In many ways this doesn’t feel like Tom and I’s first thanksgiving as a couple as I have done Thanksgiving with him the last two years, however it did seem like “my first” thanksgiving, in the sense of my being the organizer. We planned on invited two couples over and splitting the dishes amongst us. I have to admit, being my controlling self, at first I was a little nervous about not taking care of everything. However, that desire faded as soon as I attempted my first baked item: pie. I had successfully made appetizer and was feeling confident about my abilities. I had picked out a recipe for a pie crust and an apple pie that looked delicious. Naturally I started with the crust, knowing it would need to chill. I followed the ingredients, knowing I wanted to double it, I made note of my Grandmother’s insistence that you use ice cold water, and only as much water as you needed. I used half the water it called for, and it was still too sticky, no matter how much flour I added I could not get it to pull of the counter in one piece. Fortunately I resorted to pressing the crust in the pie, for the bottom layer (and therefore didn’t use the dough I added tons of flour to.) But my hopes for a beautiful lattice top were crushed. I got more and more frustrated, until Tom finally said, “Can I do that for you.” I willingly passed on the responsibility, and later agreed after his failed attempt too- that we should just go for a crumble topping. In the end it worked out. The pie was fine, not great, I liked the apple filling with it’s caramel sauce, and the crust was actually VERY soft, but for me, it was strange to have a normal pie crust on bottom and a crumble crust on top. I would have preferred just apples! Next year, we are going to go with my original idea to make apple crisp!This morning, as I was running through my to do list for the morning it occurred to me that we wouldn’t have enough time to roast the turkey if I waited until Tom got back from the Turkey Bowl with the ward. So I rushed in the kitchen, made up the herbed olive oil sauce and proceeded with the Turkey. Now we had decided that the Turkey was going to be Tom’s project. I don’t like handling meat much, and the idea of dealing with a whole- very bird looking piece of meat, was more that I thought I could handle. Think again! Despite my attempts at femininity the farm girl comes out. In the end I delighted at sliding my entire hand and much of my arm up under the birds skin spreading herbs and spices over the meat beneath, I marveled at the elasticity of the skin, how it formed a glove around my hand, how I could separate the fascia so easily with my oiled fingers. I was taken back to my days of Anatomy and Phys. and pig dissection. It felt like a bit of a guilty pleasure. In the end, our timing was off, and wanting the turkey to be hot for our guest we left it in too long, and it was dry, but the flavor was good.I tried a mango-cranberry sauce that Mom had found. I thought it was good, but our guests weren’t such fans of cranberry sauce period, so we still have lots! I think I’ll make up some grilled chicken because I think it would be fabulous on that. I also made some regular for the traditionalists.I was most proud of our table setting I guess. It turned out beautiful, I love our green plates against our tan place mats with the wood bowls. I’ve included a picture. The Zharoff’s brought a pumpkin curry soup that was fantastic, the Palmer’s had a lot of successes with some amazing rolls, a great spicy Jello dish, and a terrific mousse pumpkin pie.It was funny to me, because when we brought out the apple pie everyone marveled at the crumble top, I guess it looked fancy, and the Palmer’s teased about how “fancy” I was. I guess it caught me off guard. I certainly have a side of me that loves nicetys, and yet another side of me feels a real desire to be simple. I hope I can keep those in balance, and never make people feel uncomfortable, like they have to be fancy to be around me.Our company was wonderful. Along with the afore mentioned couples I invited a friend of mine from my French class: Angel. She is one of the most sincerely kind people I know. Her families now lives in New Zealand but she is from China. I find myself really drawn to people like her. She just radiates meekness and simple beauty, she is very intelligent but very humble, she is quietly social and openly supportive. She has a giggly childish laugh, and constantly bright and intrigued eyes. I was so glad she could come and I think she really enjoyed her first American Thanksgiving. She brought a beautiful silk scarf and some Japanese hard candy as a thank you.The Zharoff’s stuck around and we played cards and Settlers and had chocolate fondue that they had brought.