My day began "bright" and early, as it did for many of you. I had already spent TWO DAYS in preparation for this ONE MEAL....I knew I'd need an early start to get everything done at the right time.
I was a tad bit anxious about how I would lift the 24 lb bird out of the brine. My shoulder is still on "light duty." The "big rooster, as Benny calls it, needed to be rinsed, dried, rubbed and then moved to the slow cooker. I needed it in the cooker by 0700 and no one was up. The perfect soloution staggered up the stairs at 0630 in the form of Alex.
Arielle and Krista came in and joined the prepping....at some point I broke away to work out and take a shower.
We have used this simple tablecloth for Thanksgiving for over 25 years....it has a few gravy stains...but it's special to us because of the signatures which have been collected year after year from our Thanksgiving Dinner guests. It's always fun to spread it out - and it always leads to reflection.
We smiled and laughed as we shared memories of family like friends and lonely airmen from year's past. It was a perfect tribute to find our Mom's signatures.....so glad they were with us this one year....the same year that Izaak and Dakota joined.....
It is sobering to see kids' preschool signatures and realize they are now in high school or graduated....and now we add hand prints and signatures from new grand kids and son in laws....
I set up appetizers in time for our lunch.....and then brought them back out for the evening.
Pigs in a Blanket - Jamin's offering - requested yearly
Michael, Dad, and the boys checked out the Black Friday sales. Michael decided none are worth the drive to Anchorage. LOL
Here are some of the dinner options.....it grows as requests are made....many of these things only show up at holiday dinners....and then we have dairy allergies and diabetics to account for...which leads to say 2 kinds of potatoes, varied desserts etc..... Cory brought ham...yummm.....he spent the morning and this evening over working on the house.....
Circling around the buffet line....
Our sweet Bella
Benny was the first to the dinner table. LOL
It's still new enough to thrill us to have so many family members to celebrating together. JaRissa weren't able to be here....the other 8 Gherkins and their families were here.....and Michael, me, and Dad.
Dad (GG) and Benny make a phone call.
Dad was remembering this is the second Thanksgiving without Mom....and how she loved to put on Thanksgiving dinner. I was pulling out her and Mom G's dishes...the memories flowed. Dad made my day when he came to me and said, "Your Mom worried about who would take care of me when she died, but she didn't need to worry. You are taking good care of me." I am so impressed with the courage dad has shown to leave his church, friends and life in Eugene to move to Alaska with us. We are thankful to have him settling in to our crazy life.
I forgot to get a photo of the dessert table. It was excessive....4 sugar free options....cookies, candy, truffles (4 kinds), 3 pies, 2 kinds of WW mini-cheesecakes....
|Peppermint, Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter Toffee, Lemon truffles|
Stacia suggested I take a photo of her piece of Apple Pie - so I did. Totally sugar free.
The pies, with the exception of the chocolate pecan pie were sugar free. Pecan is the one dad wants most - though he requested chocolate and it was sugar free. I couldn't think of a way to do pecan without sugar. I am going to look into a sugar free Karo syrup sub and play with it.
WW sugar free, mini-cheesecakes.....with non WW toppings for those who choose.
I couldn't resist this family gift. The kids are famous for "Gherkin house rules." Monopoly is especially long and complicated...with contracts and rights of passage and on and on. We told the kids we had found a board game with the Gherkin House Rules. It's the cheater version of Monopoly.
|Nolan collects Monopolies and has several versions|
Michael suggested Farkle...but I was too tired to move and several others felt the same. We visited in the living room. These 3 embarked on a game of Risk....Benny and Dad were helpful encouragers.
|I believe Nolan won|