My middle daughter opened her home for our Thanksgiving gathering and we each helped to prepare the feast in our own homes. I began cooking the day before baking pies, getting the dressing oven ready, and prepping an extra turkey for the oven.
My youngest daughter had returned home for a very short visit. She and my oldest granddaughter helped with the Thanksgiving eve preparations.
It was fun having them in the kitchen with me. Chopping, dicing, sautee-ing, measuring, mixing, scooping, stirring, scraping, nibbling, baking, washing and drying, and great conversation filled our shared time in the kitchen. My youngest was still a little girl when my first grand was born. They have always called themselves sister-friends. They have a very special relationship.
Once all of the day before preparations were done we loaded up in the car for our go out to dinner on Thanksgiving eve tradition. When all of the kids were young it was always out for pizza. This year it was mexican food.
On Thanksgiving morning I had to manage my oven precisely to get everything done on time and still hot for transport down the block. I first baked a cherry pie (a request from my son) and pulled it out just in time for the turkey to go in. I then mixed up my homemade dinner rolls. Four batches of them! I used the warm stove top to let the dough rise. My daughter had asked me to make a second turkey since our family has grown and we had some other guests joining our feast. She was roasting a 20 pound bird and I another 15 pounds of bird. We were going to have plenty of turkey! Within minutes the roasting turkey made the house smell like Thanksgiving! My pans of rolls were now rising. When the turkey came out of the oven the big pan of dressing went in. All was going as planned. In the final minutes the rolls went into the oven as we loaded the car with the rest of my preparations. The rolls came out, smothered them with melted butter, threw a dish towel over them and headed out with freshly baked rolls! MMMM they smelled good.
It was a steady stream of family members entering my daughters beautifully decorated home with arms filled with food. We entered to a beautiful bouquet of fall flowers on the entry table. A hall table that was adorned with a very handsome carved wood turkey, with tall pilgrims and indian figurines who were carrying their own offerings for a shared feast.
The large kitchen island was abundantly filled with Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, sweet carrots, fruit salad, two different jello salads, cranberry sauce, and hot rolls. Another counter was filled with pies and other goodies.
My daughter had set three tables.
One for the three toddlers (all boys) that had a stickers activity and a coloring project. The table also had a toy Mayflower as the centerpiece with pilgrim and indian play pieces. So cute!
The older kids had a great table too. This table was for the six biggest cousins and a couple of dads who helped keep an eye on the little feasters. Thanksgiving stickers and a Thanksgiving coloring project were at each place setting.
The adult table was like something out the pages of
Martha Stewart magazine!
As it turns out. My son in law had made plans to have a third turkey smoked by a friend that my daughter did not know about. So, during our feast the call came in that the smoked turkey was done. He left for a few minutes and returned for dinner seconds that included smoked turkey! Many others followed his lead. We now had probably 55 pounds of turkey! I didn't mind taking home my untouched turkey one bit.
And the kids table, even with the two dads there, there was a no hands jello slurping contest held! Great memories for the cousins.
As it turns out, I have raised some really good cooks. Everything was delicious.
This is our first time ever to not have all of our children living close by. It was wonderful having my youngest home and having our entire family unit together on this beautiful, abundant, and delicious day of thanksgiving.
So today, I am giving thanks for a very blessed Thanksgiving Day. And, my goal for the next year..... to live IN thanksgiving every day.