One for the Books

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast last night, and of course, it's always wonderful to have everyone together at the same table. Matthew showed up first and kept Smitty occupied. Smitty loves it when Matthew comes over. Matthew seems to have a never-ending capacity for entertaining the cat.

Erik and Mae showed up a little later. Here's Mae putting the finishing touches on her baked brie appetizers before putting them into the oven. They were delicious!

Erik, meanwhile, retired to the living room to watch football and dream of turkey.

Smitty and Gracie had their Thanksgiving earlier in the day. I always cook up the neck and giblets. I pick the meat off the neck and save the broth for my gravy. Then, I chop up the giblets for kitties and serve it up on their special kitty fine china. It always makes their eyes glaze over in ecstasy.

When things got closer, Mae assembled the salads she made. So yummy with goats cheese and pears and a really delicious vinaigrette.

Mae also made a really delicious green bean casserole. She added a special touch of some mashed jalapeno carrots. The flavor was only faintly there, but it really perked up the whole dish. It wasn't until she told me the ingredient that I could really taste it. I know, it sounds strange, but it was fantastic.

This year I broke with a decades-old tradition and tried a new sweet potato recipe. It was really good too, and so much easier than the way I've always done it. The sweet potatoes and red onions were roasted, then combined with fresh rosemary and Parmesan cheese. You can find the recipe right here.

Here's someone who didn't enjoy the dinner as much as we did. 

A few years ago I started smearing Ina Garten's special butter under the skin. It's a cube of butter softened overnight and then mixed with one tablespoon of lemon zest and one tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves. You can sort of see the thyme leaves under the skin in this image. It means less basting...just often enough to keep the skin moistened...which means that the turkey is done faster. It always turns out so juicy and delicious.

Here's a mom's eye view of the table just before the Stanbros dig in.

Here's Mike...he doesn't look half bad after his near brush with death a few weeks ago.

Here's a Matthew's eye view of the table.

Here's the plate of someone who ate way too much. But, on Thanksgiving, you have to, right? It would be rude not to overeat.

After that was cleaned up, we all retired to the floor to moan.

I neglected to take pictures of the two(!) desserts created by the lovely Mae...a delicious apple tart and a pumpkin cheesecake. We gave ourselves a rest before tackling the dessert. And that was it. Another Thanksgiving come and gone. 

Erik and Mae stayed the night because they are going to Eugene for the Civil War game between the waddling University of Oregon Quacks (couldn't resist) and the mighty Oregon State Beavers. (Go Beavs!!)

We take our football very seriously in Oregon.

As for me, I have physical therapy this afternoon, foolishly scheduled before I ate too much the evening before. After that, sewing. Oh yes, and there is the little matter of the dishes in the dishwasher. It's amazing how much someone with a fighting spirit can pack into a dishwasher following a Thanksgiving meal. I think that is next on the agenda.

I'm making a little progress on my Wind in the Whiskers block. After my little whining rant the other day I realized that the only way to tackle this project is to go one step at a time without looking back or forward. Just one little step at a time. It's less stressful and daunting that way. So Wednesday, I made some of the trees:

And the little house.

And I was well on my way to making the purple "furrows" behind and above the clothesline...all 14 pieces of them. One might think that 14 pieces is excessive, but there you go. It is nothing if not extremely detailed.

So, I'll finish making those today and then move onto whatever the next part is. As I said, I'm keeping my eyes on just one piece at a time, so I have no idea what comes next.

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.


gpc said...

Your dinner looks scrumptious. And I love the trees! Not looking ahead or behind is such good advice, even though it's not something I do very easily. :)

sophie said...

What a lovely day, for both people and cats ;-)

One of my favorite ways to make sweet potatoes is similar to those you tried for your dinner, with the addition of beets: roast beets and sweets.

I salute you for tackling that McKenna quilt pattern–I love to look at them, but know that they're too fiddly for me.

Lee said...

So funny you should mention baked Brie. I had some yesterday for the first time, one was savory, the other sweet - both scrumptious, but I think I preferred the savory. Such a delicious-looking plateful of food, makes me want Thanksgiving all over again. You have a nice little family there, glad you could all be together.

Lyndsey said...

Mmmmmmm that all looks so good. It's made me hungry reading your post so I'll have to go and cook something.

Working one step at a time is definitely the way to go with that pattern. You've made great progress.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Lovely family photos. I over ate too, which is not me at all. Slow and steady - good for you. I haven't even had that urge - I know, SHOCK!!

Sher S. said...

GO DUCKS!!!!! sorry can't let that op pass me by. Your Thanksgiving dinner look fabulous. I'm sure the desserts were wonderful, even not photographed. I'm sure the kitties loved their special dinner as well. I love the appliqué quilt you are working on, I applaud you for doing it. I'm a seasoned quilter but won't tackle those patterns. I know my limits and appliqué is one that I honestly don't enjoy. Have a peaceful weekend. I'm off to make flannel pants for dd and dgs.

WoolenSails said...

It looks like a wonderful dinner with a bit of heavy and some light dishes too. Even kitties got a nice treat. Bill always cooks the innards and keeps the gravy, the outdoor stray kitty gets the goodies. Our cats do not like people food.


Junebug613 said...

Thankfully, Oliver was asleep (on the back of my recliner), as I read this post. Our kitties didn't get any of our turkey. I think Tucker dog was the only non human to get a taste. Our day wasn't quite as festive as yours, but it was pretty good. The trees look great. Yes one step at a time in a forward motion sounds like the way to go. And after seeing all that food, I think I need a slice of pie!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

So good to have everyone at the same table-the food looks great and it is absolutely permissible to over indulge on Thanksgiving!

Barb Neiwert said...

Just finished watching the Ducks/Beavers game, and must say I am SO sad the Oregon State lost. What a great game, eh? I was rootin' for you!

Brown Family said...

WE went to our daughters house about 3o miles away. We ate way too much and almost needed a nab before we started home! I am so eager to get started on 'Wins' but have to finish Christmas and Birthday sewing, first!

Kate said...

Looks like you had a fabulous Thanksgiving. We love roasting root vegetables. It just seems to concentrate the flavor. Since our family is a couple of time zones ahead of yours, we were probably all waking up from our turkey induced stupor about the time you started yours!

The "one thing at a time approach" sounds like a good idea. That quilt has a lot of detail, but it's going to be gorgeous when you get it all done. It's looking good so far.

Diane Wild said...

What a lovely dinner and family around the table. Glad your day was stuffed with all manner of good things.

Tami C said...

Your dinner looks really yummy! I think we also ate to much, but we all sat around the living room and played trivial pursuit from the 80's. We were resting up so we had energy to eat our deserts! You are coming along quilt well on your Wind in the Whiskers block. You've got some really nice looking trees!

quiltzyx said...

Your feast sounds fabulous! I'm up at my sister's house - we had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, "beetroot" (my Scottish BIL's name for it), cranberries, rolls...maybe more, can't remember now! LOL We were 7 for dinner - Judy, Walter & I, nephew Jeremy, his daughter Ariana, Jere's GF's cousin & her son. His GF, Zhou, was at work & didn't make it until later.
Wind in the Whiskers will be so wonderful, now that you've got the hang of it, only doing it without stressing. :)