posts tagged with 'thanksgiving'
Not counting leftovers, we had two solid Thanksgiving dinners this year. And best of all they were on different days! On Thanksgiving proper we went to my parents' house; they won the honor because my brother and his family were there too. They live far away, so we tend to see them just once a year at most. They're planning to come up at Christmas time too this year, so Thanksgiving was an exciting bonus! Since the Archibalds are old-fashioned folks we ate our dinner at 1:00. There was all the food you'd expect, and each of us boys had a different thing we liked the best. The early dinner time was great because it let us digest for a little bit and then head out for a walk while there was still plenty of light. A short walk—we weren't really up for much exertion. And there was dessert waiting at home. I made an apple pie.
On Friday we reprised the holiday with Leah's parents and brother. I was meant to bring corn bread, which was unfortunate because I'm not good at making corn bread and also because our oven stopped working briefly in the middle of the cooking. The delay meant I missed some playing and socializing time, but at least I wasn't late for dinner! I even got there in time to watch Leah's brother carve the turkey in the optimal scientific way, which was amazing. I should take lessons: I've never actually carved a turkey, but every time I try to cut up a chicken it's a disaster. This turkey, barbecued, was as tasty as it was well-carved. We got some of the leftovers too, and they were wonderful in sandwiches Saturday. I call this Thanksgiving a success.
We survived an epic Thanksgiving week. Who knew sitting and eating could be so tiring?! After a warm-up dinner with friends on Tuesday we celebrated the real day as part of a party of 21 at my aunt and uncle's place. The boys were delighted to see their second cousins and their second cousins' second cousins, and were delightfully well behaved the whole time.
They did lots of running around together inside and out, miraculously without any damage to the house. Harvey and Zion were huge fans of the other boys at the party; they're sad to hear my feelings about the likelihood of reconnecting with second cousins' second cousins, especially ones who live in New Jersey. Lijah impressed in how much he was able to keep up with the rough play, and when he got tired out there was always the football to watch.
Yesterday we went to Leah's parents' house, where we had a delightful time hanging out with them and her brother, recently moved away to California. It was so nice we didn't realize how late it was getting and didn't leave until after 9:00. So this morning was slow, but by lunch time we were galvanized and ready for our last party, with the Archibald grandparents and friends. It was another bigish gathering, but a very relaxed one.
With all that fine dining, the only thing we made ourselves was a loaf of bread and a couple of pies. True, without a dinner here at home we miss out on the best of the leftovers (though both grandmas were kind enough to send home doggie bags), but we have plenty of desert to go around!
I took pictures of each of my four turkey-dinner plates this week. Here they are, presented without comment (those are just the first helpings—in all cases I had at least seconds).
Now I don't need to eat for a week.
We're packing up to head down to a giant gathering of relatives for the day, but we took a moment to pause and be thankful as a family. Luckily, given the chaos, we'd done lots of the thankfulness prep earlier this week when the boys and I made posters showing some things we're thankful for. Well, the bigger boys; Lijah made a squash friend like in Sophie's Squash.
Whatever you have going on today I hope it's delightful. May all the travel be safe and easy, all the food delicious and easily digestible, and all the interactions with relatives joyful and life-giving! Happy Thanksgiving!
I feel a little out of sync with most of the United States this evening. We have a fridge full of Thanksgiving leftovers and spent the morning decorating the church for Advent, so we're about ready to move on to December and turn on the Christmas lights out on the porch—they're already hung and ready! Not, of course, that I mind the prospect of another feast at Leah's parents' house tomorrow evening... but I could be done if I had to be.
Our own Thanksgiving dinner last night was lovely. With three adults and seven kids in attendance we didn't go in for elegance, but everyone was happy with something on the table—turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, rolls, cauliflower gratin, canned corn, steamed carrots; we cater to all tastes. Well, almost all: the visiting one-month-old drank milk at a separate seating. As chaotic as it was, we were so thankful to share our turkey and our home with friends.
And I've complained before about the lateness of US Thanksgiving, but this year it seems about right. I just finished putting down manure and mulch in the garden, so it seems like the perfect time to relax for a weekend and eat lots of food. Then the Christmas preparations can begin.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
We're enjoying lots of chances to eat Thanksgiving dinners this year: after two over the weekend, with friends and at Leah's parents, we made our own this evening. We invited a few friends over to share it with us, but a winter storm—all the scarier for being the first of the season—kept them away. That was alright, though, because we had a fine meal with just the five of us: tablecloth and centerpiece and all! And because it was just us, we were free to power through the meal from start to finish in not much more than ten minutes!
