This year was my second year spending Thanksgiving with J’s family. A couple years ago, before we dated, he invited me over so that I wouldn’t spend the holiday alone. We were in charge of bringing utensils, which J told me was always his assignment. Everyone there was so sweet and welcoming. They had a “Thankful Tree” where they wrote everyone’s name on an index card, and a few things they were thankful for about that person. They even had one for me! That was my first time meeting his family and the more I’ve gotten to know them, the more welcoming and wonderful I’ve learned that they are.
Like I told you last week, we were promoted from utensils to appetizers. We decided to bring deviled eggs, chicken wings and Jell-O Shots. J said Jell-O was an appetizer and therefore it counted.
With a lot going on at work, and this home buying process going on after work, I knew I wouldn’t have a ton of time to make everything the night before. J wanted to arrive for the start of the first football game of the day (9:30) so I also wouldn’t have time before we left. Even though it was appetizers, I still had to plan ahead. Thanksgiving is so complicated!
After I got home and ate dinner on Tuesday, I spent some time googling, “How to Make Jell-O Shots.” J had to work late so I timed my shopping trip to arrive at his house about the same time he did. I went to Albertsons and bought two boxes of Jell-O, a medium sized bottle of Tequila, and two dozen eggs. Earlier in the day one of my friends told me that the best Jell-O shots she’d ever had were made with Tequila instead of Vodka, so I figured I’d give it a shot.
Albertsons didn’t have the cups I was looking for. I wanted condiment cups with lids so that they’d be easy to transport. Recently, the other grocery store near J’s house closed, so I had to get creative on where to go next. I tried Walgreens just because it was close, with no luck. The only other option near by was K-Mart. I hate going into K-Mart. Have you ever noticed it’s always dirty in there? Maybe it’s just the ones in my area, but it always feels dingy and none of the product placement makes sense to me.
Nevertheless, I hurried around the store until I found the plastic cups. They had kid’s size dixie cups (which the internet strongly suggested), and plastic mini solo cups, but no condiment cups. By then it was 8:45, the store was closing in 15 minutes, and I had no other options. So I bought both and a roll of saran wrap for transportation purposes.
When I got to J’s house he told me I bought too many eggs. There would be about 20 people at Thanksgiving dinner, and I bought enough for 48 deviled eggs. I told him, “Don’t worry, I’ll break a couple and we will each eat like 8 of them.” Then he remembered how delicious they are and changed his mind.
Sure enough, I broke two almost immediately. Oops. Then I combined the tequila and water together and put it in the fridge. By this time I was tired and figured I’d boil the eggs and deal with the Jell-O shots later. However, when you boil 22 eggs at once, they take longer. After about 20 minutes I cracked one open to check it and it was still a pretty soft yolk. I put the pot back on the heat until it boiled again, and then left it on the stove for another 20 or so minutes. Since I had to wait for that anyway, I got started on the Jell-O.
I thought it was interesting that the alcohol/water mixture had to be chilled just like water in regular Jell-O. Who knew that Jell-O was such a science?! Anyway, by the time I had to wait for the eggs, the mixture was chilled. So I went through the rest of steps for Jell-O. Now that I had to figure out a transportation method, I searched J’s kitchen for a tray. I found two 13×9 pans with high sides, lined all of the cups up in there, and got to work. I had read that you should spray the cups with cooking spay so the Jell-O didn’t stick. The reports were varied on this so I decided to experiment. I sprayed the strawberry ones and not the peach ones. Spoiler alert, there was literally no difference.
The next day, as predicted, I was super busy and didn’t get to keep working on the appetizers. Thursday morning I met J super early at his house. He had smoked the chicken wings the night before. I was very impressed with his advanced planning, which isn’t normally his style. When I got there I plugged in my hot rollers and then we got to work peeling the eggs. Every recipe I read said to use old eggs, but we didn’t have that option. It took the two of us quite a while to peel them, and supposedly that’s why. It was super fun to do together, though.
I knew J wanted to get on the road as fast as possible, but he was still super patient and helpful. I quickly threw my hair into rollers and got to work on the yolks. When it came time to mix it all together, J jumped in to help again. We don’t often have an opportunity to cook together so it was super fun. He’s also way more creative than I am when it comes to ingredients. He took one look at the eggs and said, “let’s make them guacamole!” Personally, I don’t like guac (I know, I know), so we compromised for half and half. He put a couple of scoops into his half of the egg yolks, and then supplemented it with mayonnaise while I used the standard amount of mayonnaise. The ones on your left are guac, the ones on your right are traditional.
I hate to admit it, but his guacamole deviled eggs won. People LOVED them. They were gone way sooner than the regular ones. If you’ve got a party coming up and you know people love guac, they’re probably worth a shot. We topped both with paprika, and went on our way. (We would have had bacon toppings as well, but I forgot to buy some.)
After a quick stop at Safeway for some hard cider and flowers for the hosts (oh, and a Starbucks stop – I couldn’t resist when it was right by the check-out lane!), we were finally at his cousin’s house. We were about 30 minutes late for the first game, but we were still the first ones there and it was so fun to get some quality time with his cousins before everyone showed up.
The rest of the day was a blur of wonderful fun, except the Cowboys’ loss and Tony fracturing his arm. It’s still too soon to talk about it, so I guess I’ll go get ready for work instead. How was your Thanksgiving? What did you bring? Did you get creative in your recipe? Did you find a pair of wolf ears and wear them during a card game?