Saturday, December 7, 2013

Holidays - Thanksgiving Leads Way to Christmas

Vintage fabric printed in the traditional colors of fall  grounds the main dining table
Ten adults. Two maybes. One crawler. 4 little dogs under 20 lbs. Rain predicted- plan A to serve in the dining room, but eat on the patio was scratched. Preparing for Thanksgiving began with moving furniture.    

Elbow room was created from two leaves and a 40" round table created 

Three times. Thank you God that our mountain man son, Trevor, managed three days home from the oil fields.  To stay ahead of the weather front, he could not stay for Thanksgiving dinner. Yet, while he was here he put his back to helping his mother rearrange furniture until Her Craziness was satisfied.  

As he lifted one end of the dresser and I the other, he explained that when the temperature is 11 degrees below zero and the wind is howling 25 miles-an hour, the hairs in your nostrils flash-freeze. 

Layered is my signature look. 38 years of marriage has blessed us with a mountain of slowly accumulated treasure trove of goodies to set the table to the season and menu. Most of it,  not terribly expensive. Some pieces, downright cheap. Napkins and berry rings from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Chargers from Home Goods. The pumpkin tureen from Barbara Cheatley's. 

Ye old crock pot plugged in over the washing machine  may have made the garage smell delicious- but the silver punch bowl passed on from Aunt Wanda and punch cups from my tea-totaling mother  made a splendid presentation 

This year's splurge were covers for the folding chairs. Compared to the wood and caned chairs, their naked frames were the equivalent of second class steerage.  That visual discordance of unequal status is now gone.

Indian corn, pumpkin and gourds silently signal the holiday
The menu was planned, guests kicked in. 

To move traffic smoothly, stations for serving were set. 

The bar was stocked with wine, champagne, orange and cranberry juices. 

In the kitchen, slices of lemon and creamers waited on a chilled salt tray. Next to it were mugs and spoons.  On the corner opposite the coffee pot was a pot of hot water and a tray of  teas. 

Time for guest to arrive. 

Gerry set up the camera on a tripod. He developed some Arduino device so that he could both greet our guests- and have some pictures with himself in them.  

When Gerry was a little boy- he rocked in the chair now enjoyed by our granddaughter. 

God is good. The skies did not shed tears on the one day a Southern California gardener does not pray for rain. What poured on Thanksgiving were loved ones onto our patio 

Charley with Abigail.

My beloved sister, Gina, with my mother-in-love- Melva

Alden with Charley 

Kenny, Shannon and  Charley with 3 of 4 dogs

We've known Kenny's wife since she was 14.  Best thing our son ever did was form a family with Shannon- a girl as beautiful inside as she is on the outside.  

Great grandmother with great granddaughter
The patio was set with a chest filled with ice to keep Dos Equis beer and an assortment of regular and diet sodas chilled. 

 Melva is gluten intolerant- so our meal was nearly gluten free. The Blue Diamond Almond Thin Crackers are our go-to crispy for the cheese tray. With the salamis, the pecan crackers disappeared into thin air. 

Bite size quiches are always a favorite- until the main meal is served. Let the calories begin! 

Main Course
Glazed Boar's Head  Ham

Cranberry and Pineapple Sauces
Bread with Homemade Butter
Apple-Cornbread Dressing with chestnuts 
Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Sweet Potato Casserole a la Shannon
Green Bean Casserole Revisited

Selection by Billie and Melva 

Alden's cake- Oh- my goodness good. 

People stuffed- the dogs tried to take advantage of our goodwill after the dinner- but only dog food for them. 

"Little Eric " and Billie somehow escaped being on-camera. Next holiday- will have to stalk them with the camera lens Trevor left for me to try-out. 

From my mother-in-law to all who could not be with us on Thanksgiving- a shout out for a Merry Christmas season. 

While I loved how the furniture arrangement worked for Thanksgiving, it had to be rearranged for Christmas. Why? The Christmas tree. 

Don't tell my husband- but what I think I really want for Christmas- is to put my feet up! 

Until we meet again- Thank YOU for all YOU do to make the world more beautiful