In the morning, thoughtful moments with Earl Grey tea before the cooking begins. Our dinner was scheduled late in the day so that Derek, who had to work, could join us. Aaron worked midnight shift the night before, so a late dinner allowed him to get a few hours sleep before traveling to our house.
My parent's big banquet table has leaves added (only 2 of 4, this table can stretch to 12 feet with 4 leaves) is set and ready for dinner in the log room. This table is perfect for big dinners, parties, craft projects, you name it. We keep enough folding chairs so that we have seating for about 17 people. This is the first time we've actually used the table for sit-down dinner. We've had it for about 2 years now and in future it will be put to use much more often. Having dinner in here means no dirty kitchen in view.
Youngest son Tommy (the bodybuilder) will break his strict diet regime for the day.
James and Michaela wait impatiently for dinner to begin. James said, "This is the best Thanksgiving ever!" Both started the day with stomach viruses which made for an interesting 3-hour trip to Granny's house, but by dinner time they were fully recovered, including their appetites.
The meal begins!
(Apparently my camera is having issues again. Time for a new one, I think
What ended up on the menu?
The turkey of course, and gravy
Mashed red-skinned potatoes
Beets in orange sauce
Green beans with water chestnuts and mushrooms
Sweet potato, spiced apple and cranberry casserole
Zucchini, squash, and aristocrat pickles
Pears in raisin-cider sauce
Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc wine for the grown-ups
Hickory nut cake
Cheeses with water crackers
What made this year really special for us is that almost everything prepared for this meal came from our own place.
And the funniest things?
*Only two pieces of pie were eaten, but Jaime and I had to try the hickory nut cake.
*That cake took 4 hours of picking nuts (thank you, Larry!), an hour to make (it's a complicated recipe and I think I had every counter in the kitchen covered with bowls by the time it was done), and an hour to bake--and then would not come out of the pans. It was by far the ugliest cake I've ever made, all falling apart. I made the icing for it anyway and "glued" it together. But the taste? Oh my. Worth every minute of work and frustration. Thank you for the recipe, Matthew! I'll have to figure out why it stuck to the pans.
*James reporting that because they came in Uncle Tommy's truck (car swap so Aaron could haul an engine) he had to sit in the jump seats in the rear, and had to "stare at Michaela (in the other jump seat) for three hours!"
It was a lovely day, and we were all so sleepy after dinner that everyone was in bed by 9:00 pm. Amazing--I can't remember the last time I went to bed so early.
How was your day, and your dinner?