I know I’m a few days late, but I wanted to share with you how our family celebrated Thanksgiving this year. It was our first Thanksgiving completely on our own as a family of 3. For most of our marriage, we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with our parents – usually with both sides of the family coming together for one wonderful celebration. Last year, Rob was deployed so it was just me & Emily and unfortunately we were both way too sick to enjoy the day at all. In fact, we even turned down invitations to join friends and spent the day watching movies and recovering instead.
This year we were excited to have Rob home to celebrate with us! We did extend the invitation to some friends and some of Rob’s co-workers but everyone had a place to go, so we enjoyed our small family Thanksgiving.
Operation Holiday Cookies for Soldiers
That’s the official name Emily assigned to our new family tradition! We started the day by making 16 dozen cookies of various types and delivering them to the soldiers that were working as gate guards on post. We spent the morning mixing, baking, cooling, sorting, & packaging the cookies. Then, we spent almost 2 hours driving around to 11 different gates on post and to the Staff Duty desk to hand out plates of cookies and our “Happy Thanksgiving” wishes. It was a beautiful day, a relaxing drive, and lots of quality family time!
I just have to brag on our family! We worked like clockwork in the kitchen! We kept it simple by making “Cake Mix Cookies” – a recipe I got from a dear friend of mine years ago. Emily took her post in front of the KitchenAid mixer and made every single batch of cookie dough herself. She was rocking! After the dough was ready, she passed it off to Rob who scooped it out onto the cookie sheets and put them in the oven. When they came out of the oven, I took the cookie sheets and transferred the cookies to the cooling racks. ‘Round and ‘round we went like an efficient assembly line, with Christmas music playing in the background! In between rounds, I worked on punching holes in the disposable plates and decorating them with ribbon. When all the cookies were ready, we lined up again and worked together to load the plates up with cookies.
Emily was super fast handing them out, so I didn’t get a great picture – but you can see from the soldier’s smile that they were well received!
Emily even made all those cookies without licking the beater once since they were not gluten-free! Don’t worry, we did make a GF batch of cookies afterward for her to enjoy – I’m not mean! Actually, I was quite impressed that she was so into making the cookies for the soldiers that she didn’t even mind not licking the beater.
Thanksgiving meal….Southern style!
For our main meal, we went completely untraditional this year. It’s not uncommon for our family to stray from the traditional turkey & dressing. We’ve been known to have enchiladas, lasagna, or even go out to eat on Thanksgiving in order to keep it fun and different. This year, I guess we were feeling our Southern roots a bit because we decided to make fried chicken, biscuits & gravy! Rob and Emily had been having some cravings and we decided it was a great day to indulge them. Once again we utilized our excellent teamwork – Emily made the biscuits, Rob fried the chicken, and I made the gravy!
We indulged, but didn’t go crazy. The biscuits & gravy were both gluten-free, and the fried chicken was even a Paleo Fried Chicken recipe! It was delicious!! So much so, that we’ve already made it again but with veggies instead of biscuits this time.
Ready to dig in!
What would we do without timers on cameras?
She asked me to take her picture again because you couldn’t see her tongue in the first one.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!