Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Review

Today I'm going to share my thoughts on Thanksgiving and take you along on our family celebration.

The Fourth of July is nice but in my book Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday. The tradition pre-dates the revolution and speaks to a time when survival was not assured. It's a time of gathering together to be thankful fofr the bounty in our lives, both of food and of fellowship.

If Thanksgiving didn't exist we'd have to invent it!

Each family has their tradition in terms of what type of stuffing is served but at it's core the day is about food.

My sister and brother-in-law were kind enough and brave enough to host the festivities this year. A proper Thanksgiving meal is alot of work and also involves preparing the house for the event. I've always said that the best way to get your house in order is to plan a party.

Here's the beautiful dining room table. Unfortunately this is after we ate. I totally forget to snap a picture before the meal. Notice the beautiful fresh flower centerpiece.

Gravy is the number one food item on our list. Our father was a cook in the Navy during WW2 and Korea. He was a gravy master, or is it Gravymeister? Whatever..... you could not get out of your childhood without learning how to make good gravy. It's almost a beverage in our eyes. It's keeping warm on the stove as we load up our plates.

Deviled eggs are a staple. Yummy little bits of goodness.

I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of the wonderfully creamy jello. It was black cherry combined with Cool Whip. It disappeared really fast.

This plate is only half full. I haven't made it to the zucchini casserole or the brandied carrots yet.

Jenny wore here Snuggie for Dogs. She was a little frightened by the sheer numbers of people who descended upon her territory.

This is the cutest stinking dog I've ever seen. Seriously. She's a King Charles Spaniel/Bichon mix and a cuteness overload.

After dinner Mom went to work washing dishes. She LOVES washing dishes. No kidding.

We all launched in on our family stories and conversations. Here is the Farmer's daughter holding court with her Uncle Ski.

My sister and her husband figured large in my children's childhood. Almost every good family story is based on time spent at their beautiful place in northern Wisconsin. Fun, funny and crazy experiences.

After dinner the men retired to the man cave. Big screen TV and football ensued. Yet another tradition.

Left to right: the Son, the Farmer, the Daughter's boyfriend

Wonder when those football players celebrate Thanksgiving.

The cranberry sauce was delightful. I failed (yet again) to get a photo. My sister had sliced the sauce out of the can and then cut pieces using a small maple leaf cookie cutter, the same one used to cut the pastry embellishments for the pie.

You know me, I'm all about the pie. The saying goes, "as American as apple pie" and though many view apple pie as the ultimate American tradition, I beg to differ. It's pumpkin pie all the way. Creamy, slightly spicy goodness. I think I'll bake one today in anticipation of the Monday Morning Staff Meeting.

I'm thankful that people are willing to take on the work involved in hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. It's a terrific celebration.

For those of you outside of the U.S., I hope this explains the day.

For an American, nothing is sadder than to be far from family and friends on Thanksgiving. Many years ago I spent the day a thousand miles from my family, having a mediocre turkey dinner on a military base under fluorescent lights. We were so poor we didn't even have a phone with which to call our family. My loyal reader Schnitzel recounted her Thanksgiving in Germany where the Trout was stationed. She was determined to create Thankgiving and cooked a turkey roll on the landing of her apartment.


Thanks for coming along to Cindy and Ski's for Thanksgiving.

P.S. The only downside to going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving is __________________.

(Fill in the blank. I'll have a giveaway on Monday, drawing a name from the pool of correct answers)


Pamela said...

No leftovers!!!

Susan said...

Your table would have suited me just fine this past Thursday. Thanks for mentioning my Thanksgiving in Germany. I totally understand your military dinner as well. But, all those memories of past Thanksgivings just make today so much greater. Thanks for sharing. Schnitzel (Susan)

1inCollege1inDiapers said...

No leftovers!!!

chocolatechic said...

No leftovers, or making something fabulous and there is none left to bring home.

~ Sara ~ said...

No leftovers!!!

Dodie said...

Like everyone else it is the leftovers. We always go to our daughters and she sends food home with us and her children.
I especially liked "man cave".

