Saturday, November 21, 2009

My mom hosted Thanksgiving dinners, sometimes for 25 or more guests, cooked a perfect 30lb. turkey, baked flakey crusted, famously delicious pumpkin pies from scratch, and hosted 2 out of town daughter's families with grandchildren in-tow, all the while working full-time in a stressful Escrow office. She made it all seem so easy.

About eight years ago, I was to be in charge of Thanksgiving at my house, for the first time. My parents were going to drive up from California, stay with us and enjoy the holiday as guests. My dad, while working on a friend's turkey farm, was showing off for the younger workers and leaped off the back of the loading dock to slide down a pole and broke his ankle. So, he and mom were not able to come up to Utah. Thanksgiving would be just my family and my sister's. Just 11 people, easy enough.
Not being a great pie baker and working part time, I decided to buy my pies at Marie Callendars. I smartly put in my order and planned to pick them up on Wednesday. Don wanted to take everyone to a movie that night, so I struggled to get all of the "do-aheads" prepared for the next day. As we left for the show, I was confident that I had done everything I could to make ready for the upcoming feast.

When the movie ended, we stood to leave and I turned to my sister in a panic!
With eyes that I'm sure looked like they had just seen the ghost of Thanksgivings Past, I gasped, "The pies!"
"The Pies! I never picked up the pies!" I hissed at her.
She looked back at me with wide eyes and tried not to giggle,"what are you going to do?"
I didn't want Don to know I had forgotten the pies. I just couldn't tell him. I'd never hear the end of it. So, making some excuse, my sister and I raced up to the restaurant, praying it would still be open and that they would still have my pies. We were among the last people to enter the tent set up in the parking lot for pie pick-up and came home with the essential dessert.

The next day, I tried to remember how my mom did it. I had bucked tradition and tried a new recipe for a corn dish that wasn't a success, and the turkey would not get done! We ate much later than planned after Don's constant harangue of, "Is it done yet? When is it going to be done? I'm starving. When will it be ready? Is it almost done?" At my mom's house we always ate around 3:00 and here it was, already dark when we finally sat down. The meal wasn't bad, but I felt like I had never had control of the situation and it certainly wasn't as good as Grandma's.
Now 8 years later I am, once more, hosting Thanksgiving with my folks as guests. I feel like a newlywed who hasn't had much experience in the kitchen, except for that one disastrous dinner! I am 54 years old, a grown woman! I consider myself a good cook, but I am anxious!
What if the turkey doesn't get done on time? Where will I seat 16 people and what if I forget to go to Costco for the pies!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Fond Farewell to Fall
October 2009 -November 2009

Our lovely Fall suddenly ended in the early morning hours. We woke up to snow, catching us unprepared as it fell lightly upon the generous blanket of leaves that covered the lawn and flower beds! Don had hoped it would hold off until he'd had a chance to clean them up, one more time. He is not one to let them pile up, he just needed one more clean-up after getting home from sunny St. George.

The nice thing about the cooler weather is the return of our pretty, yellow finches with their fluffy little bottoms! They love the thistle seed sock, hung just outside our dining room window. Hanging on upside down, side-ways, any way they can, they fight for position, banishing ne'er do wells, pushing and shoving and generally making a mess of the deck. Not at all like the sweet birdies that helped Cinderella with her ribbons or the greeting card blue-birds that hold sentimental banners aloft, they really are little savages!

If you click on the picture you can see the snow flying in the background. By the time I got out to start my usual Saturday "Tour de Grocers", it was really coming down. Every time I got into the car, after having crossed the parking lot and loaded the groceries, I had to shake my head like a dog to get rid of the snowflakes clinging to my hair. And, dang! I was having a good hair day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Come with us and you will see...

this is our town of Halloween!!

Monster Eyes

Punkin's, bones and
ghouls, oh my!

LOts o' fun for ALL!!