One of my favorite holidays has come and gone. Thanksgiving, you're totally awesome.
This year it was our turn in the family rotation to host. We would officially be 13 people for dinner, but around 24 coming and going for snacks, drinks and drop ins. (Dan has four brothers and sisters and some were dining with their other families this year.)
I did much of my cooking the day before, including the most delicious cranberry chutney ever, courtesy of my neighbor, Sarah.
While a Lady Gaga at Madison Square Garden concert on HBO blasted on the background, I prepared my stuffing the night before (adding a pound of cooked sage sausage to it, no less!) and cooked my acorn squash. The less to do in the morning, I figured, the better.
I cleared off the scrapook supplies to set a very acceptable table, and with my helpful cooking side kick, I was ready to tackle the bird.
I've only made the full turkey dinner four times in my life, and each time, I've trusted Martha Stewart's approach to cooking a turkey and gravy each time. I have to say, she's never let me down yet. The gravy alone is so rich and flavorful. I'd be happy with just a bowl of that and some mashed potatoes. This round of my holiday cooking efforts was my strongest yet. My nephew's new wife, Melissa, even commented, "You look like you know what you're doing." You know, I guess I really do. Go adulthood!
I will admit, I woke up with a bit of stress, but that all dissolved after tapping the first bottle of Cotes de Rhone just after the noon hour. Oh sure, I was probably a bit too exuberant greeting our guests as they arrived, but who doesn't love a bold welcome?
While final preparations were taking place, cousins played basketball in the alley.
And Aidan served as the official family portrait taker for the afternoon. (Pictured here? Dan's sister Joy and her family.)
Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get my family all together on the steps for an official holiday shot, but heck, we've got time, right?
One thing I should mention, we had a near record breaking temperature for the day: 59 degrees. I cannot recall the last Thanksgiving where the front door was open, not in the 22 years I've lived in this town.
People dutifully filled out their Thankful cards. My neice Erin, pictured in the family shot above, warmed my heart with her card, especially the first entry.
The meal was delicious and the good news? We made enough for leftovers to enjoy all weekend long. Another plus of hosting the day.
In the end, we were full, peaceful and happy.
It really does remind me of how much I am thankful for in my life. How I need to not let that fall by the wayside in daily life.
I hope you all had wonderful celebrations of your own.
Happy kick off to the holiday season.