Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009!

I'm really not sure where to begin.  We've been looking forward to this Thanksgiving since the fall of 2007 when we left for San Francisco.  See- I'm not neutral about Thanksgiving.  I love Thanksgiving!  I think maybe I always have.  I cooked my first turkey in 1974 in Hawaii.  I've cooked a turkey- and many of the same "trimmings"- green bean casserole, sweet potatoe casserole, broccoli rice casserole...- for all but 2 of the next 35 years.  And I missed it so terribly when I didn't.  Thanksgiving is just so perfect- in its simplicity.  Take family, friends, food (and maybe just a little football)- and you stir these "f"s vigorously- and you're bound to have the time of your life.  And I do.  I don't even remember what we did on our first Thanksgivings in San Francisco and I suppose it really doesn't matter much.  I can understand why you'd forget- we drove down the ugliest stretch of road in central California to San Clemente- and ended up being towed for 100 miles because the Honda dealer didn't screw in the oil plug right.  Oh well... On our second one we spent it with Brandy and Will in a cabin just outside of Yosemite.  Max stayed in the cabin and cooked while I took Brandy and Will to Yosemite.  I think we did a turkey breast, but taking the tour of Yosemite was more of a memory than Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving in Cincy has EVOLVED to say the least.  Don't think any of us (except Brandy who perhaps was so sleep deprived from her first year at the Air Force Academy I'm not sure she remembers any of her holiday trips to Cincy other than sleeping without interruption) will forget that Thanksgiving.  Don and I cooked for two days- a table full of food- and gathered all of our children around that big table. And then watched as our children ate in absolutely TOTAL SILENCE for 10 minutes before the first of the gathering asked (politely) to be excused. Clint commented the second year that we were certainly getting better at this "Thanksgiving" thing- it lasted all of 20-30 minutes- and wasn't totally silent!

So it's certainly not that my Thanksgivings have all been the same- or that some haven't been downright painful.  But I can tell the story of most- And even with all this- or maybe because of all this- Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. 

So I couldn't wait- just couldn't wait- for this year.  To celebrate Thanksgiving- at home- at home with my family- and my friends.  And not only the first, but also the first in our newly decorated home.  We had spent over 9 months with construction and painting and it was finally done and ready to welcome the crowd that we were looking forward to seeing. 

This year Thanksgiving started early.  Brandy issued a challenge in the early summer for the Thanksgiving gathering to join her in the Annual Turkey Trot here in Cincy.  You can check it out at:: 
This was the 100th year anniversary of this 10K- the oldest foot race in the Midwest.  For Brandy it became her "get back in shape after the baby" motivation- and when you see the pictures you'll know it was successful.  I rather think for Marianne it was just another reason (not that Marianne needs much of a reason) to have a party.  So this year Thanksgiving began with a CARBO LOAD on Wednesday night complete with spaghetti (of course).

Samantha liked the spaghetti.
and chocolate cake- chocolate on chocolate from Wyoming Pastry (of course).

Hayes particularly liked the chocolate cake
And then it was OFF TO THE RACE early Thanksgiving morning!

left to right, Niece Amy, Pat and Niece Kelly, Amber and Evan and of course Brandy

Pat and Kelly are so, so, so cute holding hands as they run!  This was Pat's first race ever and he was a little nervous, but he ran it like a champ.

Nows where I give credit where credit is due.  The photographer in the last 4 pictures are from Amy (as are many you'll see in this blog).  Sometimes Don and I were just to busy- or just not there- But Amy is amazing!  Her pictures are absolutely glorious!  And I'm using them!  And you're going to love them. 
Now in case you're wondering where I was during this race- well in bed when they left- and then cooking- pies- before they got home again!

Just a quick note to those not familiar with our particular DAY for THANKSGIVING.  Our THANKSGIVING is always on Friday-not Thursday.  If you've spent a lifetime as a nurse you get rather use to "celebrating" whenever...  And picking a day.. and starting your own tradition... And the "this year the kids are with the mom- next year with the dad" is such a distraction to a celebration of family.  Little did we know that this rather simple decision would allow many of those we love to join us on our Thanksgiving- who wouldn't be able to if we had ours on the traditional Thursday.  So when I think Thanksgiving it never even occurs to me that it means a day of the week- but rather Thanksgiving is the day we gather at the table with those we love...every year... on Friday.

During Thanksgiving the kitchen is always the place to be!  Reeder helping make breakfast biscuits.\

And let me hear the LOUD APPLAUSE for the KITCHEN CREW!

And Amy's pictures are amazing:
All the food pictures and most of the "kitchen" pictures are BY AMY!

But Thanksgiving is never MOSTLY about the food, NEVER.  Thanksgiving is about FAMILY, about FRIENDS, ALWAYS.  Even the food is about FAMILY and FRIENDS.  I make the same green bean casserole every year- because it is Brandy's favorite- And for Amber it is always the broccoli rice casserole (with an extra this year to take back to Chicago)- and of course for Amber the pumpkin pie is always TRADITIONAL because Amber is ALWAYS TRADITIONAL.  And then Mary's favorite is the sweet potatoe casserole- And I always make the apple cranberry pie because it's Kelly's favorite.  Don always makes the cranberry relish- Grandma Lucas' tradition- with Don's own embellishments. And there has to be chocolate for Marianne- because a desert isn't a desert if it's not chocolate!  And of course since Michael LOVED the new sweet potatoe casserole that's a keeper- and then I'll have to keep the squash/kale bread pudding on next year's menu because that was Mary Jo's favorite.  And then the deviled eggs are a real crowd pleaser (and this year we used the zucchini pickles lwe canned last summer as the "relish" in the eggs)- and also served our own pickled okra and pickled asparagus from the summer.  At Thanksgiving the food is all about FAMILY- it's all about FRIENDS. 

Lots of pictures to follow most of which are family of one type or another.  I think we had 23 of the 41 for dinner that were sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces, grandnieces and nephews,  spouses or in-laws.  And then of course there are our family that aren't really what you might call blood relatives, but rather family who are always there and have been for some 30 odd years.  Those aren't friends, they are family too. 


And those I hold so very dear...


All the pictures to follow are from Amy!  Thank you Amy for the fun you always bring with you!  And for your marvelous pictures- And for emailing them to me so I could post them on the blog!