Friday, November 25, 2016

So much to be thankful for...

Chris and I have hosted Thanksgiving in a variety of homes, for a wide array of people, most every year since we have been married.  We've gotten pretty good at it.  The most we have ever cooked for was many years ago in Memphis, when 27 people graced our table.  This year our not-very-large house was happily filled with 19.

I handed my niece Aimee my camera and asked her if she would take a few shots while I was getting the meal together.  When I looked through the pictures today I was delighted. It is a treat to see our home through another's eyes.

Rachel and I prepared much of the feast the day before, so on Thanksgiving day my sister Deb and I had time to decorate the tables and pretty things up.  Deb brought some large canvas bags with table linens and other things.  Flirt hopped right in and had a snuggle while we fiddled about.

Chris brought me a dozen yellow roses.  They are a nod to my mother, who hosted many an epic Thanksgiving celebration.  She always like to have a bouquet of yellow roses  on the occasion.
We had to do a bit of re-arranging to fit enough dinner seating for everyone.  Our normal table seats 8.
I trotted out my grandmothers silver and a variety of fun china plates I have collected over the years.
Niece Emily gifted me with a bunch of fabulous napkin rings, the frosting on the cake of our table decorating.
Chris smoked a turkey, and I roasted one, as we often do.  We bought locally raised birds and they were both pretty terrific.
I bought a fun new shirt for the day... pretty color, soft fabric, comfy. But it has funny  holes in it that I didn't quite "get."
Chris took one look and discovered their purpose...

Deb and I made a veritable VAT of gravy. We like to have leftovers.  I make the stock from scratch, and with Deb's expertise we manage to whip up some tasty stuff.

We lit a fire in the outdoor fire pit, and people gathered there to chat.  One small guest was quite entranced with the livestock. The livestock were fascinated by her, too.
We had a LOT of food.  Here are a few of the dessert offerings.
Home made pumpkin bread, cranberry nut bread, corn bread and biscuits (not pictured) were available.

After the cleaning, the decorating, the cooking, the serving... there is always one crystalline moment for me.  The moment when I pause and let my senses take it all in.  The house is warm and cozy. The air is perfumed with the sweet and savory scents of a feast... from turkey to pies, all the delicious smells of Thanksgiving.  Most of all it is the sound... soft music playing, and voices.  Voices lifting up in pleasant conversation. Silver clinking on china as the food is eaten.  Laughter.  Lots of laughter. 

These people I love... what a blessing it is that they want to be HERE.  Here with us, eating our food, patting our pets, filling our humble walls with their wonderful presence.  They help create the day by contributing delicious dishes and fascinating conversation. They all chip in to create the experience.  We are beyond blessed, and have so very much to be thankful for.

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