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

NO LEFTOVERS! That's one of the BEST parts of Thanksgiving and why I'm always glad I always cook!

Kate said...

Last time we had an overdue charge on one of our credit card bills for a similar reason to your situation, the farmer in *my* house called the credit card company, explained what had happened, and added very sweetly "You can see by my records that I pay my balance off completely every month and that I use my credit card to the tune of X-amount of dollars each month, so the credit card company is making money off me. If you don't remove this overdue charge, I will cancel my credit card." They promptly and politely removed that charge.
Worth a try!
PS when I did the same thing once, the same credit card company (and I use my card as much as hubby and pay it off every month as well) didn't go for it. I think it has to be a man who calls, much as that irritates me. Not more than men who retire to the living room after big occassion meals that have been cooked for and served to them, and leave the dishes and cleanup for the women. I don't know how they can even live with themselves. To me, that's the worst part of going to someone else's Thanksgiving meal: you have to do what the Romans do, and unfortunately that's what most of them do. In my own home, my husband and sons are expected to pitch in and make lighter work for all, because *nobody* except your mom likes doing dishes! (I realise that sometimes the division of labour/earning is made along traditional lines, through agreement by both parties; but I still see lots of women working outside the home and yet doing far more of the household domestic chores like cooking, grocery shopping, and cleaning than their male counterparts do. Some women are fine with that, but I don't understand why.)

LDF said...

The only downside to going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving is __ no sneaky late-night stuffing samwich in the darkened kitchen after everybody else is sound asleep __! My favourite stuffing sandwiches feature lots of butter, black pepper and homemade cranberry sauce. Even though us Canajuns (eh?) celebrate Thanksgiving mid-October, our feelings and traditions are very similar. Your tables look lovely!

Kitty said... leftovers! After cooking for two days to make Thanksgiving dinner, the leftovers give you a break for another day or two, even though all the guests take home a bag full. We have MUCH to be thankful for.

Nance said...

you have to offer to help with the dishes!

Liz in PA said...

P.S. The only downside to going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving is __________________.

1. Besides NO yummy turkey to enjoy for sandwiches the next day
(and other smaller side dishes to enjoy!)
....The Long Drive Home.

Millicent said...


Ang. said...

No leftovers!!!!

We nearly always have Thanksgiving at our house. We are still supping on leftovers today. Yummy!

Jenni said...

Uh, that would definitely be no leftovers! Fortunately, that doesn't usually apply to me. I always bring a lot and help wash up and always end up leaving with some leftovers. Of course, the leftovers usually get split several ways, and the turkey and mashed potato leftovers only last about one meal. Once again I made waaaay too many sweet potatoes, and we will be eating them all week. Good thing we like them:o)

Steph said...

No leftovers! Unless you brought a lot of food over with you and can take it home and it eat all yourself!

Anonymous said...

No leftovers. We hosted dinner at the farm for the 8th year I think. We didn't have many leftovers this year as we served 35 people, so there were no turkey enchiladas that we have made the last few years, but we did manage some shepherd's pie.

Nancy said...

Not having any leftovers!

Stephanie-Oh said...

No leftovers! We dry brined the turkey this year and I will never wet brine again. So much less mess. I'm glad you had a great Thanksgiving. It's my fav. holiday!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

My first response (like everyone else) was "no leftovers", but on second thought, I think I miss MOST the aroma of a turkey roasting in the oven at MY house. My son-in-law fried 2 turkeys outdoors. V.

P.S. We went to my daughter's house for dinner, so we had no leftovers at our house, BUT we were invited back Sat. night for leftovers and to watch Miracle on 34th St. (new version) which has become a tradition for us.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Loved this post!

Kat said...

The 6 hour drive home. Just been there, just did that.
Would do it again in a heartbeat, though, 'cause I had so much fun!

Betty said...

That a really fun time is ending! Thanks for sharing your holiday. It's so similar to our family tradition. This year I've been learning the game of football so I can also watch it with my husband. I'm reading "A Sportscaster's Guide to Watching Football" by author Mark Oristano. It's a very entertaining way to learn the rules of the game.

Cote de Texas said...

I have to agree - no leftovers!!!