November 30, 2008

a new Love Affair

Dear Mr. Frigidaire Convection Oven:

I know that we just met and I hardly know you, but after cooking Thanksgiving dinner together and getting to know your warming drawer that also bakes, and your 5 burners

and all your convection-y wonderfulness, I need to get a few things off my chest.......

I really believe that we are soulmates.....

I truly feel that we were meant to be together.......

and even though it might be too soon in our relationship for me to say it.....


November 29, 2008

Family Thanksgiving #3: Saturday

Saturday: My sister's house...a "leftovers party"

16 adults, 2 teenagers, 5 kids

Everyone brought any Thanksgiving dinner leftovers they wanted to share (translation: get rid of!).

We set up a sandwich bar with several sandwich grills and all the fixings: breads, cheeses, condiments, and leftover turkey and ham.....YUM!

We had way too many desserts (as usual)

And, as usual, Aunt Paula's famous GORP was the star of the party!

by the end of the day it was completely gone....

We were so happy to have nephew Andrew home for the weekend. He was able to leave the San Diego Naval Hospital where he is still recovering from injuries he sustained in Afganistan in August.

with sister and 3 cousins

with youngest cousins

We played "Family Bingo", which I created earlier this year for a previous family function.

some went in the Jacuzzi

Newly discovered musical gifts were shared

There was much good conversation and sharing of details of what the younger generation have been up to....

Bottom line? I have a wonderful family, from the oldest to the youngest.....and what a treat to spend 3 whole days with so many of my favorite people! know what? I'm tired!! I've done nothing but eat for the last 3 days! Eat and talk and laugh and share stories and I'm exhausted from all the festivities.....

Tomorrow I'm going to sleep in and then spend the day quietly sewing. I'm ready for some quiet time....and fasting! Well... a modified fast. Lots of water and a little fruit and/or salad for me for a day or two.

I hope the long weekend was as enjoyable for all of you as mine was for me.

November 28, 2008

Family Thanksgiving #2: Friday

Friday: Dinner at our house
Guests: Daughter-in-law's family
Today Oldest Son is cooking. Sheriff's Detective by day, wannabe Chef by night, there's never anything traditional about his menus. The more involved a recipe is and the more ingredients the better......
Another turkey, this one was brined, injected, rubbed, and roasted.
a butternut squash, apple, onion, and blue cheese galette.
A broccoli dish, with yogurt, blue cheese dressing, ramen noodles, and lots of cheese.
Homemade potato crescents
our guests brought delicious desserts
we played board games
8 adults, 5 kids
even more reason to be thankful....more good food than we can possibly eat, good conversation with family and friends, and just comfortable time spent with people whose company you enjoy......

November 27, 2008

Family Thanksgiving #1: Thursday

Thanksgiving Day at Daughter's house:

New matching aprons

Thanksgiving Bingo

Turkey and Ham (we're a divided family)

Plenty of sides

Pumpkin Trifle for dessert

5 adults

5 kids

With so much to be thankful for, the only thing that could have made this day any better would have been to have Jordy here too.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! Wishing you all full stomachs and full hearts.

November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve and a Birthday

I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I love the planning of menus and all the preparation, even the grocery shopping. Not just for Thanksgiving...any party or get together than needs food prepared and served, I'm there! Now that Daughter lives nearby, it's even more fun. We feel the same about cooking and doing it together just makes it all the better. We have 3 days in a row of family dinners coming up: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday! Different homes, different menus, different family configurations.

For those of you that might be feeling overwhelmed by the meal you'll be cooking tomorrow or the number of guests you're expecting, let me tell you a story to put things in perspective for you.........

28 years ago tomorrow, my youngest child, Jordan Clifford Parker, was born on Thanksgiving Day. The nurses put turkey stickers all over his little bassinet and called him my "turkey baby".

Today he is a successful Chef, living and working on Martha's Vineyard among the rich and famous. He works at the very expensive Harbor View Hotel & Resort. Because this is the off-season, there is only a skeleton staff. For this Thanksgiving weekend, however, they are booked solid and Son has 470 reservations for the Thanksgiving Buffet tomorrow and he only has one other Chef working with him.....that's two people to make a full buffet for 470.... TWO PEOPLE!!#$%!!! They've worked 15 hour days for the last 4 days and he says everything is going according to schedule (luckily, he's a very calm, laid back person and very organized). Also, the Pastry Chef is gone for the season and neither Son or the other chef really do baking or pastry! Keep that in mind as you read this list of just some of the things they have made or are making as we speak.....

