Picture of Plimoth Plantation, the living museum in my hometown of the original pilgrim village. I also had my first job here - ironing out the wool costumes.
So I had my first "real" Thanksgiving at my house, and by real, I mean that my mother and her husband came, which meant that the meal had to meet a standard, rather than being a mess that my Dad and brother would love me for anyway.
I got up at 2:45am, and had the turkey in at 3:03am at 275 degrees (we did prep it the night before). After 4:40, we basted it in butter, garlic, and black pepper + turkey drippings every 20 minutes. My mother told me it would take about 10 hours to roast a 24 lb turkey. My bro spent the night, so that he could assist with basting while I went to the turkey trot with my neighbor, her friend, their kids, and of course Lilac. The "race" wound up being more of a walk, since I was the only one ready to race, but it was fun all the same. After the race, we let the kids play at the park and feed the ducks.
I got home at about 10:30...and the little thermometer was already popped up. WHAT?? the turkey can't be ready already - it's 10:30 in the morning!! But it was. I used a second thermometer, we took it out, and it was perfect! Even though we didn't eat for another couple of hours it wound up working out just fine.
Everything came out well, the turkey, two types of potatoes, portugese meat stuffing, regular stuffing, peas, sunshine carrots, sweet potato pie, homemade cranberry sauce, and of course pumpkin bread, pumpkin pecan pie, derby pie, death by chocolate cookies, and red velvet cake.
It was surprisingly relaxing, everything went smoothly, and I think everyone had a great time. The neighbor even came over to borrow our stove (hers wasn't big enough to feed 18 people), and was commenting on how nice it must be to be able to hang out together and relax.