Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Week Events-11/26, 11/28, 11/30/13

Clayton and a birthday cookie skillet from Afton Tavern

For Clayton's 37th birthday, we went out to Afton Tavern to celebrate.  The Stewart family joined us.  We gave him some new shoes and golf pants but the coolest gift came from his mom.  It was a 1983 coffee bean roaster, lol.  Yes, I know that it sounds like a crappy gift but you have no idea.  CJ has been roasting his own coffee beans for a while now using a popcorn machine from the early 80s (he had to do some conversions to make it work).  If you want to know how, google it.  Newer machines don't work as well as the old ones so there is a marketplace on ebay for old popcorn poppers to be used as roasters.  Seriously.  They really do work! We have a nice Jura espresso machine and it serves the homemade roasted beans well.  Anyway, his mom managed to find an actual vintage roaster from the same time.  It has been interesting comparing it to his rigged up version.  His sister sent him some green Kona beans to roast and they are soooo good. 

I have been hosting Thanksgiving almost every year since we started dating in 1997.  To say that I have this down to a fine art, is an understatement.  You should see my crazy turkey day spreadsheets.  Heck if I will ever just wing it.  As long as I follow my plan, everything turns out perfect.  I go big so there is usually enough to feed a small army.  This year, I changed up the sweet potatoes, fruit salad, and corn.  These dishes were so much better this go round.  Here are the new recipes that I used:

My parents came to spend Thanksgiving with us and ended up taking the kids back home with them for the weekend.  We took advantage of our alone time by heading down to Matthews.  I had been wanting Clayton to experience the Carolina Beer Temple for some time now.  I had discovered it with my friend Jessica a while back and knew he would love it.  We were hungry when we arrived so we went to Royal Cafe & Creperie next door first.  Our first crepe was a delicious Philly cheese steak one followed by caramel apple pie crepe.  The one shown in the pic is the dessert one.  Both crepes were so big that we split them both.  At the Carolina Beer Temple, CJ had a Mexi-Cali stout from Bird Song in Charlotte and I had Cold Mountain from Highland Brewing Company in Asheville.  Yum!