Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday of the year.  What's not to like about getting the family together, cooking, watching football, and just relaxing?  I've always liked it but, it seems to get better and better as I get older.  Is Thanksgiving an "older people" holiday?  My guess is yes.

A couple years ago we moved Thanksgiving to our house.  We used to have two Thanksgiving dinners, one at my parents and one at my mother-in-laws.  They were both excellent but I'm kind of a home body, so the relaxation level just isn't quite the same at someone else's house.  I also love to cook, so moving it to our house allows me to do another thing that I love. 

This year was the biggest get together yet.  My parents and most inlaws came as usual (I started typing all the inlaws and it got long).  We had a special bonus of my brother-in-law from Arizona and his family coming to visit.  I hadn't seen them in forever and it was great having them over as well.  We had 14 people total but it was supposed to be 16.  My niece and her husband had a baby last week and they were still in the hospital.  We ran a nice meal over to them which I'm sure they enjoyed.  We look forward to having them and Jonah over next year.

On to the good stuff, the food!  With all these people I decided to cook two turkeys and my parents brought down a honey baked ham.  I grilled on turkey on the Weber using my dad's method he taught me.  Oil the bird, coat with Lowry season salt, grill on indirect heat for about 20 minutes per pound until the temp reaches 180.  Works perfect every time.  I smoked the other turkey.  I brined it over night in cranberry-pomegranate juice with one cup of kosher salt per gallon.  In the morning I rinsed the brine and added more salt and pepper.  Smoking is tricky because it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour per pound depending on how hot the smoker is.  It was a cold rainy day and I had a 13 pound turkey so I got up at 5:15 am and lit the charcoal in case it took 12 hours to cook.  My luck, it took about six hours and I should have pulled it off after about 5.  Not a real big deal.  My dad and I wrapped it in aluminum foil, then a towel, and stuck it in a cooler to rest for a couple hours.

My mom, wife, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law made all the fixings.  Stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, corn casserole, broccoli casserole, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and peanut butter pie.  Needless to say, no one went hungry.  I made a black bean salsa to snack on all day while cooking and it was huge success.  Thanks neighbor Claire for the recipe!  Here it is if you are looking for a nice snack to bring to a party.

2 cans black beans (RINSE WELL and drain)

1 can white shoe peg corn (drain)
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ cup finely chopped red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup peeled and finely chopped fresh tomato
Combine all ingredients except tomato. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Add tomato just before serving. May need to add more lime juice and cilantro to taste.

Another good week of training (except swimming).  I moved things around a bit to fit it all in.  Wednesday night I skipped my swim because our company arrived.  Thursday I ran instead of biked because I was able to fit a run in nicely between checking on the turkeys.  Friday I managed to set the trainer up while everyone was either sleeping or Black Friday shopping.  That moved my long run to Saturday and long bike to Sunday instead of vice versa.  I normally take Friday off from running and cycling.  Not taking it off meant 6 days of running or cycling in a row.  My legs are tired.
Speaking of Black Friday.   Happy Black Friday to me!  I didn't do any crazy shopping.  After my parents left at 6 am, I took a long nap.  While catching up on BT posts I saw a thread about black Friday tri stuff.  I picked up two Zoot tri tops at 75% off plus a Sugio tri top and tri shorts for 40% off.  I need to decide what tri top and shorts I'll use during my HIM so I'll start doing my long rides and runs in different types to see what causes the least chaffing.
My training plan starts Monday 11/29.  I leave the country 12/4 for a week, so my 20 week plan will be more like 19.
This weeks totals
swimming 0 hours
biking 4.1 hours
running 2.9 hours


JJ :-) said...

I might have to grill a turkey one day now! :-) Looks yummy. Sounds like a great Thanksgiving. And I agree... Thanksgiving gets better with age.

Kate Geisen said...

I'm impressed with anyone who can successfully grill anything, let alone a turkey! Kudos to you.

Your family Thanksgiving sounds wonderful. I bet it's nice not having to run around between houses. Of course, you have to have everything clean...which might be a dealbreaker for me. :)