First Thanksgiving Alone

With moving to Boston and not having the money..or come home, Cade and I were left to have our first Thanksgiving without the family. While this was a little hard and we missed everyone, we wanted to take the opportunity to start making our own holiday traditions and attempt to make a Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of being super nervous, as I’m sure most people are for their first Thanksgiving dinner, I was pretty excited to make a menu. This might have highly been influenced by there being little pressure, since it was just the two of us and we weren’t hosting or anything.

Since there was just two of us, we decided to get a chicken instead of a turkey so we wouldn’t have turkey sandwiches for the next month. There is a great butcher just up the street from us that has meat from animals that are raised in New England and grass fed, and we decided to treat ourselves to one of their chickens. So, when the day came, we began our day of cooking, eating, and watching football…pretty amazing day, right?

To our surprise, we were actually able to cook everything we set out to and everything tasted amazing. The only hiccup was the rolls..they didn’t rise, but they still tasted good, which in my book that’s all that matters. Here are pictures of our feast:

Ingredients beforehand
Ingredients beforehand
Pre-meal snacks
Pre-meal snacks
Sweet potato casserole
Sweet potato casserole



Feast ready to be eaten
Feast ready to be eaten



















Here are the recipes, as well, if you’d like to try any:

Baked Chicken:
Olive oil
2 Lemons
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and lemon juice in bowl.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Squeeze lemon juice over chicken.
Stuff chicken with lemon slices, rosemary, and onions.
Tie legs together.
Place chicken in pan and cook for 45 minutes.
Baste, then cook for another 15 minutes.

Spiced Cranberry, Pear, and Ginger Sauce:
2 Pears, peeled and diced
1.5 tbs. grated Ginger
3/4 cup Water
3 tbs. Sugar
1 Cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp. Cardamom
1/4 cup Honey

Combine cranberries, pear, ginger, water, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, and cardamom in a saucepan.
Bring to boil and reduce to simmer.
After about 5 minutes, add honey.
Cook for about 5 more minutes, until berries have collapsed and pear begins to dissolve.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Sweet Potato Casserole:
2 large Sweet potatoes
1/4 cup Orange juice
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tbsp Honey

Cut sweet potatoes into chucks and bake for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees.
In bowl, mix potatoes with other ingredients and mash.
Transfer to bowl, top with pecans and cinnamon, and serve.

Green Beans:
Green beans

Cook bacon.
Leaving some bacon grease, saute onion and garlic.
Chop bacon.
Once cooked through, add green beans and bacon.
Cook through and serve.

One Hour Rolls:
1/2 cup Water
1/8 cup Sugar
1/6 cup Oil
1 tbp Yeast
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Egg
1.5 cup Flour

Mix together warm water, sugar, oil, and yeast
Stir in salt and beaten egg.
Gradually add flour. Dough should be a little sticky.
Let dough rise for 10 minutes in bowl.
Form balls with dough and place on cookie sheet.
Let rise for 20 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Makes about 6 rolls.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie:
2 cups Pumpkin
12 oz. can Evaporated milk
1/2 cup packed Brown sugar
1/3 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Eggs & 1 Yolk
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground ginger
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cloves

Cut pumpkin in half and cook for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Scoop out pumpkin and pulse in food processor until smooth.
Strain pumpkin puree for a few hours to remove liquid.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix sugars, salt, and spices in bowl.
Beat eggs and add to mixture.
Add pumpkin puree.
Add can of evaporated milk.
Place pumpkin pie filling into crust.
Pulse pecans in food processor and add layer to pie.
Bake for 15 minutes. Turn down to 350 degrees and bake for additional 40-50 minutes.
Test with knife – should come out fairly clean.

Our snacks were summer sausage, some knockwurst from the same butcher we got the chicken from, cheese, and some pumpkin flaxseed crackers we found at Whole Foods.

I have most of these and other holidays recipes on Pinterest if you’d like to try some others.

Although it’s late, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and reflected on everything/one you have to be thankful for. Let me know if you try any of these recipes and how they turned out. Maybe you’ll have better luck with the rolls than we did.

4 Replies to “First Thanksgiving Alone”

  1. All of your family missed having you guys at home for Thanksgiving. However, your meal looks amazing and I’m happy that you guys are enjoying the process of starting your own traditions. Next year you might have a bigger crowd! You just never know when people Will fly in unexpectedly! 😉

  2. I like good travel rates. I’ve been putting as much spend as I can through a card to build up my miles. I am sure I already have one free ticket.

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