My ABC Thanksgiving

Quickly, quickly.  I need to get this posted so I can begin thinking about Christmas!!!

The easiest way to tell you about our Thanksgiving would be in the form of the ABC’s.   Not really an original idea.  I am pretty sure I was inspired by a new book written and illustrated by my wonderful, creative illustrator (and new friend), Brenda Ponnay from Secret Agent Josephine.

If you have little ones, you will really want to take a look.

Check in to her blog to see what is going on (be sure to come back, though).  You’ll get lots of great ideas and feel pretty good about yourself at the same time:

What a joyful, creative person.   Just love her….and seriously, don’t you love her illustrations?  Why, even before we met, she knew I was shaped like a polygon.

But I digress.

Back to Thanksgiving.

As you may know, I was a bit under the weather for Thanksgiving (read that as … I was in bed for most of the day).

So, what did my family do?

They MADE Thanksgiving!!!  Seriously, they MADE it!!

Read along.  My ABC Thanksgiving Book will tell the tale…..

When my parents still lived in Kentucky, my brothers and their families would travel to visit them every Thanksgiving.  My Dad would spend days raking the lawn and piling up the leaves so the kids could play.  This, I know, is one of their favorite memories.

When Mom and Dad moved up to our neck of the woods a few years ago, the boys and their families began to come by us so they could continue their Thanksgiving tradition. While our parents are no longer with us, we sure try to hang on to as many of these traditions as we can.    As a result, Mr. H. spent hours gathering the leaves from our house and our neighbors house (thank you Jim and Vicky).  He covered the leaves every night so they wouldn’t get wet and then, during the week of Thanksgiving, brought them all to the back yard so that the kids could jump and play.

I didn’t join the kids in the leaves this year, but I loved it when they came running through the house, bits of leaves sticking to their hair, and then gave me a big, musty, leaf and fire-pit smelling hug.  Oh, joy…

My darling nieces brought us some gifts this year.  Miranda made the Family plate.  Her thinking was that we could use the plate any time, so she didn’t put Thanksgiving on it. Good idea Miranda.  Monica made this beautiful leaf.  It got broken on the trip, but I was able to piece it together.  Go ahead, see if you can find where it broke.  I double-dare ya….

I’ve written about our Cinnamon Rolls before, but it’s worth highlighting them again.  If you have kids, this is a great activity.  All you need is store-bought pie crust, butter, cinnamon and sugar.  Every age can get involved, and everyone loves to eat them.

I wasn’t kidding when I wrote about the Duct Tape Flowers a few days ago.  This was a BIG HIT at Thanksgiving.  Every single person made at least one, and look how pretty they are!!!

Thank you Native Americans.  Thank you Pilgrims.  Thank you Family.   This could NOT have been done without all of you.

The fire pit was started shortly after family arrived and was kept burning for several days.  Kind of like the Olympics.

I know.  Everyone has cranberries for Thanksgiving, but Kendra made sure we used Grandma W.’s recipe and used a wooden spoon.  I’ll share the recipe for the Cranberries and the Cranberry Chutney in a couple of weeks, but thank you, Kendra, for honoring the cranberry tradition.  Dan….(pictured above)…wait until dinner!!

Poor Jordan had homework over Thanksgiving.  I was very impressed that he got it out of the way on Tuesday, so he could relax the rest of the time.  I think the hat helped him think.

Evidently, while I slept, the kids kept very busy.  The leaf pile made for a great landing.  Look at their faces.  Look at how high they jumped.  Look at their intensity.

The checkerboard Charlie is using was one I made for my Grandpa W. about 45 years ago. Grandpa was a great checkers player and taught all of us kids how to play.  I think Grandpa would have loved playing with Charlie.  As for Jordan and Cooper, Candyland is their game….

Now we are getting to the real story behind Thanksgiving dinner.  As soon as I got home, Eileen sat down with me and gathered the plans for dinner.  I went to bed, and the entire family went to work.  They cooked three turkeys (two deep fried and one roasted in the oven), two turkey breasts, ten pounds of mashed potatoes (with parmesan cheese and browned in the oven), Mexicorn (a family tradition), cranberries (Grandma W – style), cranberry chutney, broccoli casserole (with bleu cheese), gravy (gallons of gravy), biscuits (thank you Bisquick) and stuffing (more on that in a minute).    As you will see, in letter P, we also had plenty of pumpkin pies for dessert (each child made a pie…we had seven pies).    What an amazing meal.  What an amazing family.  They all got involved and all I had to do was show up, sit down and eat.   I love these people.  They make me smile.  They make me humble.  They make me grateful. They make me cry a little, too.

