Turkey Tom, Penthouse in the Sky, and Al Roker

The holiday season is upon us. And with that comes travel, food, expanding waistlines, tested livers, and more travel.

It's 530 EST and I'm presently folded into a pleather seat soaring to New York City to join former Minnesotan Joy and her Garden State Lover Kellen in their penthouse pied a terre for Thanksgiving. Joy and I go back to our days whoring our souls to the retail gods while feeding and drinking ourselves around the great city of Minneapolis. I knew Joy had the same love of food and entertaining that I did when she skilfully duplicated authentic tamales one night then hosted a well executed Oscar party (swag bags were included). 

As for Thanksgiving Joy has been hosting her own for the last few years in what I can only imagine to be coffin sized kitchens all over the island of Manhattan. I've seen pictures of brining Toms squeezed into refrigerators that I'm sure were not much larger than the seat I am presently calling home.

This year Joy has planned a feast including two variations of stuffing (that's dressing for all my Southern readers), french onion soup and a buffet of all the regular fixin's. She was also kind enough to allow me to bake dessert for our guests. My plan was to make a traditional pumpkin pie (which I must confess was going to have a premade crust up until about an hour ago when Joy text informing me that Manhattan was sold out!) and a Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake.  In preparedness I sent Joy a pie plate and springform pan along with 2 loaves of my crack like Spiced Zucchini Bread. 

My goal when I deplane is to brave NYC transit by taking the train into the city. Why so pedestrian you ask? Because friends this flying food stylist is broke. How is that possible you you cry? Well readers the crazy glamorous career of food styling is all freelance save for a lucky few. And while I've been beyond busy the last few months making all your favorite foods look beautiful for photos I was not busy the few months prior to that. So that means cash flow is light now but should be normal in a few weeks.  Plus what fun is travel without a little adventure?  Though a little longer than the normal taxi ride the train ride should be easy and uneventful.  The only drawback is that I don't get that majestic view of Manhattan while barreling through the subway.

 Organization At It's Finest

Organization At It's Finest

It is now noon on Thanksgiving and as evident from my post I clearly survived the train ride into the city.  Thanksgiving prep is underway here on the 24th floor in Midtown.  I was up at 730am getting my Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake in the oven.  Joy and I caught up over coffee and some of the crack like Spiced Zucchini Bread that I mentioned above.  Joy has created a very well planned out day (schedule is pictured...that's right a schedule).  As of right now we are on track for the day.  Joy has kindly chronicled the morning with her camera.

Today's menu includes the following:

Roasted Turkey

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Cornbread Stuffing

Traditional Stuffing

Curried Lemon Brussels Sprouts

Garlic Mash

Giblet Gravy

Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake

Copious amounts of wine/beer

A view of the Hudson River

A Sassy Brooklynite Named Karen (I will be asking her if she knows Tony Danza, a fellow Brooklynite)

Photos of the day:

At this point we have grown tired and the camera has somehow been put down.  Plus who wants to see pictures of a dirty kitchen?

Fast forward to 5pm on the dot.  After a quick turn in the kitchen to help Joy get some final details in place we are presented with a parade of the following food:

 Joy's Tablescape

Joy's Tablescape

 French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

 Roasted Turkey NYC Style

Roasted Turkey NYC Style

 Cornbread Stuffing with Mac and Cheese

Cornbread Stuffing with Mac and Cheese

 Entire Buffet on a Plate

Entire Buffet on a Plate

 Rooftop View with Post Dinner Coctails

Rooftop View with Post Dinner Coctails

 Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake with Vanilla Ice Cream

Pumpkin Chai Cheesecake with Vanilla Ice Cream

It is now the day after Thanksgiving. And we continue to eat. Breakfast of leftovers and oatmeal below. 

 Stuffing with Fried Egg and a side of Oatmeal

Stuffing with Fried Egg and a side of Oatmeal

Joy and myself had some errands to run on the UWS and left Kellen alone in the pHouse to catch up on HBO, laundry, stint at the gym and some soon to confess raiding of the Thanksgiving leftovers.  While Kellen was at home Joy and I hit up Shake Shack.  This burger joint has grown into a island phenomenon.  We each hoovered down The Shack Burger, shared some fries and washed it down with an Arnold Palmer.

 Shake Shack Cherry Pop

Shake Shack Cherry Pop

As Penny would say, "Amawzing".

We ended our day back at the pHouse, ordered in sushi (sorry no pictures.  There was wine coupled with exhaustion), and finally this was the view from my guest room as we wrapped up dinner:

To recap this Thanksgiving I am thankful for:

1. Just Joni and Sister for being cool enough to let me leave town on Thanksgiving.

2. Boyfriend (update 2016 this didn't really work out) for being cool enough to let me leave town on Thanksgiving. 

3. Joy and Kellen for being cool enough to let me invade their space for Thanksgiving.

4. Sassy Brooklynite Karen for sharing her Thanksgiving with a complete stranger and her willingness to share her story.

5. Al Roker for providing such wonderful commentary on a parade happening just two blocks from my temporary home.