Friday, November 23, 2007

I think I can move now...

But I still feel pretty stuffed.

Ono of the things I have missed over the past few years, is the huge amount of food I get to make over Thanksgiving. With my children growing older, and not always at home for the holidays, when the opportunity came to go home to my parent's house came up...I jumped on it. A) I'd have the chance to cook again (I've not made Thanksgiving Dinner in 2 years) , B) I'd have more than just me for being the cook, and C) FAMILY! as in extended FAMILY! Because we moved to California back in 1980, it became the rare event to be with extended family for holiday events. I've missed that a whole lot.

Growing up back in the early years, we didn't always live near family. Most of my cousins lived during their school years within a few moments of our Grandparents. When you have a dad who is a minister, you don't take Holidays off to travel to join in with the rest of the family. Once we moved closer in town to my mom's older sister, that all changed. Christmas time would find us at either of the houses with 30+ people. I really miss those years. Holiday decorations, great food, lots of people around, and my aunts pretty much all did the dishes! Moving away made those days virtually impossible except on the rarest of occasions.

This year wasn't as large as the old days. First of all, only one of my children at the last moment was able to come along. She did bring her boyfriend. The daughter whose brainchild this was in the first place, was denied vacation time by her boss. (BOO HISS). It felt really strange to be coming here without her. The other two live in other states and couldn't be here, either. One for homework/finals reasons, the other for another boss issue. I guess this is the part of having adult children I'm going to have to learn to deal with. But I don't' have to like it, right? I miss having them all around.

Late Wednesday night (or early Thursday morning if you count the actual time on the clock) the pumpkin was cooked down.

We even had enough pumpkin for 2 pies! Mom added an apple and a blueberry pie to the bunch, too! (YUMMMM.....)

I'm thinking that making pies post midnight, isn't so good for the thinking skills. I read the book incorrectly (now that's a shocker-huh?) and made enough crust for 3 pies. So, remembering from my childhood I gave my daughter the chance for some 'baking' like my mommy gave us as kids. When she had too much pastry, she let us roll it out and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar and then bake it up. I don't remember her doing it for a veryyyyyyyyyyy long time.

OK. We'll not talk about her being 26 and a really great cook of all things Rachel Ray and Gourmet Magazine. Somethings just have to be experienced at some point of your life. Right? It completes your childhood, and as a mom 's raising of a daughter.

After sitting up and talking (isn't that also a part of the holiday deal? Sitting up late and visiting?) I headed for bed with my alarm set for early in the am. Guess what I found in the morning?


Notice the rainbow flip flops in the first picture. I ran right out to get pictures, as it was evident that this snow wasn't going to last for long-it melted on the driveway.

Once I ran back inside (it was 19*F after all....) I got right to work making the stuffing. Celery, onions, apples, and bread cubes. mmmmmmmmmmmm good stuff I tell you. (HAR..stuff...groan...Ok, so maybe I'm still hurting from all this food.)

Use a bit of cheesecloth to make removal much easier and then tie it up. And pop it into the oven before anyone else is up. Then I went back to bed for a bit.

And I slept a bit longer than intended. It's snugly warm here in this apartment, I tell you! But the turkey was bit slower than I felt when I got up. It did, however, manage to 'melt' off the layer of skin on the top. I should note here, that I always start my turkey upside down. Years ago I was told that this helps the white meat retain much of it's moisture, and it hasn't failed me yet.

MMMMMMMMmmmm, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy.

Fruit salad, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, relish tray, jellied cranberries....(I'm still feeling full..)

Table was set, and we started in with brother and niece joining us. It might have been a smaller version of my childhood, but it was good. Later on we went over to my aunt's house to visit with a 'few' of her family. These might be the 2 best pictures of the night! The youngest family member in attendance (the youngest in the family was just born on Nov 16th, but wasn't in town) and my mom and her 'big sister.' She's the aunt that taught me to knit!

I did manage to get a dishcloth finished tonight.

We just HAD to spend a wee bit of time at the mall. Mostly it was in the movie theater, but I did pick up a surprise...after all ... Mom's 80th birthday is December 1st. While we won't be there..we're going to take her for a Birthday surprise in the morning. So with that, I'll wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and weekend - at least what is left of it. I have to get some sleep so I don't miss the ride over for candles in the pancake time!