Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving in a Tin Can

Preparing a traditional thanksgiving meal can be hectic in even the largest of kitchens. Now imagine it in an RV... Yep.  A challenge.

Did I mention it's Hubby's favorite holiday?  No pressure, right?

I debated about doing several different things in regards to our meal:

  1. Prepare a full on meal in the trailer complete with a regular turkey.
  2. Prepare a full on meal but do a turkey breast in the rotisserie that is in our Hamilton Beach convection oven,
  3. Buy the entire precooked meal at the grocery store including sides.
  4. Buy a precooked turkey at the grocery store and fix the sides in the RV.
  5. Stay at a campground that was doing a meal/carry in.
  6. Go to Bob Evans and get a  turkey meal.

If we bought a prepared meal at the grocery store I would still have to do all my own side dishes to ensure they were dairy free(and make sure the turkey was as well). So that didn't save me a whole lots of time plus it was $45 for the meal.  Not to mention that I had to reheat everything including the turkey.  Which meant I would still have to compete with only using one appliance at a time(otherwise with only 30amp we would blow the breaker).

Going to Bob Evans would be too costly for each of us to get a meal and we thought we would lose a little of that Thanksgiving magic for us.

The campground we are at wasn't sure if they were going to have a dinner or not when we booked it but it was a possibility.  After arriving they let us know they had decided not to,  So we crossed that possibility off the list.

That left option 1 and 2.  A full meal in the trailer with a regular turkey or a turkey breast.

After looking at prices (.59lb regular turkey/1.89lb frozen turkey breast) I went with a regular turkey.

The trick was finding one that could feed all of us yet still fit in our oven!

Sissy and I found a 17lb 'young turkey' that we thought looked like it would fit...

until we went to get a foil pan for it in an adjacent aisle.

I knew a 9x13 pan does not fit in our oven so I got the smaller rectangle pan and the 17lb-er would definitely not fit.

So, armed with our smaller rectangle pan we went back to the turkeys, returned the one we had and started tossing turkey into it the new pan!  Turns out a 14lb bird was the biggest that would fit in the tray so we bought it.

Our menu was as follows:
Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Corn(corn and cream cheese)
Deviled Eggs
Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin cupcakes w/cream cheese frosting
Apple Cobbler

*Everything was dairy free.  I used Earth Balance vegan 'butter', Almond Milk, and Tofutti Imitation Cream Cheese.  Sounds scary but even my super picky hubby raved about everything!  

I decided the best way to tackle it was to split  up the dishes so I wouldn't be cooking it all on the same day since I would have the oven going all morning meaning I couldn't use any other appliance during that time.

I assigned the Deviled Eggs to my husband and Snuggle Bug to do on Weds.  I hate deviled eggs.  The smell makes me gag.  If he wanted the dish, he was going to have to make it himself!  And he did- very successfully I hear. I knew he could ;)

I made the Creamy Corn and Stuffing on Weds also and Sissy made her cupcakes that day too.

All I would have going on Thanksgiving day would be the turkey,gravy and potatoes.  I planned on doing the cobbler outside in the cast iron dutch oven over the fire.

Everything went smoothly except that my charcoal would  not light so I just did my cobbler in the oven while we ate our meal.  

I was even able to plug my induction cooktop  directly into our electrical box at the campground and cook my potatoes outside while the turkey was finishing up.  I threw my gravy  on the burner too once my taters were done.  What a luxury to use 2 appliances at once!!

My original plan was for everyone to just put the stuffing and corn on  their plate and pop them in the microwave to reheat them.  Silly me. I forgot that out plates are melamine and can't go in the microwave. Boo.

I just tossed the entire bowl of each of those in the microwave then and it worked fine.

We had a tasty meal that was very stress free!  In a tiny trailer no less.

It surely wasn't a pretty display though!
No fancy dishes here; most things just stayed in the pot it was made in.

And everything was crammed around the sink full of dishes.


I have learned to let go of some expectations while living in the trailer though. 

Sometimes good enough is, well, good enough.

Bubba hates me for posting this picture but hey, that's how we all look while eating.
Especially at Thanksgiving!

Apple Cobbler

Delicious Pumpkin Cupcakes with *cream cheese* frosting

(Confession: I ate 4 of them over a 2 day period and still want more)

I even had time in the morning to pull up some Thanksgiving themed activities for the kids(easy crafts, color pages,etc).

Move over Martha!!

It was a beautiful day(mid 70's and sunny) and we were going to eat outside but the bugs wanted to join us so we ate inside.

I felt so victorious today.  It was our first major holiday in the trailer and we pulled it off!

We have a holiday tradition of putting up our Christmas tree the day after thanksgiving.  We play music, spray the glade pine scent, and eat pizza.  So we were feeling a little bummed not to be doing that this year.

So instead...

We packed a lunch and went to the beach!

I know, you feel so sorry for us.

The Emerald Coast on the panhandle is definitely our fave beach so far!  

This was at Henderson State Park. It was $6 to get in but worth it!  The beach is right by the parking lot and we didn't have to hunt around for parking or a public access site.  Great facilities too.

Beautiful quartz white sand.  It wasn't as sticky as Siesta Key.

The water was pretty chilly though but the clearest we have seen.

Snuggle Bug pointing to the helicopters that were flying by.

77 degrees, sunny with no humidity


Little Miss doing a head stand.

Sissy and Bubba

Hubby's legs. 
 Didn't want anyone thinking I had given up shaving while on our trip!

Little Miss found a princess dress in one of the bags we brought to the beach.

It made for a precious picture

Playing football

We're a sucker for a beautiful sunset!

We went back to the trailer and made frozen pizza and watched a movie
(Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix).

It was a fabulous day despite no tree decorating.

We are heading back home for the holidays so we really relished this last beach excursion.

I keep saying we really screwed this all up.  We should have stayed here in sunny Florida and had the grandparents come to us instead! 

Oh well. Little Miss is wanting to see some snow after listening to Christmas music this week.

So now we are making packing lists and need to do some deep cleaning before we head north next week.

I don't know if I have said yet but we are leaving our trailer down here while we are back home.  We'll be staying with my in laws while we visit.

  It will be so weird to be back in a SB(sticks and bricks) home again!  

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving as well!

Many Blessings,
The Mama