Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I hosted all of my family here for Thanksgiving - sixteen people (eight children and eight adults)! Everyone came in from out of town Thanksgiving Day so I did all of the food myself. I was very happy with everything turned out, and my family was most appreciative and complimentary.

On Monday I made my lists and timetable and did my grocery shopping. I made a couple of things Monday afternoon, and then spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday cooking the rest. Thursday morning I got up early to make the rolls and to get the turkey ready to go in the oven. My mom and sister did all of the cleaning up for me. That was a wonderful treat!

Grown-up Table (my sister, Marian, made the precious placecards - she's very creative with stamping and crafts; my mom gave me the fabulous Spode turkey plates as a Thanksgiving/Birthday present)

Kids Table

My brother, son and nephew ensconced in technology before dinner

Dinner is served!

Here was my menu:

Crab Bisque, served in mugs while I was getting the rest of the meal ready

Port Gravy
Southern Cornbread-Pecan Dressing
Bourbon Cranberry Sauce
Sweet Potatoes with Praline Topping
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans (Haricots Verts)
Squash Casserole
Homemade Rolls

Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie

I was most pleased with the dressing and the rolls. They turned out even better than I'd expected!

The ambrosia was a sentimental addition to the menu. I distinctly remember my grandmother sitting on the porch at our cabin sectioning and removing all of the pith from oranges and grating fresh coconut. I can hear my grandmother admonishing me, "Don't ever learn to make this! You'll be a slave to it forever!" Well, foolishly, I dug the recipe out of my great-grandmother's tattered copy of the aptly titled Southern Cooking by Mrs. S.R. Dull (copyright 1928). The ingredient list was simple: fresh oranges, freshly grated coconut, a little sugar and a few tablespoons of sherry - how hard could that be? Well... the oranges weren't terribly difficult once I sharpened my paring knife, but they yielded so little! I peeled and sectioned twelve juice oranges (you can't have any membrane or pith on the orange pieces) and ended up with a measly cup or two. Then I attempted to grate the coconut - what a stringy mess! I don't think I had anywhere close to the amount of coconut I was supposed to use, but I tired so quickly of grating it that I quit pretty early on in that process. I think the ambrosia tasted okay, but I'm not sure that anyone other than my mom and sister and me even tried it. I should have listened to my grandmother on that one!

I have never had good luck with homemade pie crust, but I have a new tool that is fabulous, and I was delighted with how my pie crusts turned out! I will write about that gadget tomorrow.

Will with my twin nephews Jed and Matt. I gave Will the choice of sitting at the kids table or with the grown-ups; he chose the former. Good thing, too, as I think the little boys would have been devastated had Will not sat with them! They love their big cousin

Dots with her cousins Guinn and Mary Grace

Vivian did not want to sit at the kids table (and she insisted on a
Madeline plate rather than a turkey one), but she ate a GREAT dinner and really seemed to enjoy herself

My mom, sister and brother-in-law

My brother, sister-in-law and dad

Me with my brother

Me relaxing with Tucker after dinner - we were both exhausted!

I am now busily preparing for Christmas. We took family pictures the day after Thanksgiving that I am using for my cards this year. I have never been so late starting my Christmas cards! I still don't even have my cards back yet, though I have ordered them and expect them to be ready any day. In the meantime you'd think I'd at least have my labels and Christmas letter set to go, but sadly, that is not the case either {sigh}.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


JoAnn said...

Everything looked just lovely. No wonder you were exhausted!

Maggie said...

Lovely, most of all Vivian's smiling face!

maryelizabethroche said...

Don't you wish Christmas was in January!?
We'd have so much more time to rest before we start up again!!

KVP said...

That Tucker is one CUTE Cavalier King Charles!

Kim said...

I love your turkey plates! We went to the Old Lahaina Luau for Thanksgiving...and they had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, but I passed and stuck with the mahi mahi and roasted pork. Next year I'm looking forward to getting out all the turkey plates and decorations and doing it at home again!

AMKS said...

What lovely photos! And I appreciate the effort it took to make all of those people happy and your house look so beautiful :D Really nice to see your handsome family and Sweet Vivian so joyful :D THANK YOU for sharing :D

P.S. I've seen some Rudolph themed candy at the store and thought of you!

bevy said...

Your table was BEAUTIFUL! I'd love to know the name of the pottery looking Thanksgiving plates you had on the kids table.

And yes! I have seen Catalog Living! Love the post that make you think of Mike and me... So true!