The kids and I were excited to host Thanksgiving this year, although we were still surrounded by boxes the night before. I woke up at 6 a.m. on Thursday to clean and unpack until noon, when it was time to pick up our catered feast.
The kids made decorations from stuff we grabbed at the dollar store the day before. Their creative process involved too much screeching and punching for my taste but I heard Martha isn't very nice either.
Sadly, raccoons living in the carport at the apartments ripped the head off each one of our vintage free-standing paper turkeys. We were happy to find the scarecrows safe and sound.
It took me more than four hours to make gluten-free stuffing and gravy and reheat our meal. I burned the mashed potatoes and was flushed and disheveled when it was done, but I was proud of the food I didn't make:
Brined All-Natural 17 lb. Diestel Turkey
House Gravy made from pan drippings & giblets
Salad of local apples, fennel, persimmon, walnuts & creamy lemon dressing
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Winter Squash with balsamic-shallot vinaigrette
Savory Bread Stuffing with pecans, herbs & assorted dried fruit
Creamy Mashed Potatoes with roasted garlic & chives
Fresh Cranberry Sauce with citrus & quince
Organic Pumpkin Pie made with fresh-roasted local pumpkins and whipped cream
I'm not completely unpacked yet, so Violet helpfully found the paper plates and set the table.
There's Grandpa's Shark Spot.
Grandma's Pretty Plant Spot.
Uncle's Bat Spot.
Auntie's Flower Spot.
Mommy's Butterfly Spot.
Violet's Pumpkin Spot.
Sister's Devil Spot. Wait a second . . . try again.
After eating, I sprawled out on the floor in front of Toy Story while my parents cleaned up. I don't think I even have pictures of my mother from the visit - she was so busy getting things done the whole time, and I was too tired to stop her . . . or lift my head to take a picture of her.
I think my father summed up the rest of the evening best in an email to my middle bro and Mathilda.
The girls got pretty amped up during the course of the evening. A long walk had no calming effect whatsoever. So they put together a puppet show extravaganza that began around 9pm. Violet was the director and star. Daisy was in charge of lighting (utilizing a flash light held at different positions and angles) and provided commentary from inside a giant cardboard box that acted as the stage. Grandma had a speaking part too. Her replies to what started as a monologue had a grounding effect that seemed to keep things moving. The first act lasted for about 40 minutes. Then we had dessert before your brother and Mimi headed home. The remaining adults were pretty weary and we convinced the cast and crew to continue with Act II at a later date . . .