Before I started dating the #handhomehubbs, I wasn’t very into Thanksgiving AT ALL. In fact, I didn’t even celebrate it! I mean.. if I was invited to a Thanksgiving dinner I’d go but that’s about it. You see, in Panama Thanksgiving is not a holiday. Do people celebrate it? Yeah, absolutely; more and more people celebrate it every year thanks to Hallmark and TV (lol) but traditionally, Thanksgiving just doesn’t exist. When I married the #handsomehubbs though, that VERY quickly changed! Matty LOOOOVES thanksgiving. It’s his favorite holiday! Very early into our relationship we decided he would always have Thanksgiving in Boston and I would always have Christmas (MY favorite holiday!) in Panama. To this day that’s what we do and it works!
We hosted our first Thanksgiving in 2013 and we’ve hosted every year since then! This year, we’re not only hosting Thanksgiving but Friendsgiving too! I took advantage of Friendsgiving to take the pictures for this post. Don’t be surprised when Thursday rolls around and my table/house looks the EXACT SAME! lol..
The way we make hosting work is by splitting the work- I bake the pies and set up the house/table while Matt handles the turkey and all it’s sides. We always, always ask whoever is attending that year to bring their favorite turkey day side. I know some people feel awkward about this- I say, dinner tastes better when you had a hand in making it so don’t be scared to ask your guests to contribute with a dish or two!
This year, for the first time ever I am using PAPER PLATES ONLY! I found these cute plates at Target and fell in love. Clean up will be SO EASY! We are also using disposable silverware.. Can you tell from the pictures? I was pretty impressed with how they looked.. My parents, my brother, his wife and two kids are all staying in #CasaRice for Thanksgiving! Given that our kitchen is not huge and it’s an open floor-plan we’re trying to keep clean up to a minimum this year. I was scared this meant giving up my cute table but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!
Want to achieve a similar look? All you need is a seasonal bouquet of flowers, some pumpkins, some gourds, and some candles! I used these markers to write in people’s wine glasses and on the Mulled Cider container. Such a cute, personal touch! For the Mulled Cider, we used these packets mixed in with some store bought apple cider, some bourbon and three sliced oranges in the crock-pot. It was delicious! Also on our table were some very old fall themed utensil holders.. I found these very similar ones for ya, in case you’d like to recreate the look. These leaves are also featured through out the house.
I think the hit of Friendsgiving was the pumpkin pie- it was delicious! Of course I forgot to take a picture of it.. Sorry! I used a recipe from Smitten Kitchen, with just a couple of tweaks (below). For the crust, I used this recipe– AKA the best crust recipe of all time! I swear every time I’ve ever baked a pie using this recipe for the crust, someone asks me for it.. The trick is to STOP working the butter into your flour/sugar mix when the butter is the size of peas. This wont take long. STOP! The idea is that you want pockets of butter in your crust that expand in the oven, making your crust FLAKY perfection! Mmmmmm… For the pumpkin filling you’ll need the following:
- 1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- A pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1/3 cup of whole milk
- 1 1/3 cups cold heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
Filing How to:Set the oven to 400°F. Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a sputtering simmer and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Scoop cooked pumpkin filling into bowl, and whisk in cold cream until smooth. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
Bake pie: For 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until only the center barely jiggles and a toothpick inserted into it comes out pumpkin-free. (Damp is fine, but the toothpick shouldn’t have loose pumpkin batter on it.)
That’s it! You’ve got yourself my favorite pumpkin pie! Wait until it’s cool to cut and serve. Personally, I love my pumpkin pie cold so I put it in the fridge straight from the oven until I’m ready to serve.
I hope you all have a wonderful turkey day with your family and friends! If you’re in the mood for some holiday crafting (or in need for something to entertain older kiddos while you cook) check out our DIY Letter Pumpkin Tutorial! Happy Thanksgiving Friends!