Throwback Fridays: The (Actual) Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Posted on by Corelyn

This is the perfect time of year to reflect back on what the ladies of Garlic, My Soul were doing in years past. You may have noticed that November really begins and ends with Thanksgiving for us. We start pre-planning in late October; we think about our guest list and our menu ideas and jot a few things down. But on November 1st, things start to get serious. We make endless shopping lists; we finalize the oven schedule; we assign duties — figure out who’s bringing extra chairs, etc. Essentially we’ve got Thanksgiving on the brain 24 hours a day. It is a little stressful.

Other than our obvious love of cooking and planning large get togethers with our friends, I think the reason we get so excited about Thanksgiving around here is that it marks the first time Jennie and I ever cooked together. Not only is it fun to think about the beginning stages of our culinary love, but also to reflect on how thankful we are for good friends, good blogging partners, and the circumstances that led both of us to Los Angeles to cook Thanksgiving dinner for 19 people with limited knowledge of turkey or each other.

3 years ago, on Thanksgiving, Jennie and I awoke at the crack of dawn to gather ourselves and our turkey and arrive at Rebecca’s apartment while Rebecca and her roommates still slept. Here we are consulting with the turkey. Truthfully, I don’t mind telling you, Jennie did most of the work that first year. I was mostly available for moral support and extra hands.

We spent the whole day in that kitchen, taking a break at some point to shower and make ourselves look slightly more festive.

By November of 2009, we were cooking and blogging away, and our Thanksgiving experience had blossomed into a full-blown obsession, and we set our sites on brined turkey.

So, the day before Thanksgiving found us submerging our giant turkey in the brine recipe provided by Alton Brown. Was it terribly difficult? No. Was it worth the extra trouble? Not so much.

Fast forward to November of 2010:

Coming up on our third annual L.A. family/Garlic, My Soul Thanksgiving, Jennie and I were deep in research mode. We watched Bobby Flay throwdown with the Pioneer Woman, we read Real Simple, we learned that the Pioneer Woman is a fan of rubbing butter all over her turkey halfway through cooking, to help it brown. (Advice we determined to put into action).

This time last year gave rise to another of our favorite activities, cooking via video chat!

What started as a fun way to include (gluten free) Melissa while baking — we called it “remote baking”– has become a necessary and regular occurrence in our lives, now that we’ve become a bi-coastal operation.

At this time last year, we were a whirlwind of Thanksgiving planning, stress, excitement, and genuine enjoyment of the season of thanks. This year, we’re at about the same level.

True story: Last Friday night, Jennie sent me a text message at midnight that said..

“The oven schedule will have to be redone. I don’t think the turkey is going to fit with another rack.”

“Are you okay?” I said.

“I’m working it out…” she told me.

“Deep breaths,” I said.

And so, for the 4th year running, not much has changed. We are still more excited about Thanksgiving than anyone else we know. We are still a little anxious, because we’re always trying something new. (This year: a new venue). We are still planning to arrive at someone else’s home in the early morning, let ourselves in, and have the time of our lives cooking for the whole day. And we are still thankful for each other, for this blog, and for butter.

Stay tuned for Thanksgiving 2011 live blogging in 6 days!!


[addtoany] Yum


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