Thanksgiving this year was – in a word – wonderful. Really, really wonderful. Chris’ mom, Jackie, and her boyfriend, Charles, came down from our hometown of Pensacola and his sister (who lives here in Orlando) had two days off of work to hang with us. It was a really nice, relaxing weekend of food, family, and catching up.
Jackie and I (pictured above with a very serious Bean) spent Wednesday preparing and cooking and then Thursday, Chris joined in the fun as he prepared the turkey.
Note the Band Aid on Chris’ finger in this picture as he carves the turkey:
He would like me to tell you that it was a casualty of his hard core culinary skills. However, I cannot tell a lie. It’s a paper cut.
For the first time ever, I cooked (along with Jackie’s help, of course) the entire Thanksgiving meal. In years past, other friends and family have contributed dishes or added their family’s traditions to the table. And that’s all fun and good. But for the first time ever, I got to plan and prepare my own Thanksgiving menu.
And it was perfect.
It’s not that it was all cooked perfectly, but it was all the food from my childhood. There was the turkey and cranberry sauce (right out of the can – just like I like – and no one to “glam” it up with REAL fruit…). There was black eyed peas and green beans that simmered all day on the stove with onions and bacon like true Southern vegetables. There was homemade macaroni and cheese – the baked kind, just like I grew up eating. There were crescent rolls and mashed potatoes and 24 DEVILED EGGS! 24!! Why so many eggs, you ask? BECAUSE IT’S MY THANKSGIVING – THAT’S WHY! And, of course, there was my dad’s dressing. I burnt the biscuits a bit on the bottom, but after all the seasonings and goodness, I didn’t think you could even tell.
And when it was all laid out on the table next to the china from our wedding, I was pretty darn proud.
(For more info on our wedding china, crystal, and flatware, check out the Review page today!)
The food was just the jumping off point though. Thanksgiving lunch itself was the best part. We had a great meal and we laughed and talked and really enjoyed ourselves. Bean was, naturally, the center of attention. And, boy, did he know it!
He made such a mess eating his lunch that we ended up stripping him down right there at the dining room table.
And as if that wasn’t hillbilly enough for you, somehow Bean found his nose sucker and spent the last half of our meal trying to suck his own nose with it. Which meant he held it up to his nose and then sniffed very dramatically for about 10 minutes.
Normally, I try not to encourage bad manners and behaviors like this, but I had splurged and had sweet tea with lunch so the sugar went straight to my head and robbed me of all sense of decency.
And instead I just laughed.
But halfway through laughing, I noticed Bean was now chewing on his nose sucker. Bad Mommy.
Even then though, I didn’t care. I was drunk on sweet tea and family and Thanksgiving. So, I just hugged him and kissed him and told him he was a stinky, nasty little spud head and that I loved him more than anything.
In the end, our Thanksgiving wasn’t Martha Stewart approved. There were boogers and snot and bare bellies at our dinner table. But there was also good food and loving family. So, I guess everything balances out over the holidays, doesn’t it? Fine china and pot bellies. Longstanding family recipes and new little faces. Sweet tea and unsweetened tea. A little of this and a little of that.
But more important than those things, these people sat at the table with me. And that made me very, very thankful.