Monday, November 29, 2010
About 12:30 pm last Thursday, our daughter, Kate, her husband, Nick, and their friend Sally, pulled up in front of the house and with their gear in tow, walked up the drive way and into the house. We stood with the door open and our arms open wide as the ascended the steps. The ground was covered with a beautiful snow fall. About 3 inches had fallen over the past several days and it made the trip to our house rather treacherous.
We were so happy they had arrived safely.
In the door and up the stairs to the rooms we had prepared for them they went, Kate and Nick into their regular room and Sally just placed her things out of the way in the office since she would be sleeping downstairs in the family room.
Not long after, in walked Richard and Jeanette (he is French and therefore his name must be pronounced accordingly). They moved into the office upstairs and then joined us with Thanksgiving preparations already well underway.
In fact, Mom and I had been preparing for the past several days. Mostly small things in the beginning, but over the past couple of days preparations got a bit more frenetic.
We cut up fresh veggies for the crudite platter, a 20 pound turkey was roasted off, sliced and laid out on a platter, and the day-before parts of several dishes were put together and stuck in the fridge.
By the time our little extended family had arrived, we had another, 25 pound turkey stuffed and in the oven and casseroles of dressing and green beans were awaiting their turn.
Everything was as ready as it could be when Kate and Nick entered the kitchen to begin production of 15 pounds of mashed potatoes! We wanted to be out of the way when they needed the kitchen.
Potato peels flew, potatoes were sliced and diced, popped into their water baths and the special ingredients brought to enhance the mashed potato experience were prepped--bacon, exotic cheeses, butter and cream were readied for their addition to the pots of creamy mash.
By about 4 o'clock others began to arrive and bring their contributions to the festivities. Friends from as far away as Oregon and just around the corner kicked off their shoes, poured a glass of wine and relaxed. Folks we didn't think would come due to the snow actually made it. In the end only 2 (Later about them) didn't make it of the 23 who originally said they'd come.
Everyone brought food. Though most were asked only to bring one dish, most brought two or three. Before long the dining table groaned under the weight, the piano bar was covered with wines and other beverages, the coffee table displayed an assortment of nuts and other pre-dinner goodies. Every counter top was covered, even stacked, with dishes of yams and salads and favorite, wouldn't-be-Thanksgiving-without-them dishes until it became nearly impossible to know what we had or get it all out on the serving table.
By about 4 o'clock we were ready and everyone gathered around the table to pile their plates high. Within minutes every nook and cranny in the living room and family room was occupied with the quietest group you ever heard all enjoying the yummy dinner.
By 6:30 some folks were already drifting out the door to head home for a long winter's nap (the carbs had had their effect). The inhabitants of our home remained surrounded by the remains of the day.
Seven loads of dishes later, the kitchen began to look somewhat normal again. The fridge in the kitchen and out in the garage however, were stuffed with plates and tubs and bowls and casseroles of leftovers awaiting the midnight snack and left over lunches sure to happen over the holiday weekend.
at 1:56 PM