PreThanksgiving Activity

Our little family of four has been quite busy this weekend before Thanksgiving. Of course, keep in mind, that it is not the week of Thanksgiving here….no Black Friday, football, or gobble gobble for this country. Thankfully, we have been invited to one of J’s colleague’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. All I have to do is whip up a homemade salted caramel apple cheesecake instead of a whole Thanksgiving dinner.
It is Sunday, November 24th, 2013. Miss A and I danced to a little Kenny Chesney while T napped; her in her cowboy boots and me in my slippers. We cleaned the house and moved some furniture around getting ready for the Christmas decorations to be brought down out of the attic (yes the same ones I just put up into that attic last week).
J worked a bit this morning and when the kids took their naps we got down to business making the salted caramel sauce for my cheesecake, just in case we messed it up and needed to make another batch before Thursday. Let me add that all I had to do was grab some sugar and head to the stove and J was immediately looking over my shoulder. Oddly, he had made candy before (pralines) and is quite good at the exact timing it takes to make good candy. Within seconds he grabbed the saucepan and said “You’re gonna burn this, let me handle it.” Muaaahhhahahahahaha exactly what I had wanted in the first place, but I couldn’t just ask him to make the sauce, of course! Let’s just hope J doesn’t burn his foot again while cooking 😦
Fast forward 15 minutes and we are eating the best, no seriously the best, salted caramel sauce I have ever tasted. See below :0
Salted Caramel So Good

Please note that when the above picture was taken this spoon was confiscated and a clean one replaced it as we are making this dessert for others. Surprisingly, this was a fairly easy recipe with few ingredients and it did not take a lot of time. The clean up was a little laborious, I’ll admit. It was during this clean up that I took our candy thermometer and measured just how hot our scalding tap water could get (150 degrees Farenheit!) ouch. Walter White would be so proud of my little science project.

Fortunately, the Irish like to leave multiple Christmas trees in the attic when they move out, so our neighbor was bringing them both by for us to put one up. Three boxes and many mismatched, metal stemmed tree attachments later we realized there were probably 2-3 incomplete trees in our possession.
Two Trees

By this point A had decorated T’s golfcart by shoving aforementioned metal tree stems into the space where the golf club is supposed to go. She also added some garland she found out of the tree boxes for added flair. T was busy spinning around in circles until he became dizzy and collapsed into a puddle of his own maniacal laughter. Decorated for Christmas

All the while my favorite Christmas itunes played in the background…so thankful Wham was able to release “Last Christmas” before G. Michael went solo. J and I down but not out shoved all the tree stems, etc into 3 large garbage bags and broke down the boxes for the recycle. We vacuumed everywhere clean of stray, fake pine needles and decided we had to find a tree in Dublin the next day. I’m now getting nervous as I had my eye on some thrift store shopping to find real ugly sweaters for a party next week.

Thankfully we were able to locate a nice Christmas tree at the Home Depot of Ireland called B&Q. Here you don’t just buy individual strands of lights, but you buy one strand with enough lights for the tree. For example, our tree is 7 ft tall so the chart said to put 400 lights on that size tree; we bought a strand with 400 bulbs. Kind of nice not to have a tangle of lights at Christmas. All the lights here are LED lights so they are more expensive; our light strand cost about 60 euro ($80).We had an eventful few days and are looking forward to our first Thanksgiving here. I promise to write Thursday about Thanksgiving since we are 5 hours ahead here and will be close to bed time when you are digging into your turkey.

Cheers,
Heather

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