Mostly, they make me smile.

I had fully intended to make latch hook designs for the kids.  Three months ago, this was a terrific idea.  Suddenly it was November, and I hadn’t even started.  Fortunately, I discovered the wonders of the Dollar Store.   Needless to say, I bought the pre-made kits. Everyone got involved (Denise showed the boys a pillow she made for Mike about 25 years ago).  Very inspirational.

So, what is it about McDonalds?

The family had the whole dinner thing under control, but what about lunch?  (We have our Thanksgiving meal in the evening).  The fridge didn’t reveal my plans for Thanksgiving lunch, so they improvised.

Kendra and Eileen got in the car and went to McDonalds to pick up burgers for lunch. The girls, dressed in their Thanksgiving finery, sashayed into McDonalds (I’m not entirely sure what a sashay looks like, but I just feel like that’s what they must have done) and ordered 80 hamburgers.

The young girl taking the order look surprised, but didn’t say anything to them about the order.  The woman in the kitchen, however, just had to find out what was going on.

“I have to ask”, she said.  “You are all dressed up.  It’s Thanksgiving Day.  You are ordering 80 hamburgers.  Why?”

“Grandma’s sick”.

’nuff said.

**Unintended benefit:  The hamburgers that weren’t consumed were cut up and put in the stuffing.  It was MARVELOUS, pickles, mustard, ketchup and all. (Jimmy has taken the white castle stuffing recipe to a new level).

My daughter and her family have a new puppy, Molly.  They brought her up to visit for the first time.   Such a little sweet ball of fluff.  The kids wore her out.  I think I looked a lot like her during the day.  (Why, yes, I am fluffy.  Thanks for asking).

After Thanksgiving Day, we felt we could officially begin decorating some Christmas ornaments (always good to have a few extra crafts for the slow times).

This is only three of the pies made.  I think Mackenzie’s pie may have been a little….crunchy (check out the egg in her hands).

We had High Tea on the day before Thanksgiving.  Tea with scones and giggles.  Always a hit.

I had intended to get the ravioli for Saturday night done before everyone came, but ….. instead….

I engaged the family and we spent a couple of hours making the dough, pressing out the raviolis, filling them and then eating them.   Different kids and adults came at different times to help, but Luci stayed with it from kneading the dough to filling the raviolis.  She made several dozen, and they were all eaten.  Every one.  (We had butternut squash with brown butter and sage and the kids had mascarpone and parmesan).   I think I’m in love with my pasta maker.  (Actually, I’m in love with all the pasta makers, human and machine).

Dance Party 3.   Brilliant.

Some of our turkeys (no…I do not mean Mr. H. and Ben….).

It’s not a Turkey Bowl with out Turkey Bowl T Shirts.  I couldn’t find enough of one color, so I had to dye these before I could screen print them.  The label said Tangerine.  I think they are more a Salmon/Puce shade.  Emphasis on Puce.

The field was marked, the day was crisp.  Victory.

I didn’t have to touch a dish.  Not one.

I didn’t catch all the hugs and kisses, but you get the idea…

Mark and Kendra brought a Magnum of George.   Yes.  Yummy.

Bet you didn’t think I would find a Z…..




Category: Cast of Characters, Grand-kids, Me!, Memories and Traditions, Mr. H, My Other Wonderful Family, New Traditions, Old Memories, Our Kids, Smile
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(1) Comment and (1) Reply

  1. Cathy Klug | December 4, 2011 at 1:36 am | Reply

    Jilly, the T-Shirt color is Mango and it is Mom’s favorite color. You did good, and I am impressed with your totally complete alphabet. I’m so glad you are feeling better.
    Love, Cathy

    • jill | December 4, 2011 at 7:39 am | Reply

      I hadn’t thought of Mango!! You are right. Love you

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