No, that's not quite fair. The boys, especially Harvey, did an atypically great job of waiting until everyone was served to start eating, and that was after we all shared something we were thankful for. And Leah only rushed off because Elijah, who got into the spirit of things by keeping himself awake for the feast, needed to go to sleep immediately after finishing his mashed potatoes. And Harvey and I lingered for a reasonable time over our seconds and desert.
And any rushing wasn't due to a lack of interest in the meal: on the contrary, excitement was high! We've been studying the Pilgrims, so Harvey was enough in touch with the original feast to ask for corn and apples to be part of our meal—five minutes before we sat down to eat. Happily canned corn is quick enough to heat up, though hardly authentic. I'll see what I can do about making some samp for next year. And Zion got into the celebratory spirit by calling for toast after toast, which in practice meant clinking glasses a lot. Cheers!
I'm always thankful for my family, but it's nice to stop and notice it officially over Thanksgiving dinner. Grumpy or cheerful—and we had some of each today—I love being with them, and am grateful for how much time I get to spend hanging out. Each of them is wonderful, and none more than Leah who did all the cleaning up after our feast! She's also much more eloquent than I on the subject of giving thanks; here's what she had to say on Facebook earlier:
Because the snow kept our dinner guests away tonight, I am particularly thankful for my family of five who makes every meal feel like a party. I am thankful for Harvey who said, "My favorite part of thanksgiving is corn because the settlers had corn!" and for Dan who immediately rushed some canned corn onto the stove at my whispered request. I am thankful for Zion who owns his pilgrim name so much that he now refuses to be called "ZiZi." I am thankful for Elijah who rubbed a full serving of mashed potatoes all over his face, and then freaked out that there was mashed potato on his face. I am thankful that every year they are a little bit more themselves and a little bit more my own. So happy thanksgiving, Archibalds, I'd settle with you guys any day.
One more Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow... let the thankfulness continue!
Our Thanksgiving this year saw the largest congregation of Archibalds—eleven!—to be assembled in some time, and all of us got considerably larger over the course of the afternoon. Well, almost all: baby Nisia didn't get to enjoy the feast but second-hand, but I suppose since at four months she's growing the fastest of any of us it all comes out even. The Lexington Archibalds provided the table and the vast majority of the food: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, roasted root vegetables, spinach, and salad. Oh, and three pies. We Bedford Archibalds chipped in rolls and cranberry sauces, while the Pembroke Archibalds brought an amazing chocolate toffy trifle. It went wonderfully well with pecan pie. And we're always happy to see the Ithaca Archibalds!
This was only the first of three Thanksgiving feasts for us: we'll be enjoying the treats of the season tomorrow and Saturday as well. But we didn't let that keep us from bringing home a nice collection of leftovers to help fill in the cracks!
As I biked home from work today just after noon, the world was full of signs of the Thanksgiving holiday: clear skies, brisk air, a gusty breeze blowing the last few leaves from the trees, and hordes of 8th-graders making the arduous migration from their school to the mating grounds of Lexington Center. Ah, early-release days.
I was talking to a couple of fifth-graders about the holiday yesterday, and explaining to them that we always have something to be thankful for no matter what our circumstances.
"What if you live in a box?" asked one.
"Then you're thankful for the box!" said the other. That's the spirit!
Naturally, they wondered what you'd be thankful for if you didn't have anything; I said you could be happy you weren't being hit with sticks, and they liked that answer. Things can always get worse, I told them. To some people that's a grim concept, because it can be a small hop from "things can always get worse" to "things will always get worse". A small hop, but a silly one. Of course things don't always get worse: sometimes they do, but other times they get better. By realizing that there's essentially an unlimited downside out there somewhere below us, we can focus on the awesome parts of whatever situation we happen to find ourselves in.
Me, I'm thankful for my wonderful family, for slightly gainful employment, and for being able to sleep mostly through the night with only one or two wakeups that we barely notice any more. Also for delicious cranberries fresh from the special Thanksgiving edition Lexington farmers market, which this evening I made into three different turkey toppings: orange-cranberry sauce, ginger-cranberry sauce, and orange-cranberry-pecan relish. Hopefully at least one will be edible. But if not I at least had fun making them! See how I focus on the positive?
Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone, and if nothing else be happy that you're not being hit with sticks!