We had a non-traditional Thanksgiving, again.  Well, the meal itself was traditional, but our family no longer has a Thanksgiving tradition.  (click here to read last year’s entry.)  So with nobody to visit, and everybody else already having plans, Jim and I decided we would pack up the food and the kids and make Thanksgiving dinner at the beach this year!  And that’s what we did!

I made our entire Thanksgiving dinner- for the first time ever.  Nobody else was bringing the potatoes or rolls or green bean casserole.  We had to do it all, and thankfully Jim helped tremendously.

The first step was to cook the turkey at home.  I really didn’t want to mess with that at the condo.  We decided to take advantage of our Traeger and smoke the turkey before cooking it!  It was a 23 pound bird, so it was on the Traeger for 14 hours.  The first 10 hours were smoking it, then turning the heat up to roast it.  When we sliced into the meat we were impressed with the ‘smoke ring’– it was nearly 1″ into the meat!

Look how golden and crispy that skin is!  Mmmm….

Jim carved the turkey, 1/4 of it went into a glass dish to take to the beach with us.  The other 3/4 went into foodsaver bags for future meals.  So my $4.00 turkey is going to feed us many many times.

We grabbed the rest of our Thanksgiving meal ingredients and packed our clothes and by 1:00 we were headed for the beach.

The kids enjoyed the winter scenery:

We made it to the beach, put the turkey back in the oven, unpacked our stuff and set to work peeling potatoes, boiling cranberries, making stuffing and green bean casserole, baking the rolls and heating up the gravy.  I don’t think we missed anything- except for jello.  And yams, but nobody really misses those. !!  We even had a couple bowls of olives!

We picked up a couple pies from Winco the day before- an apple pie and a pumpkin pie, for just $2.50 each so I didn’t have very high hopes for the flavor, but they ended up being suprisingly delicious!  I’ll be remembering that for the next time we have a family-only Thanksgiving dinner.

Riley said Grace before dinner, thanking God for our family, for having a good dinner, thankful to have parents who take care of her, thanked God for taking care of us and of her and her sister and brother, she wished a happy Thanksgiving to Kyron’s family and prayed for his safe return, it was really quite sweet.

So we stuffed ourselves silly just like everyone else and really enjoyed the holiday.  Hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well!