Monday, November 27, 2006


Thanksgiving is a pretty big deal for us. It’s our holiday. Joe’s brother Louis and his wife host the family for Easter. His sister Mary and her husband host the family for Christmas. Joe & I host the family for Thanksgiving.

Since Joe is currently living in DE during the week, we decided to do our big Thanksgiving grocery shopping the Sun before. We went to the store at 8:30 in the morning to hopefully be able to shop without too much of a crowd. Then Wed night Joe came home and we firmed up our plans for Thurs.

In past years I would spend a couple hours Thurs morning cleaning the house while Joe prepared and cooked the food. But this year was a little different. Since our house in on the market for rental, I have been doing a good job of keeping it clean all the time, so there was no need to do a big housecleaning on Thurs morning. So, I helped Joe in the kitchen and it was fun. We cooked together. Well, mostly I just grabbed stuff from the fridge or pantry and handed it to him. But we worked on the meal together and it was enjoyable.

Joe tried a new technique with the turkey this year. In addition to seasoning and ‘stuffing’ the insides with an onion, celery, an apple and a lemon, he also made an herb butter that he slid underneath the skin. We cooked it in our Nesco roaster oven, leaving our regular oven available for other dishes. It was really delicious. We also made a dressing for which I suggested the ingredients: butter, onions, celery, granny smith apple, golden raisins, pecans, dried cranberries, and lots of sage and herbs. It’s a real crowd pleaser! We made a corn casserole and an Indian Pudding from recipes we saw on the Food Network. Both turned out great! Homemade turkey gravy, peas with butter and basil, and biscuits topped off our contributions to the meal.

My aunt Mary brought her Thanksgiving family favorites: an orange sherbet/jello mold with pineapple and mandarin oranges, affectionately known as the “orange stuff” by the kids, and a sweet potato shuffle, affectionately known as the “brown stuff” by the kids. Although the kids are old enough to now call the dishes by their names, they still use these primary terms to describe these yummy dishes.

Joe’s sister Mary brought amazing mashed potatoes, made from Yukon gold potatoes and lots of butter and cream, cranberry sauce, the obligatory green bean casserole, roasted butternut squash, and a pineapple upside down cake.

Joe’s mom brought 3 pies from Hill High Orchard, which was exquisite. Louis’ wife sent over 2 pumpkin pies, although they had dinner with her parents. Two family friends brought more pies and cakes, and Joe’s brother Paul and his wife brought a 2nd turkey.

I am in charge of setting the tables. Because we were expecting 18 for dinner this year we brought our wrought iron table and chairs from the back porch and positioned them on a rug in the living room. We have 3 matching table cloths to fit the kitchen table, dining table, and the porch table which unite the 3 dining areas. We use our ‘good’ dishes and flatware as well as our ‘everyday’ stuff, but keep them separated by table. No mixing on the tables!

When everything was ready we put all the food out on the kitchen counters and stove and everyone grabbed a plate from the tables and filed through the buffet. It was truly a delicious meal. I took a spoonful of everything until my plate was full, and then went back for a spoonful of the items I couldn’t fit on the plate the first time. We all enjoyed a tasty meal and lots of conversation and laughter. Later on we tried to find room in our stomachs to taste all the yummy pies and cakes. It was difficult but we managed. (grin)

Drag Queen name of the day: Claire Voyant

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