Thanksgiving 2011

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving, that all your side dishes fit in the oven, and that you were surrounded by the people you love most. That describes our day. Even though I tried way too many new recipes, and most of them were not even keepers, I had a relaxing day and enjoyed all the preparations. I am still not sure how. 

While some of the children and I were running out for forgotten grocery items on Wednesday, David and Victoria stayed home to create these turkey place cards from the Martha Stewart website. Martha suggests you write “turkey trivia questions” on the feathers, but I planned to have everyone write something they were thankful for. We never did that because at breakfast Mike read a story about the Pilgrim’s own feast, in which the first course served was five kernels of corn- their daily ration during the famine. After that I thought I’d place five kernels of corn on the plate instead. Then I thought, they will just be wasted that way, why don’t I pop them instead? So I did, and we each took turns telling each other what we were thankful for instead of writing it down. If the paper turkeys make it until next year, we’ll be ahead on that one. David made his own place card slightly different. Perhaps he would rather have an airplane for dinner than a turkey?

I’m sure our menu was similar to yours. I already posted some of our favorite recipes. The best new one was, without doubt, the Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake from the cover of Southern Living this month. If you don’t already subscribe, it is worth running out and buying this month’s issue just so you can have the recipe for next year. It is on page 120. 

It is not false modesty when I tell you the rest of the new recipes were not spectacular. It is really a sad story. I have walked around feeling deflated about it all week. Just eight days before Thanksgiving, I got a call from the doctor’s office with the results of blood tests we had run on David and Ethan. Both were exhibiting symptoms of food allergies, which I recognized from our previous experience with that. I suspected David was becoming sensitive to milk and eggs again, and that perhaps Ethan was too. I was floored to learn that Ethan was allergic to eggs, milk, and oats, and that David was allergic to eggs, wheat, barley, rye, dogs, and grass. Everything just got complicated. Now tell me, what will we have for breakfast??? The good news is Ethan’s allergies are all mild and David is mild on egg and dog (we will keep Chance). So until the allergist tells me otherwise or it becomes obvious that this is detrimental, we are going to enjoy eggs and milk in moderation, at least until the holidays are over. Just keeping Ethan off of oats has completely eliminated his symptoms. For this I am extremely thankful. I had already planned and shopped for the Thanksgiving menu and was relieved that most of it was free of the taboo grains or could be modified. However, modifications are not always improvements, are they? 

While the allergy free turkey was baking, we went to a local park to attempt Christmas pictures and run around a bit. The park has an oak tree with a substantial side branch at shoulder level. I had been eyeing that branch during the year, thinking how adorable it would be to line up all the children on it for the family picture. Unfortunately, Ethan and Hope worry too much about gravity when they are at my shoulder height. Even Jonathan feared the plan to get him on the branch, but I think that can be forgiven when you see how Paul managed this maneuver. 

We went back home to check on the turkey, and do a little garden work. Paul installed a trellis for our future blackberry thicket, almost completely on his own. Then he asked for more projects. I am so thankful we had two boys first! They are taking on more and more of the manly work around here and we all appreciate it, since there is more work than one man has time for. Mike showed Paul how to make cement to hold the posts, but Paul did all the rest.

When the light became soft in the late afternoon, we tried again on the family pictures, but this time in the backyard. Even though we didn’t have to worry about dangerous heights and the weight limits of oak branches, we found it impossible to get everyone looking in the same direction with a pleasant expression at the same time. If I had lower standards or if I knew how to photoshop, we would be in business. Instead, here is a slice of real life, with one pouter always lurking in the bunch. She was pouting because Mike asked her to smile for the next picture, as if her serious expression was not good enough for a family picture. 

For now, I’ll give them a break from picture torture because I have a lot of cooking to do. Gluten free recipes call, and I am powerless to resist. 

© Being Fruitful, 2012