Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The countdown to the right on this blog shows 1 day and 17 hours left until Thanksgiving! My favorite holiday. I love it because there's so little pressure. 1. No gifts to buy. You don't have to go into debt and feel bad because you can't get everyone the perfect gift they need. 2. There's no stress of fighting traffic and idiot shoppers to contend with. 3. There's no Thanksgiving parties to be attended....having to get the new dress and the too-tight pantyhose and the uncomfortable shoes so you can dress up and try to impress other people. Instead it's a day for families. For getting together and eating a wonderful meal while enjoying being all together. This year my Mom and Dad will have a really full house. Besides them, there will be my older brother Steve, his wife Angie, Angie's son Jacob and Steve's two girls Sara and Shannon. Hubby and I will be there along with my son Doug, his wife Kara and their daughter Emily; and my son Nick with his girlfriend Kelly and my daughter Jamie. My sister Chris will be there with her husband Lloyd, their son Marc and their daughters Jess and Sammi, and perhaps Jess' fiance Kyle. Also present will be my brother John with his wife Ruth and their daughter Laura. Finally there will be what we laughingly call the "old folks and stragglers"; my aunt Sister Marcelle, my Aunt Isy and my cousin Father Paul. That counts up to about 27 people! Believe it or not, we'll all have a place to sit at the table in my parents' mobile home. They built an extra room onto the side and manage somehow to arrange the tables so we can all fit. Of course, once everyone is seated, there's no way to get back up again! But that's okay. We dont' mind sitting there for a long time eating the delicious meal my parents prepare. We'll start out with a salad and some plates of pickles and olives. Cranberry sauce will make an appearance as well as snowflake rolls. There'll be turkey of course. My dad will probably cook a 25 pounder or more. In addition, because God forbid we should run short of food, he might make another turkey at my sister's house and have her bring it over. Or he might cook one on his rotisserie grill. The turkey is accompanied with the usual Thanksgiving fair......mashed potatoes, maybe some sweet potatoes, perhaps squash, and definitely stuffing. In fact, I believe for the past few years they've made THREE kinds of stuffing - one regular stuffing that goes inside the bird, one without meat for any non-meateaters, and traditional French pork stuffing. Corn and carrots will probably be the vegetables. And finally, my Dad makes banana fritters. Why? Who knows? Actually, I think it started many years ago when my Aunt Claire and Uncle Rudy used to come to Thanksgiving and my Dad made them one year on a whim...my Aunt liked them so much she requested them the following year...and a tradition was born. The really cool thing about this is....my Dad knows how much I detest bananas, so every year he makes me my own little plate of apple fritters. AND .....strangely enough.....we all love the little bits of crunchy batter that ends out floating on the top of the oil after my Dad is done cooking the fritters. So my Dad scoops them up and puts them on a plate and we eat them. We call them "pitons". Naturally, there'll be lots and lots of desserts. My sister will make some cheesecake because Sister Marcelle loves it. I think she also said she's making some sort of pumpkin whoopie pies? And we are bringing an apple pie. I think DIL Kara is bringing a dessert and so is sister-in-law Ruth. I think that might be enough! After dinner the table is cleared and the dishes are done. A new tradition was born a few years ago....Mom uses paper plates! That tradition started because while my daughter and nieces were doing the dishes, they were singing at the top of their lungs. The threat was made that we'd use paper plates the following year if they didnt' stop....the singing got louder (they're not stupid!!) and Mom followed through and got paper plates the next year. Then we all sit and talk....some play cards....a couple times Hubby has brought his guitar and he and my nephew jam a bit. It's all very lazy and lots of fun. More often than not some of the old stories come out about the trouble we got into as kids. Once in a while, we slip up and Mom and Dad hear stories they hadn't heard before. Oops! I suspect that pretty soon the stories will be coming out from MY kids about the mischief they got into and the things I never heard about! It will be a long, lovely day and we'll go home full and happy and tired. Perfect.