Arkansas Phipps Family Thanksgiving 2021

This year, the hubby and I decided to go to Arkansas after Thanksgiving to celebrate with my family. With my dad gone this year, we all just need more time together. We won’t be going home for Christmas as none of our schedules would work out for that, so we wanted to make Thanksgiving the big family holiday.

So the hubby and I left right after Thanksgiving brunch with the family and headed for the hills. Okay, my mom will maybe not like describing Arkansas that way. But anyway, we drove to St. Louis and spent the night before finishing up the drive Friday morning. We had the big Thanksgiving meal on Saturday at my brother’s house. He’s great about hosting because he has a lot of space. We came with a cooler and grocery bags of supplies as we didn’t want to have to shop in Arkansas where no one requires masks.

I started cooking bright and early in the morning while everyone else was still asleep. It takes a little time to get a meal for 20 ready. Okay, I don’t think there are twenty of us, but it sure feels like it sometimes. I took care of cooking the sweet potatoes and prepping the sweet potato casserole before everyone else got up.

We decided to go with my brother’s loaded mashed potato dish rather than simple mashed. It’s delicious and why not let him do part of that cooking? My mom’s deep freezer was full of meat, so she already had the ham and turkey. My brother-in-law fried the turkey and brought it over. I did a pineapple and brown sugar glazed ham. Sarah, my sister-in-law made her green beans which are some weird concoction of beans and bacon and I think some brown sugar…okay, I have no idea what is in it, but they are good. Owen, the hubby, even got in on the action. He diced onions. He prepared the sauteed brussels sprouts with bacon.

We almost forgot the deviled eggs. I think my brother, Kristofer, would have lost his mind. I’m also amazed that a few of them made it to dinner time since he and Owen were snacking on them as soon as they were ready. My brother loves my deviled eggs. I think this was one of my first points of pride in cooking. My brother being so excited for my deviled eggs may have started this entire journey.

Now for the funny part of the day. My brother and sister-in-law are having a baby. They were wearing t-shirts that announced this all day. We cooked in their kitchen for hours. I didn’t even notice. I attribute this to my focus when cooking. My older sister walked in and immediately noticed. Everyone had a good laugh. I love my family. And this was an all-in family meal. My mom brought a pineapple upside down cake. My little sister brought pies. Basically, everyone had a hand in the meal and it was delicious and we had a great family meal.

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