Getting ready for Thanksgiving

It’s the Friday before thanksgiving and I am getting ready to host. I love Thanksgiving! It’s one of my favorite holidays (besides my birthday) because I love getting all my favorite people together and cooking them food. This will be our first Thanksgiving without my Dad so I am going to try not to drink to much and cry over jellied cranberry sauce. He and I were the only two people who really ever ate that stuff. He will be missed a lot.
Thanksgiving to me is the best holiday.
My mom and I cook all the sides and I blast oldies. My parents moved to upstate New York over 10 years ago and we used to split the holidays between my parents and Ray’s parents. After my husband and I started our own family it became a little harder to travel and then we bought our house so now we host Thanksgiving and a annual summer family party. The summer party is a blast and I will definitely write all about it as I gear up for that in July. Back to Thanksgiving…
This will be my 8th year hosting thanksgiving. We have about 15 people coming that I am aware of, we always end up with a couple more. I like to invite everyone and I can see that my daughter is inheriting that from me!
Every year I make a pretty standard thanksgiving and then I usually throw in a few sides I have been meaning to try. This year we will have Ray frying the turkey (20 lbs so everyone can take some home)  outside. I am going to pick it up today so we can defrost it and start the brine this weekend. I will be getting the ham (10-12 lbs so everyone can take some home) Monday.
For the ham I throw it in the crock pot with brown sugar all over it and cook it for 8 hours on low.
My ham actually started out as a giant mistake one year but everyone raved about it so it has become a tradition now. Even my mom started cooking her ham in the crock pot. The best part is that frying the turkey and crock pot ham frees up the oven and stove for all the other sides.
I make pretty standard sides. Gravy that no one really eats, stove top stuffing that my mom usually adds onions and celery to, sweet potato with marshmallow on top, mashed potato because why not, a can of jelly cranberry sauce and a can of berry cranberry sauce,
monkey bread garlic biscuits ( ), regular biscuits for the kids,
Rice in the rice cooker because I just start cooking everything in my pantry at this point,
And this year I will be adding beet salad ( ) and
My mother in law will be bringing plantains, pastelitos and Flan for dessert. We will also be making brownies with chocolate chips in them and probably the cookies I have in the pantry because I really always end up making everything in my house. I was thinking about picking up a couple pies too but I think I might skip that this year because no one ever eats the pie.
That’s pretty much my menu! I set everything up buffet style and let everyone pick whatever they want. My sister in law usually brings some kind of drink that she dreams up and she’s the bartender.
Last year she brought Garlic Vodka and I became obsessed. I always have a Jar now in my fridge. It’s super easy to make too. You put Garlic cloves ( a lot) and dill in a jar and then pour vodka over it and let it sit for at least a week. I take a couple shots of that and mix it with a spoon of honey,  1 lemon squeezed fresh and a shake of salt, it is delish. So I am super excited to see what she brings this year.
I also lay out crackers, sausage, honey and a couple of whatever looked interesting cheeses, grapes and whatever other fruit I have for people to pick on before the meal.
So this is my thanksgiving. I know it’s a lot of food but I love that everyone comes and eats and leaves stuffed and happy. I am always happy when more people show up too. If you know anyone in the Connecticut area with nothing do to on Thanksgiving, tell them to come on over to my house because everyone is invited.
One of my dreams is to have a lunch hall so I can cook and anyone who is hungry can come and eat and take home leftovers at no charge. One day I would like to make that happen.
Now I am getting super excited. I can’t wait to see everyone.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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