Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving in Cave Creek, AZ

What a nice time we had with Ken & Maryanne Watson and their family! Maryanne is an excellent cook, and she directed the various kitchen helpers in preparing and serving a wonderful spread of yummy food. DSCN0215


DSCN0216Don’s son Craig and his wife Liz joined us here also.




The Watson’s place has two full hookup sites for RVs in the back yard, and another can park in front of the house, with water and electricity. In the photo below, you can see Craig & Liz’s Allegro motorhome parked on the left of the building and our Phaeton on the right. The building contains an apartment and shop for Ken’s wood projects.


DSCN0207Ken & Maryanne’s Discovery motorhome is parked in front of the house in the circular driveway.




Joining us for dinner were:

Eric, Maryanne’s son DSCN0276






Ken’s son Ken Jr. and his wife Julie DSCN0322 DSCN0323

Ken Jr’s son Matt and girlfriend BeckyDSCN0326

DSCN0258Ken’s daughter Nellie, shown here trimming her friend Anna’s hair






Nellie’s 3 daughters:

T.J.                                      DSCN0308 Amber


Angela and daughter SkylaDSCN0295 …  and Scott, the baby’s DadDSCN0277

Ken is a proud great-granddad!DSCN0261






DSCN0288Last but not least, Dennis & Susan Mittleider, long-time friends of the Watsons’, rounded out the group.





Don brought his Orion smoker to cook one of the turkeys. He brined it overnight (soaked in a salt/sugar/water solution), then stuffed it with fresh lemon halves and covered it with herbs and olive oil. The bird went into the smoker on a poultry rack surrounded by cherry wood chips.  

DSCN0239Don then loaded the smoker with match-light charcoal, reserving a few briquets for the cup on top, which creates the heat convection.  He lit the charcoal, and set a timer for 2 hours and 20 minutes for the 20-pounder.

DSCN0271Craig helped pull the bird out at the proper time, and Don removed the rack. What a beautiful outcome, and the taste was superb!  And it’s such an easy way to cook a turkey in a remarkably short period of time.





Accompaniments included two types of dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, homemade dinner rolls, pumpkin bread, corn pudding, cranberry gelatin mold, three pies (pumpkin, wild cherry and lemon meringue) and lots of deviled eggs. What a feast! 

DSCN0256We even had wine tasting, with almost everyone declaring the $2.99 “Two Buck Chuck” Charles Shaw Chardonnay the winner over a $6 Barefoot and a $20 Washington Hills.


DSCN0248Besides eating this marvelous dinner, we enjoyed sitting on the patio, enjoying beautiful desert views and perfect weather and watching hummingbirds hover around the feeders.




DSCN0319We ended this wonderful day with a bonfire.





DSCN0333The next day we spotted a Javelina rummaging around the trees near the house looking for food.




DSCN0335Sue Pace, who visited the day after Thanksgiving with hubby Ken, also took some photos of this unusual animal.




DSCN0339As if we hadn’t eaten enough on Thanksgiving Day, Sue, Maryanne and I posed for this photo with a tray of thick, juicy steaks that we grilled outdoors and enjoyed later that evening.

All in all, it will be a holiday remembered for a long time!