Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend 2010.1

I stayed put in New Mexico for Thanksgiving, which makes this the first time I've ever missed it with my family back in Connecticut. Thankfully, there wasn't a shortage of activity this weekend. So although I missed my mom, grandma, and uncles, I had a very good holiday weekend.

UNM was only closed Thursday and Friday, but all my classes were canceled on Wednesday, which gave me a jump on the weekend. The professors had their own families to prepare to cook for, and my adviser was entertaining about 10 people and needed to get ready. Lev was coming in later in the afternoon on Thanksgiving day, so we spent a good bit of Wednesday cleaning the apartment up so that he'd have a reasonably comfortable place to sleep. I also did some of my much needed grading, which is still ongoing because it is such a long, painful, assignment.

The morning of Thanksgiving I continued with the cleaning and got started on making our contribution to dinner. I had six sweet potatoes that I boiled and whipped up with orange juice and butter. We also experimented a bit and created a new dish which we have yet to come up with a name for. It was quinoa with dried cranberries, golden raisins, toasted pine nuts, caramelized onion and garlic, and citrus. It ended up being very tasty, at least by my tastes. It'll need a little tweaking, but I wrote down everything we did so that I can play with it in the future. Matt and I have become big fans of quinoa, which is a South American grain that cooks up very much like rice. It has a lot of nutrients that rice lacks, and it is a very good base for a lot of different flavors.

While I was cooking my mom gave me a call with everyone who was at her place for dinner. My family does more of a Thanksgiving lunch than a dinner; I guess the idea being that you can relax more afterward and you don't go to bed overly stuffed. They passed the phone around, and I got to briefly talk to everyone. I really miss being home, and I'm hoping that I can make it back for Thanksgiving a couple times during my time in NM. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down.

Matt and I left for Socorro around 2pm, and got there a little after 3. Mouse had her parents over, and we were waiting on Lev who was driving in from Phoenix. He showed up a little later than we expected; that was okay, since the turkey was taking its sweet time cooking and he showed up shortly after the bird was done. Dave had put a glaze on the turkey, and the whole thing was tender and delicious. Actually, pretty much everything we had was delicious.

After dinner, we played a board game. About midway through we stopped to have some dessert, and I had a very satisfying piece of pumpkin pie. Mouse also made chocolate martinis. The game went of for a very long time, which sometimes happens with these German strategy games when you play with a lot of people. Matt ended up winning; I haven't won at Settler's in a while. We didn't get back to Albuquerque until 1:30am.

Unfortunately, neither Matt nor I had our camera for all of this. I had grabbed mine initially, but in juggling the food around I accidently put it down in the living room and didn't realize this fact until we were already at Mouse and Dave's house - an hour away. Matt didn't bring his because I was (theorhetically) bringing mine. So, there is no photo documentation of our first Thanksgiving out here. Thankfully, I did bring a camera for the rest of our weekend adventures, but that's another post.

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