Holidays are generally spent surrounded by family and friends, celebrating years of traditions and memories. Living in Scotland poses a bit of a problem for this, but we have been so blessed as this holiday season has started. For Thanksgiving, we were invited to the home of some American friends for a potluck style meal. For some unknown reason, when they asked if someone could do the turkey, I jumped at the chance. I’d been thinking how I needed to master cooking a turkey, so without a thought, I volunteered. Only later did it
occur to me that I had never cooked a turkey, and I was now cooking an 18 pound turkey in a tiny oven for 12 people I have only known for a few months. But… I researched some of my favorite cooking blogs, looked at a recipe from one of the girls here, talked to Bethany about her experiences and emailed my mother-in-law (since I cannot recall my own mother ever having to cook a turkey, I guess we have good family who always cook for us!). Thursday morning, armed with a borrowed meat thermometer, a borrowed roasting pan, some herbs, some lemon, some onion, and loads of butter, I pulled out those giblets and set to work. I don’t want to brag or anything, but it was a pretty awesome turkey. It was juicy, flavorful, and all around delicious. I felt slightly less intimidated when we got there and I found out no one else had ever cooked a turkey before either!
We had decided not to carve it at home, because we had never carved a turkey before, and we were hoping someone else would do it… but nope. With the help of our friend and neighbour Issac, Jared set to work and carved the bird pretty well! We’ve carved a few roasted chickens, so it was similar, just on a huge scale…. Everything that night was delicious. We had every Thanksgiving staple and more! It was great to spend our first holiday together–and away from family–with good friends.
Going back in time a bit, I wanted to continue some of my family’s holiday traditions as we start our own family. One thing my family knows how to do is eat good food. Holidays almost always start with a great breakfast, which we snack on until its dinner time. I wanted to make cinnamon rolls, since that is a popular holiday breakfast at home, but it seemed like a lot of work to make the dough by hand, roll it out without a rolling pin, and hope they rose in my freezing kitchen… So I settled on Pioneer Woman pull apart loaf… and boy was it delicious. I meant to take a picture before, but you’ll have to settle for a half eaten picture.
To finish off the holiday traditions, I set up our limited Christmas decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving! I couldn’t bare the thought of not having stockings, but I also couldn’t bare to spend very much on cheap stockings… so I settled and made some out of burlap! It was painful to pay for burlap, considering that we have about 60 burlap sacks in my mom’s garage left over from our wedding… but I think they turned out pretty cute! Its fun making our new home festive 🙂
And…. today we had our first Scottish snow!! Its getting cold over here!