Sunday, November 25, 2012


We spent Thanksgiving day with Philip's family.  It was a wonderful, relaxing day full of great conversation and fantastic food.  Unfortunately, we forgot our camera at home, so we don't have any pictures to share.  Many thanks to Philip's wonderful family for hosting us and for a delicious meal.  I always knew I loved Philip's family, but with each year, I feel like I am truly a part of their family as an adoptive daughter, and I love them.  

On Saturday, Philip and I hosted my side of the family at our home for Thanksgiving round two.  We opted for the traditional fare.  I wish I took more pictures of all of the beautiful food!  It was a feast to remember.  With nearly five years of marriage under our belts, Philip and I are getting the hang of hosting family events.  We made a great team getting the house and food ready for the big day.  

Our contributions in the food/drink department included Honeycrisp Apple Sangria, Turkey (combo of Martha Stewart and Pioneer Woman strategies), Green Bean Casserole, and Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie.  

Straining the Honeycrisp Apple Sangria.  Yummmmm!

This photo is from Nutmeg Nanny, the blog where I found the recipe for Honeycrisp Apple Sangria.  I forgot to take a picture of the glasses with the cinnamon/sugar rims.  Delish!

Philip totally dominated our 19-pound turkey.  He brined it overnight, basted the heck out of it, and used a cheesecloth.
Chocolate bourbon pecan pie, photo from Southern Living.  This and pumpkin pie are in a dead tie in my book.
The Paula Deen green bean casserole used fresh green beans and mushrooms.  I'm never going back to the canned version again!

The rest of our family brought beer, wine (hooray for a bar-owning brother!), appetizers (my sister-in-law could have fed the entire army with her smorgasboard of delicious nibbles!), rolls, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and birthday cake.

Instead of going completely formal or informal, I opted for somewhere in between.  As host and hostess, we insisted that everyone wear jeans and be comfy.  We had ten adults, but we wouldn't all fit around our dining room table, so Philip and I moved the furniture around.  We moved the dining room table out to the front living room and added on a small table to the end.  I said to heck with cloth napkins and opted for paper.

For centerpieces, we went simple but elegant.  I used my grandmother's old lace tablecloth on the dining table, bought a new ivory one for the side table to complement it, and ran a cranberry-colored table runner down the middle.  We got some new taper candles and filled mason jars with greenery from our backyard bushes, cranberries, and floaty candles.

We moved the loveseat that usually sits in the front living room into the dining room.  The five older cousins sat at a card table in the dining room next to the buffet.

The "babies" sat at the kitchen table in their boosters, above the linoleum floor, and away from the carpet.  Barney had to join them.
Unfortunately, our fridge died on us an hour before my family arrived.  The good news was that it was a chilly afternoon/evening, so we were able to keep the foods that needed to be refrigerated cool on the deck in coolers or on top of our patio furniture.  Classy, right?

Had our fridge died on us a year or two ago, I probably would have cried or panicked.  Recent events helped us to keep things in perspective and remember that we're blessed to even have a Thanksgiving feast at all. 

To conclude our feast, we sang happy birthday to the November birthdays (myself included) and had some dessert and coffee.  

 Walt loved the birthday cake in his jammes!  I think he looks like the Gerber baby in this shot.

After dessert, we drew names for our annual Christmas book/gift exchange.  The grandchildren draw names and exchange a book.  The adults draw names and exchange a present with an agreed upon price limit.  

We took a little time to digest and rinse off a few dishes before moving on to my favorite portion of the evening--game time.  The grandkids cuddled up on the couch and watched movies in the family room while the adults played Catch Phrase and Guesstures around the table.  I am pleased to report that the ladies handily beat the boys at both games.  

The dudes.  I think Philip is stiff-arming a nephew to keep him out of the shot...

Fuzzy but cute group shot of most of the group.  My ten-year-old nephew is a good photographer!
What a fun and blessed holiday weekend!  I hope you and your family had an equally fun time celebrating with your loved ones.

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