This is the third year I've blogged about my Thanksgiving and my family undoubtedly knows the routine now.
The running joke was to make "everything pretty" because they knew I would be taking pictures. It made me think about food photography as a whole and stylized shots vs. lifestyle shots and the need to capture a certain aesthetic because it has to look good. I do care about how things look in terms of having a visual eye to highlight the best parts of what I am trying to capture but I don't want to do it at the expense of people feeling uncomfortable or self conscious. And sometimes, I am just so immersed in what I am doing that I forget.
For me, Thanksgiving is a chaotic meal but in a good way. In my family, it's never been a glamorous event where the table is neatly set, the best china is out, and it all takes place in a room with the most gorgeous lighting and decorations. And I like the casual energy of my Thanksgiving—the energy of things being churned out in the kitchen while the kids run around and everyone is chattering away. There's so much going on, that it is easy to just blend in. It seems contrary to what my introverted self is drawn to but I like the presence of everyone being there while I do what I do best which is to help make the food and photograph bits and pieces along the way.
I almost didn't want to photograph this year and just enjoy what was happening, but I just have the need to capture food and after all Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Like last year, I got up crazy early to make the Pumpkin Cinnamon Bread. I forgot it takes a lot longer to shape and bake than I think it will. A note to future Kara—it takes 30 minutes to shape, 45 minutes for a second proof and 1 hour to bake at 350ºF and don't forget to cover the top with foil! Fortunately, the top didn't burn black and the bread was still light and moist inside. And making a Yuzu Meringue Pie is not weird for Thanksgiving. Blind baking the crust the night before is also a good idea.
Of course, Kristen and I got there early to make the stuffing. My second cousin's husband commented that we were in the exact same spot as we were last year—near the stove, making the stuffing. After a pound of butter later, it was just right. One of these days, I will have to figure out how to make it on my own. But, I think it is all in the seasoned wok and the touch of Popo.
And then it was on to the gravy. I guess our turkey was not very fatty this year because the gravy would not thicken! But, we ended up figuring it out in the end and the turkey was spectacular. It was probably the juiciest I have remembered and I don't think we have ever had a dry, dry turkey.
I also had the first drink I've had in probably a year?? And nothing has changed, I still don't like the taste of alcohol even if the drink was rather good. And no it's not the foamy fruit punch but rather the cranberry-apple-sangria-type thing. I had a conversation with my cousins about what it is like to drink any sort of alcohol. We concluded that it is like getting a hangover while drinking. I will continue to eat my calories instead.
Compared to last year's chilly weather, it was a gorgeous day with perfect weather for sitting outside while looking at my great aunt's fall tinged garden and eating some of my favorite foods.
I will have to say, I know it's tradition, *whispers* but I don't think I really like the prism jello... I think this is the first time I have tried it in years and I still don't like it. But that is totally okay, because there's more for everyone else.
I should work on trying to replicate the stuffing because as always, I wish I had more of it to eat...