Mix equal parts food, family and love, and you get the Hot in Cleveland star's new cookbook, One Dish at a Time -- plus a Turkey Day you'll really want to crash!
I get up early so I can relax over a big coffee, fry myself an egg inside a piece of multigrain bread and do my crossword puzzle. This is my only quiet time.
I have to work out before Thanksgiving gets started, because once the football games come on there's no way I'm exercising. A 5K run is best: It's quick, easy and burns calories.
Time for my last-minute market dash -- there's always at least one! Or I send my husband. Poor Tom. But he's a good sport about it. He loves the kitchen, too, and usually joins me in there.
With the first game on, we start working on the turkey. I'm the one who actually has to put my hand in the cavity to clean the bird. Tom gets grossed out, so I always end up saying, "Oh, let me in there."
Tom has taken over, laying bacon over the turkey, seasoning it, adding veggies and shoving it in the oven. There are 10 of us -- including my parents -- so we have one turkey Tom's way and my brother brings over another that's been brined.
Having peeled the potatoes and made my cranberry-walnut cornbread stuffing, I take advantage of the game's halftime to shower. (Did I mention how football-crazed we are?!)
I prep the crudités -- fennel, sugar snap peas, radishes, cucumbers and grape tomatoes -- to put out when people arrive.
Oh my god, I forgot to make the...you know, whatever it may be. There's always something.
I make the gravy. We're going to sit down in, like, 20 minutes, and everyone is sneaking bites -- which makes no sense to me. But "Wait till it gets to the table!" doesn't work at this point.
We manage to sit down with most of the dishes intact and go around the table saying what we're thankful for. Yes, everyone does it, and yes, it's corny -- but it's really sweet. We even have to say something nice about the person to our right. And then we can eat.
The funny thing is, the entire day was spent making this meal, and not even 30 minutes pass before we're all done. So we open another bottle of wine, digest and relax.
the fire pit. I always make a pumpkin pie, and we have a new tradition I picked up at the Rachael Ray show: pumpkin pudding. From the first bite, I thought, "That's unbelievable! I need the recipe."
As soon as my parents say good night, the Tupperware comes out and we start cleaning up.
While I'd like to collapse, I smell too much like turkey. So I head to the tub with Epsom salts, my husband and champagne. Thanksgiving Day couldn't have a better ending.
Good night, Valerie!Related Links