Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Turkey for me and Turkey for you...

I may have mentioned once or twice or 17 times how awesome my family is.  What I haven't mentioned nearly enough is that my friends rival my family in their awesomeness.  Maybe it's because I'm exceptionally lucky to count my friends as family.  When you live 700 miles away from your closest relative, an adoptive family becomes almost vital.  So this Thanksgiving season (and yes, it should be a season.  Why does Christmas get all the love starting in October?  I hereby declare November to be the "Thanksgiving Season."), I'm extra thankful for my second family. And for their concept of Friendsgiving, a fabulous evening that brought us all together for an amazing potluck style Thanksgiving dinner. Huge thanks to R, A, and baby E for hosting us, and huge thanks to everyone else for making some divinely inspired dishes.

What would Thanksgiving be without appetizers?  I mean other than much less caloric.  M was our appetizer guru this year, providing us with a relish tray and some sort of gloriously creamy rye bread dip.  Let's start with the relish tray...pretty standard stuff.  Baby gherkins, garlic pickles, black olives, pickled okra (which may not be standard outside of the southeast), and green olives stuffed with garlic. Green olives are not on my list of enjoyable foods, but given my love for absurd amounts of garlic, I had to try one.  There was so much garlic, that it almost masked the olive taste. Sold.  Don't ask me what was in the rye bread dip - it was a super secret family recipe.  Ok, not really, but that sounds so much more exciting than me telling you that I forgot the list of ingredients that M told me.  I really wish I could remember said ingredients, because it was awesome and I'd love to try my hand at making it.

Can you see the large bits of garlic sticking out of the top of the olives?  
Rye bread dip.  With additional rye bread for dipping.
Then it was actually time for dinner.  Not only did we fill a table with food, we ran out of room and still had some that was served from the stove.  And that doesn't count dessert.  Let's see if I can remember everything.

R & A took care of the turkey.  I made pasta salad (I have never had pasta salad at Thanksgiving dinner before, but I just went with it).  N made corn pie (which is pretty much a giant casserole of corn with a corn-breadish texture) and brought the cranberry. J made deviled eggs with bacon. G & L made crock pot mac & cheese, Z & H made green bean casserole and rolls.  S & B brought squash casserole and a chocolate pie.  I think M made broccoli casserole.  A made grater tater casserole, which is glorious combination of diced ham, potatoes, onions, peppers, and cheese.  L made sweet potatoes and a sweet potato pie.  M made an apple pie and a pumpkin pie (maybe...she made two pies).  C & M made mashed potatoes. I'm pretty sure G & L brought something else, but I can't remember what it was.  Someone remind me!  Was it stuffing?  It may have been.  Or I may have made that up.

Grater tater in the back and green bean casserole in front.
Our awesome, awesome spread.
Mashed potatoes.  Maybe my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner.
Dessert.  We were all way too full to eat much of this.

Overall, it was a marvelous evening.  Great food, wonderful company, lots of laughs, and the second, in what I sincerely hope is a long line of Friendsgivings with my family away from family.

These are the faces of some very content and very full people.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!  

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