Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our One Pot Thanksgiving

This year's Thanksgiving was spent in a 1 bedroom apartment and the meal was cooked with 1 pot. 

My brother, Erik, a medical resident, lives in Springfield, about 3.5 hours away from us.  Normally he comes up to visit us for all the holidays.  But this time he was on call, which meant he couldn't be more than about 10 miles away from the clinic he works at.  So we went to stay with him for the weekend.  He was gracious enough to let Evan and I sleep in his queen bed. Davin slept in the port-a-crib in the room with us.  Spencer slept on Erik's new couch (in fact, I don't think he left the spot on the couch that he's in in the picture below), and Mea and Erik on air mattresses on the floor.  
 Thanksgiving dinner turned out great,  but it required some ingenuity on our part.  Erik has a sweet deal with his residency--he gets free meals in the resident lounge every day, in addition to $50 a month to spend in the hospital cafeteria.  So he really doesn't need too much food at home.  So he really only keeps peanut butter and jelly, bread, and cereal on hand, and only has 1 pot, 1 pan, and a few other random gadgets.  I brought a few items down (potato masher, whisk).  He bought a disposable foil pan to cook the turkey in.  I made the pies the day before at home.  But we had to cook mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and peas, all using just 1 pot.  Thankfully he had a crock pot.  So what I had to do was cook an item, then put it in the crock pot to keep it warm, clean the pot, and repeat.  It sounds stressful, but it wasn't--maybe because it meant I couldn't multi-task (which I've found I'm horrible at doing).

All in all, everything turned out great.

Erik carving the turkey he cooked
The 1 pot that did it all
Getting ready to eat!
 Other activities for the weekend included:  playing lots of Sega Genesis on Erik's 20-year old console (the kids picked up on the blowing-into-the-game-cartridge trick pretty quick), a walk in Washington park, feeding the ducks, playing on the playground, checking out Amazon lightning deals, and finally, to get into the Christmas spirit, making our own felt tree and ornaments:

We ended up making 2--one for us, and one to leave with Erik.  With us leaving for Utah in 2.5 weeks, we really didn't want to buy a tree this year.  The felt tree is a great alternative.

All in all, it was a great Thanksgiving weekend.  I'm so grateful to live close to Erik so that we have family to spend holidays with.

A few other things I'm grateful for this year:
-antibiotics, mother's instinct, and doctors who will take you in last minute.  Wednesday night, 20 minutes before the pediatrician office was to close, I called and explained that I thought Davin may have an ear infection.  There wasn't too much that made me think it--he had had congestion for 5 days, and tugged on his ear occasionally.  He was fussy and not sleeping well, too.  No fever.  But I kept thinking all day Wednesday that he was going to get an ear infection over Thanksgiving weekend and that he'd be miserable.  So finally I called and they had me come in.  Sure enough, 1 ear infected, the other with fluid.  The antibiotics did the trick.  He slept better at Erik's that he had for the entire week previous.  And his congestion and fussiness went away.  
-my husband.  Thanksgiving weekend is an anniversary for us--we met at a party the Saturday after Thanksgiving 10 years ago.  Neither of us are party-goers, but we both ended up at the same party (we even arrived at the same time), and I'm so grateful that we did.
-Davin:  he has been a great addition to our family.  Last year on November 30 I was put on bed rest for 2 months.  It was among the hardest two months of my life, but looking back on it now, it was totally worth it because now I have him.  And he's healthy and happy and brings us great joy.

And now, on to Christmas...