of course we did.

Kay: The only white stuff I’m seeing is flour…

Yay for failure! We decided that since they already had to add eggs, butter, and vanilla it wouldn’t kill them to add a little sugar, too.

We ended the night mostly satisfied with our pretty (ish) jars. A few days later I made labels and recipe cards for the jars and wrapped them up with a bow. Overall, I think they were a success. Things I would have changed are as follows (I really like lists):

  1. Follow the directions a little more closely. Did you know they have a specific order for ingredients?
  2. Get the right size jar. Resizing recipes can be annoying and a little risky.
  3. Make sure you definitely have enough ingredients. Mid-project trips to Publix just feel defeating.

As you can probably tell, I’m leaving just a bit out, but I kept all the good stuff. The recipe I used was from Bakerella. Check it out here: http://www.bakerella.com/mix-things-up/ .

As for the bath salts, I think that one deserves its own post (though decidedly less exciting than the cookie jars). I’ll bring that to you soon.