A Brazilian Thanksgiving

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy late Thanksgiving! The past couple days have been a whirlwind of planning, cooking, cleaning, and great company. We had it at our house, and invited friends and family that we are SO lucky to have out here.

I mean really, isn't it just the best? Planning menus, cooking (to Frank Sinatra- I was in a special mood), having people over, sitting around the table talking, and taking time to reflect on how amaaazingly blessed we are.

It was a fantastic collaboration from everyone, all tasted phenomenal. There was so much that everyone left with baggies and tupperware full of goodness. My dad pulled through in a big way and brought all the American necessities- fresh cranberries, pumpkin puree, turkey roasting bag, turkey seasoning, etc...

The decorations were pretty simple. I don't have a table that fits more than four (fingers crossed the container comes next month as they say!), so we borrowed a plastic table and chairs from a family in our ward. It makes me laugh how ghetto the pictures look. It felt much more homey in the moment.

The menu:

Caprese salad
Chester- a similar bird to turkey they have out here. I was nervous but found it to be so much more flavorful and moist! Win win. I followed my mother-in-law's genius recipe, cooking it the day before, carving, and letting the meat marinate in the juices overnight. Put in the oven the next day for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Heaven. I could eat it everyday.
Mashed potatoes
Candied coconut sweet potatoes (basically a dessert, and I'm not arguing with that. It was a huge hit! Absolutely recommend.)
Homemade cranberry sauce- never go back to the can.
Spinach salad with strawberries and almonds
Balsamic green bean salad

Pumpkin pie
Chocolate pudding cake
PavĂȘ (Brazilian dessert)

The last guests pulled out at 12:30. Alex and I left the dirty dishes in the kitchen and waddled straight upstairs. I am a firm believer in enjoying the meal and conversation, not rushing to get up and clean everything. That can wait for tomorrow. Especially when it's late and my back is aching. We laid in bed, elevating our feet up against the wall. It was a perfect Thanksgiving. Family, friends, food. Oh and my sister-in-law's brand new baby. It really doesn't get better than that. With the blood draining away from our tired feet, we went back and forth with 10 things we are grateful for this year. I think we fell asleep around #5.

I am crazy grateful for this little human growing inside me.

I am grateful for having family and friends nearby. And nephews!

I am grateful for fans and bug zappers. Even though they are ridiculously overpriced, but that is besides the point. Grateful.

I am grateful to be married to my favorite person in the world.

I am grateful that Brazil has no shame in putting Christmas decorations up early. Everything has been decked out for at least 3 weeks now. I don't understand people complaining about starting too early- one month is much too short to enjoy it! It is weird having a hot Christmas season though, and the decorations sold right next to swimsuits.

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