Did you have a good holiday?
Ours had its missteps here and there, like any family gathering. But for the most part, it was a lovely day.
A 20lb fresh, organic turkey baked with garden herbs and olive oil went into the oven early and I got to hang out and play with the kids. I thawed corn that we froze this summer, baked bread and pies the day before, made mashed potatoes early and plopped them into a crock pot to stay warm, and I was FREE.
Setting the table is part of the fun, so I don't count that as any of the work of getting ready. Plus, I did it pretty simply, like the rest of the day, a few pretties in the center of the table and moving some furniture around to set up a second table, and it was done.
Ten of us went to see a matinee of Wreck it Ralph, which made me cry. That was a cute movie, and so much more than I expected. I don't care for video games, so didn't really want to go, but promised little Finn that I'd take him. I'm glad I did.
Afterwards, we played outside and in the studio. Perfect weather and perfect company. Who cared that we were doing this a day early? Everyone had the day off on Wednesday, and the date itself didn't matter to any of us.
All who came brought side dishes, that only needed warming up once they arrived. That was a delight! Every time I took a lid off a pan to see what was inside it was like a mini surprise party, and each one made me so happy. I love pitch in dinners, its so much tastier to try everyone else's favorites.
And I didn't spend all day in the kitchen.
This year, we tried to start a new tradition. Usually, I coerce everyone to say what they are thankful for before we eat. This year, I decided to do a "blessing tree", so diners could write their thankful thoughts onto a paper leaf and add it to the tree.
That way, those who didn't feel like speaking up could still contemplate their blessings and think about the reason for the day, beyond just snarfing turkey.
I made the mistake of using a base that was too light weight for the tree and it toppled a few times, but no harm, even when it dove into a candle.
If this is going to be a tradition, next year, I'll get a better pot for the tree. Maybe even bring in a living potted tree...