We hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.
We slept in, and then started cooking for our feast. We had quite a spread by the time it was all done, but the first thing to do was cook the bird. This was Samara’s first time cooking a whole turkey. While she was rinsing it off, it took advantage of the distraction of a phone call to try to fly away.
She grabbed it by the wings and subdued it, though. Then it developed a few butter pat tumors.
Despite all that adventure, when it came out of the oven later, it looked pretty tasty.
Samara carved one side, and I carved the other.
Yeah, my hair was a little wet and crazy looking, but more about that later. Samara may have done the bird, but I made the traditional light rolls. This is a recipe passed down from my mother, but I did an okay job of making them. First, the dough.
Of course, it was easier for me to make the dough than for my mom because I used Samara’s Kitchen-Aid mixer. A quality stand mixer for the kitchen can’t be beat, and there’s none better than Kitchen-Aid. I actually made the dough on Wednesday and then made the rolls Thursday.
I didn’t get a great shot after they were in the bowl ready to serve, but here’s the rolls sitting in the pans.
They turned out okay. I should have let them cook just a few minutes longer–the bottoms of the rolls weren’t as well-cooked as I would have preferred. But I’m getting better at my cooking endeavors.
Samara made deviled eggs, although I helped peel them.
Then turned out yummy.
Samara also made mashed potatoes. Not from a box, either. I peeled potatoes for that, and she cooked and mixed them up in her aforementioned Kitchen-Aid mixer.
I bet my sister Natalie wishes she was here for these mashed potatoes.
As you can imagine, there was more to our Thanksgiving feast than just that. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, deviled eggs, light rolls, cranberry sauce…
Sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole…
Fruit salad, a couple of dips, a cheese ball, and fresh carrots and cucumbers. We had some help eating it all as well. Saramay and Bobbie, both teachers at the school, came over to help us eat. Bobbie brought some board games, including the awesome Ticket to Ride, and we played well into the night. Samara and I didn’t get to bed until 2am.
Now cooking isn’t the only thing that happened Thanksgiving day. I had agreed to help the judge with a little errand. I was watching out the window for his arrival, and I caught this scene instead.
These ravens are all over town. They eat garbage and they get huge.
And they will swarm all over anyplace they find something to eat.
They’re fascinating creatures to watch, really. Smart birds. And did I mention big?
Now I’m afraid that I didn’t get any pictures once the judge did arrive, riding his snowmachine. He had asked my help to get one of his other snowmachines dug out and delivered to his judicial assistant, who he is giving it to.
The judge did arrive, though, and I rode with him on the back of his snowmachine back over to his house. I’d never ridden on a snowmachine before. It’s very cold on any part that doesn’t get covered up. I need a better face mask if I’m going to ride again–my scarf just wouldn’t stay up, and my face got cold. The judge lives across the flats on Wood River Road, and there’s plenty of snow and tracks already ridden. It didn’t take too long to get over to his house.
The judge’s machine is newer and has a smooth suspension. It was comfortable to ride on the back, even though it was hard to see where we were going. The machine he wanted to dig out is a long-track Polaris Indy Lite. It didn’t take much to get it dug out and the cover off. We got the skis loose from the ice and snow, and gassed it up. The judge took it once around the block (which involved a track through the woods, actually) and then we got ready to caravan over to his assistant’s house. I’d never driven a snowmachine. In fact, I’ve never ridden a motorcycle or anything but a car. But it’s easy. There’s basically just a throttle. It’s either on or off. There’s a brake as well, but it isn’t really that useful.
The judge took his machine, and I followed him fairly easily. We probably got up to 30 or 40 mph as we headed across the flats from Wood River Road, around the airport runway and towards the Airport Road where his assistant lives. We had to go through some trees on a narrow trail, across wide snowy expanses with frozen ponds, over small hills and across a few roads. The suspension on the Indy Lite is a lot stiffer, and I bounced around a bit. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun.
After we delivered the snowmachine, he took me back on his machine to my house. Dinner was almost ready, and I got to carving the turkey. That’s why my hair looked wet. The judge has one other snow machine that isn’t going to get much use this winter, and he mentioned that he might let me borrow it sometime. It’s a touring machine, from what I understand, so it should be fairly comfortable to ride. Samara and I might get a chance to take some more pictures of Alaska scenery.
To anyone that’s worried that I’d take off on a snowmachine jaunt right after I told the story about the woman dying (see my last post), here’s a small update that might be reassuring… it turns out that she wasn’t killed by a snowmachine accident. From what I understand now, the poor woman was out partying with friends and decided to walk home across the tundra from one road to another. It was extremely cold out, though, and the middle of the night. She managed to get hurt somehow, and was lost in the snow and got hypothermic. They found her using a tracker and got her to the hospital. Unfortunately, even though they tried to warm her up, it was too late.
At any rate, because of the tragedy, Samara cancelled her Thanksgiving Cook-Off. The entire SAFE family, as well as most people in town, have been affected by this death. I imagine it will be a slow weekend for us.