40 turkeys
30 hams
80 lb. beef shank roast (for carving)
45 pecan pies
40 pound cakes w/stewed fruit
450 individual pumpkin tartlets
40 lbs. of cornbread for stuffing
1000 crab cakes
100 hard-boiled eggs to peel
1200 raw oysters to shuck
3 salads
cheese and meat platters
full seafood bar
all the usual Thanksgiving side dishes

.........two people....TWO PEOPLE!!!! (and that's only the stuff I can remember!)
Kinda makes your 1 puny little turkey and a few mashed potatoes look kind of silly doesn't it? Just the thought of having to peel 100 hard-boiled eggs makes my head spin.....
AND if the resort is booked solid for the whole weekend it doesn't end there! There will be 3 more days of regular meals to prepare, too (for two people!) Where is there time in all that for a Birthday? or sleep? or even time to think? It's a good thing he loves his job......

HAPPY 28th BIRTHDAY JORDY.....I love you, your family loves and misses you so far away, and we all wish we could be there to help (that would be so much fun!) We're all looking forward to having you home at Christmas so we can all be in the kitchen together making tamales.......

November 24, 2008

Mommy/Grandmommy & Me Apron Swap (part 2)

Look at us! We're a Gingerbread Family!!

I love how perfect Lucy's aprons are in their simplicity. Brown "gingerbread" with lace trim "frosting". Simple, yet it perfectly gives the idea of gingerbread!

Even though I only signed up myself and the 2 littlest grandkids, when Lucy saw the picture of the 2 older girls she says she knew she needed to include them, too. Thank You Lucy! (A Mother of 5 would certainly want to include everyone!!)
Grandson was thrilled with his "tool apron". He put a tape measure in the pocket and proceeded to measure anything and anyone that would stand still long enough.
Each of Lucy's daughters wrote a personal note to my sweet. Also included in our exciting package was an "I Spy" book for the kids and a wonderful cookbook with recipes from the 20's, 30's and 40's (homestyle cooking, my favorite!)
And look at this! This just might be my favorite part......this criss-cross back is the best thing ever!
It's so much more comfortable than a neck loop and makes the apron completely adjustable to any size. Even my adult son commented on what a good idea that was and that I should incorporate it into my aprons.......
Well Lucy, you really hit the mark with your entire package! Thank you a hundred times over from my family to yours..........

November 23, 2008

Mommy/Grandmommy & Me Apron Swap (part 1)

The Mommy/Grandmommy & Me Swap has been my favorite swap so far! (Thank You Shawnee for a great swap theme!)

I signed myself up with 2 of the grandkids, 3 yr.old Grandson & 5 yr.old Granddaughter. For this swap you swapped back and forth with the same partner you were assigned. You make for them, they make for you. We were encouraged to e-mail each other about likes, dislikes and any other details you wanted to work out between you.

My assigned partner was my apron friend, Lucy B., who I've been partnered with before in another swap. I was so excited to be matched up with her again! and she has 3 daughters the same age as 3 of my granddaughters! I got to design 4 aprons! YAY! And that meant fabric shopping! YIPPEE!

I went with a Christmas/Candy Cane theme. I really love these fabrics!

I added a little lace for the 3 girls.......

The package needed to include a children's cookbook

and any other little extras you wanted to include.......

Candy cane tea towels

5 ornament craft kits for the kids (she also has 2 boys) and 2 bookmarks for Mom

And finally, a photo of 3 of my granddaughters modeling the aprons and waving hello to Lucy's girls........

My girls were so full of questions: "Who are these aprons for?" "What are their names?" Where do they live?" I only knew that they were ages 11,9,and 6 and they lived in Missouri. So our package was mailed off to the Byrd family Missouri with hopes that they would enjoy their new aprons as much as we did...............

Wait until you see what we got in return!!.....tune in to tomorrow's post for part 2 of the "Mommy/Grandmommy & Me Swap" and you'll see why I so enjoy the creativity generated by these wonderful swaps.....