Kitchen Makeover Update: How I Managed to Cook a Sweet Potato Casserole for Thanksgiving Dinner Without a Working Kitchen

Our family’s Thanksgiving tradition has always been to gather at my parents’ house with my brother, sister, extended family, and friends.  Mom still does almost all of the cooking, but I always prepare a sweet potato casserole for the feast. This year I had to be a bit creative since I am still up to my elbows in an extreme kitchen renovation. Luckily my friends and neighbors came through for me, and all was good.

The day before Thanksgiving I stopped by my friend Mary’s house where we pooled our sweet potatoes — between us we had nearly 20 pounds — and baked two casseroles. On Thanksgiving morning since Mary was roasting her turkey, my wonderful next-door neighbors, Channing and Brooke, opened up their kitchen and their oven so I could warm up the casserole before heading to mom and dad’s house. Channing Johnson is a professional photographer, and when we left his house, he snapped this stunning photo of our family … minus Carolyn, of course, who is studying in Copenhagen for the semester.

 Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go …

Mom and Dad have hosted Thanksgiving (and Christmas and Easter) for over 50 years. They could sure use a six-burner stove and double ovens on holidays, but somehow they manage to put out a fabulous meal every time. Since I will have a big new kitchen soon, I’m planning to host Thanksgiving next year. I can’t wait! My 93-year-old Uncle Paul made a luscious pumpkin pie and had the honor of being first in the buffet line.

Here are some of the friends and family who gathered on Thanksgiving. Cousin Haley stood in for Carolyn and made sure little sis, Leah, wasn’t too sad, and I applauded Dad for his expert turkey-cutting skills. At the end of the day, we stopped by to wish Mary and her family a happy Thanksgiving.

Now back to the kitchen project: This week, the kitchen cabinets will be delivered. Last week the radiant heat floor was installed, so we will be toasty warm this winter.

Check out this cool panoramic photo Don took of the radiant heating elements.

Another cool thing that happened last week was the pocket door installation for our new pantry. What do you think of it?

Stay tuned for more photos in the coming weeks as the cabinets, Silestone counters, shelving units, Kohler sinks and faucets, and Teragren bamboo flooring are installed. It’s getting exciting!

3 responses to “Kitchen Makeover Update: How I Managed to Cook a Sweet Potato Casserole for Thanksgiving Dinner Without a Working Kitchen”

  1. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel!!! I see it!!! SOOO happy for you! I hope the space becomes more than you ever hoped for; you deserve it!!!

  2. Greg says:

    Going to be fantastic- love the pantry door! I think I see a new cookbook shaping up in this room! Best always- Greg

  3. Sandi says:

    ILOVE the panrty door. We have a bifold door but a pocket door would be so cool and yours looks very classy

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