Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Today is Sunday, November 30. This is the last of a week-long vacation from work. Much of the first part of vacation week was spent preparing for Thanksgiving Day - family coming in, shopping, cleaning, baking. Thanksgiving Day was wonderful. We gathered at my oldest brother's home. He and his wife know how to host a dinner party.

We started at 1:00 in the afternoon with cocktails of pink Florida gulf shrimp, creamy brie and crackers and a toast of sparkling champagne. Eighteen of us seated on the patio at a table beautifully decorated in seasonal colors. Norbert had smoked a turkey and a ham - which requires the usual comment, "I'll bet it was hard to roll.." followed by the usual groan. Mary Anne's stuffing or dressing - which ever you are accustomed to calling it - was EXCELLENT. The stuffing is the only thing I do 'seconds' on. I grew up on my mother's giblet and sage stuffing, and have never known anyone to make it even close to Mom's - except me, of course - and Mary Anne's was just as good. We had the traditional green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, corn and peas. And sweet potatoes. I'm not sure what this dish was called, it was a new recipe - which was orange shells stuffed with mashed sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. Interesting, tasty, but a little too sweet for me. We talked about past years, always trying to recall "was that the year that..." followed by who was here, wasn't, where we ate, the games we played - "no one can leave the table until they've told a story". (this was done to keep the then younger ones from leaving the table too soon). Gradually the chairs emptied, and “dibbs” on the couch echoed through the house. Father and daughter as bookends!

The food was covered and stored, the table cleared, dishwasher loaded and it was about 4:30. We grabbed sweaters and jackets, beach chairs and a beer or wine or spirits of choice, and walked down to the beach. The annual group shot:

Then the kids teamed up for some touch football.

Gradually the sun dipped below the horizon:

We trickled back to the house and sliced up the Pies! Two pumpkin, two pecan and two apple, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I had also made some orange glazed pecans which were unusually tasty and quite well liked by one nephew in particular. Every Thanksgiving when it’s pie time, the story is told about a girlfriend of brother Ken’s who was a guest at my sister, Debbie’s house. When the pumpkin pie was served, she was the first to taste it. She loudly exclaimed, “ACK! That’s AWFUL!” It seems that the second pie missed the sugar, and Debbie quickly admitted it. But we all never got over how Jeannie reacted, thinking that perhaps she could have been more tactful!

Post pie had several gathered around the dining room table with cards and chips playing Texas hold’m

After several rounds, and various players, the trivial pursuit came out. It was about this time that I went home. A full day, a full belly and a desire to slip into my bed.

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