Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone was able to enjoy a relaxing, long weekend with friends and family.

Thanksgiving has never been a big holiday with my family and, unfortunately, class, work, and the Michigan game have left me unable to travel home at this time of year for several years. But this year my parents made the long trek to Columbus to spend Thanksgiving with me for the first time in four years. While I have always been grateful to the families who have taken me in for past Thanksgivings, there is something special about spending holidays with your own family.

Another problem my family faces on Thanksgiving is the fact that none of us really like turkey all that much. After years of forcing ourselves to partake in a traditional Thanksgiving, we finally decided several years ago that we should just make whatever we wanted!

So this year, we decided to try deep fried Cornish game hens. My parents came prepared with the hens, a giant pot, and an outdoor burner while I supplied the traditional Thanksgiving sides of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving Plate 1

We brined the hens in a mixture of spices and buttermilk per this recipe to keep them moist, then dusted them in flour and more spices and fried them for about 12 minutes until crispy and golden.

I’m a sucker for good fried chicken, so a miniature fried chicken all to myself was quite a treat. Crispy skin, moist and flavorful meat — these tasty little hens put even the best turkey to shame! They made pretty mean Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches as well.

Plate Side View

And possibly the best part of this Thanksgiving was the fact that we didn’t have to spend all day cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, but enjoying each other’s company over good food and wine was what really made this holiday enjoyable.

Thanksgiving Bar

At the risk of sounding cliché, I can’t say how thankful I was to have Andrew and my parents here to celebrate the holiday together in the cozy apartment Andrew and I share. I truly have so much to be thankful for, including the good food, good wine, and good company we shared this year.

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