Thanksgiving* is one of my favorite days of the year. It's pretty much the only "holiday" that we're able to celebrate with my family, and for lack of a better word, I'm incredibly thankful that we are able to do so!

It's unbelievable how much has changed in a year! This year, there's a new baby, a lot less sleep, a lot more love and fewer hands and time to prepare everything! Last year, I took upon myself the task of making my first Thanksgiving turkey, trimmings and pie while also about five months pregnant. Granted it may not have been the wisest decision. Surprisingly, trying to find a turkey to cook was more difficult than actually cooking it! It required a four hour excursion with M, to a variety of grocery stores, club stores and more, until we finally found the elusive bird. Turns out, there was a kosher turkey shortage in our city last year. Fun times... By the way, you know what you don't want to do when you're five months pregnant? Go on a wild turkey search, after a whole day of work, with less than a week to go to Thanksgiving... Y'know, just in case you were wondering!

The Elusive Bird!
Anyhow, we found the bird, and after many, many, many phone calls and texts to my Mom and google searches (not to mention the mild panic attack when I learned the number of hours required per pound of turkey, to defrost the thing, with a clock ticking down to dinner) Thanksgiving dinner was a success! My Mom stepped in and helped me with the turkey prep, I very proudly made my first pie & M proudly carved his first turkey. Overall the day was memorable and being able to spend it with family, and immersing ourselves in all we have to be thankful for was just as amazing as always! It's a true testament to how epic my Mom is, that even though we're there for Sunday dinner every week, she's always able to make holiday dinners feel that extra bit special. Whether it's a certain tray, place settings or just the scent of food throughout the house specific to the day, I hope to be as graceful as she is and provide Y with memories in the same way!

Having said that, this year, I'm hoping we find the bird quickly because the only challenge I'm prepared to face, is trying to pull this off with a delicious 8 month old getting into trouble everywhere! With about a week to go, I'm getting my menu and game plan set and thought I'd share a peek with you.

This Apple Cranberry Pie, requires 2 ingredients for the base plus a handful for the crumble - exactly what you want to keep your grocery list from going overboard with all the trimmings and desserts! It's super quick to put together and is absolutely delicious! People frequently comment that it's "more of a dessert" but I was introduced to it as a side, and that's where it has stayed on my menu!

You can't have Thanksgiving without sweet potato, and this Sweet Potato Pie is always a hit! It does require a bit of work, but it's totally worth it! And if you're already making the Apple Cranberry Pie, just double the crumble and that's one less component to think about!

Speaking of essentials, what's Thanksgiving without the Stuffing? I'm not gonna lie, growing up my favorite stuffing was the one from a box, but there's definitely something to be said about making it from scratch (if you have the time!).

If you're looking to change it up a bit, why not add these Vegetable Bourekas to the menu? Pastry dough hides the veggies and helps the kids (or y'know an itsy bitsy balebusta...) feel like they're having a treat when really they're getting sweet potato, red pepper and more!

I'll be making Thanksgiving during Chol Hamoed, right before starting to cook for second days, so it should be a wild adventure over here! An adventure I couldn't be more grateful for. I am thrilled to be able to not only share a holiday with my family, in the midst of so many, but also to share our first Thanksgiving as a family with Y this year. While there have been many sleepless nights, tears (from us both) and roller coaster moments, there's no doubting that these past eight months have been the most filled with awe and love I've ever experienced and I couldn't be more thankful! Although, I wouldn't say no to a little more sleep, but for now, I'll smile through the yawn and head out to find that bird!

*For those who may be slightly confused, Monday October 13th, is Thanksgiving in Canada!


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