Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thanksgiving in Virginia

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Connor & I drove up to VA. We left around 1 and stopped in Charlottesville at my sister's new house (!!!) to drop off a couch we've had since we moved to Charlotte. We ended up getting in around 8, so the 7 hours in the car left us exhausted. Traffic going up 85 is horrible!

When we finally got in, I was feeling miserable. I've been getting sick off and on for the past few months (damn allergies), and being on the go all the time was finally catching up with me. We had our traditional Borscht dinner (his mom's recipe is THE BEST) and caught up a bit while I sucked down lemon & honey tea. Connor's middle sister, Florence, and her husband Brian were supposed to get in around 11 that night, but due to their train leaving NYC 2 hours late PLUS hitting a DEER in Baltimore, they decided to crash at his parent's house in Annapolis. They showed up around 11 the next morning, thank goodness!

On Thanksgiving morning, I rested up while Connor, his parents, and Bowser did the Turkey Trot. I stayed back and got breakfast ready for the hungry runners!
While we waited on F & B to get to the house, we had a photoshoot with Bowser, naturally.
 My baby
 He likes to sun himself like a cat
 Our spread. I made the muffins! Joy of Cooking's Cranberry with lemon zest. YUM.
 After a nice relaxing breakfast with everyone, we figured out the cooking schedule: When to get the bird out, when to put it in the oven, etc. We then all relaxed until it was CHAMPAGNE TIMEEEEE (holla)

It is a tradition to have a Champagne Tasting while also playing silly games AND making butter. Mrs. C buys local Heavy Cream and we pass it around while shaking vigorously (Shake Weight style) The whole process takes about 30 minutes of shaking. It's best to pass the jar around. When it's done, you'll becomes very thick and the buttermilk is separated from the butter. You just have to pour out that milk and add a little salt, and you have fresh butter!
 Taking turns
 Dr. C has the most important role of the day: Pouring the Champagne!

Here's how the tasting works:
  • Dr. C picks 4 bottles and wraps them up so you can't see anything! (this time he used shoe bags)
  • We make sure they're nice & chilled before we begin
  • He picks 3 at random and opens them one at a time
  • We create a score sheet with categories: Bubbles, color, taste, overall, & guess.
  • We then over-analyze each champagne and discuss what we think each is and why
  • The turkey comes out of the oven and rests, and we put the stuffings in
  • We play Wits & Wagers or Charades while we enjoy tasting
  • Then Dr. C unwraps the bottles and we become dumbfounded!
  • Dumbfounded because the Veuve Clicquot was HORRIBLE (hoping it was a spoiled bottle instead of how it normally tastes!). The Moet & Chandon won, hands down. The last bottle was Schramsberg from Napa, that tasted like a Napa. As in didn't even come CLOSE to tasting like a French bottle
  • Then we all troop back to the kitchen, carve the turkey, and sit down to eat!
 Shaking butter
 Wits & Wagers paired with Champagne
 Skyping with Marianna, Paul, Etienne, & Maxine!!
 Yummy food.

Our traditional recipes:
  • Sausage & Apple stuffing
  • Sauerkraut dressing
  • Canned cranberry jelly
  • Cranberry, raisin, & onion confit (my contribution)
  • Sauteed greens
  • Turkey & Gravy
  • Dill bread
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake (always the highlight of the meal)
  • Lots of wine

 Yummy. Even though we had been eating Turkey for almost a week, it was always good to have more!
 We then collapsed into bed around 8:30 after cleanup!

Friday, we got up and ate more (can you imagine?) and then hopped in the car to visit Grandmommy in Richmond. We brought fixins to make sandwiches and leftover Borscht. Florence has pictures of our time...whoops!

We then lazed around and met my cousin Gerald at Umi.

For some reason, I thought this amount of food would be appropriate. Unfortunately, it was not. I ate it all anyway! (except the yucky chicken teriyaki. You have been warned)
Our fave couple, Christina & Charlie, were spending the holiday at her parent's new house in the Burg so they met us out that night. So fun seeing them!!
 Christina's brother lives in Charlotte, so it's nice seeing him at home and in VA! Here he is with my cousin, Gerald (he set C & I up)
Connor's friends from High school showed up...The Adams!
Adam on the far left is getting married next year!
 Love this family!
 Blurry love
 We've been friends since 2006! Christina & Charlie started dating the Spring of their 4th year!
 High school BFF's
 Tipsy photoshoot with Bowser when we got home. GUILTY
 The next morning, we drove to Charlottesville to hang out with my family. Like I mentioned, Doran & Brandon just bought a house (it is SO FREAKING CUTE), so I went over with my Mom and Aunt and helped them move furniture around, put rugs down, and hang pictures. We did a lot of work and her house looks awesome now!

After our long day, we grabbed pizza from Christians and had dinner at our parent's house. Nothing beats Christians & local beer :)

Connor, Karah, Doran, Brandon, & I then drove to South Street to meet up with some friends from High School
 Justin always does that!
Sarah lives in Onancock, and is an art teacher/free spirit. Miss her so much! And Era is in Med school at UVA. GET IT GIRLS
 We've been BFF's since 9th grade. Seriously. We have been through A LOT together! LOVE LOVE
 Pretty normal.
 K & C!
 Aw. This is so cute!

On Sunday, Connor & I went to Bodo's on the Corner to finish out all of the Charlottesville cravings we had. We stopped by Shenandoah Joe's for a pour over on the way to Bodo's. SO GOOD!

And no, that 3rd bagel is not for a friend. We both always get a Sausage or Bacon, Egg, & Cheese on Everything and split a hot Everything with herb cream cheese. It's tradition.

We then packed up and drove back to NC....and stopped by the J. Crew Warehouse Sale first!

We did all of our favorite things in VA. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too!


Leslie said...

What an amazing time. I love all the traditions...making butter, drinking champagne. It sounds like a lovely time with friends and family. :)

Virginia Belle said...

Love your Thanksgiving recap and thanks for sharing the pics from Friday night. I'm so happy that we got to squeeze in some fun with y'all! I now have a serious Bodos craving after that last picture.....