Talkin’ Turkey

Hello Friends!

Happy Thanksgiving! I know it’s a day late, but I was in a food coma for a good portion of yesterday.
How was everyone’s Thanksgivings? Did you see family, or get to have a friendsgiving? Or if you don’t celebrate, how was your Thursday? Hope traffic wasn’t too bad.

Per usual, I had a crazy amount of people in my house for the holidays, although it was a little shorter than usual as there’s now lots of couples who need to split their time between houses. Honestly, as much as it was a little bittersweet to see them go, having my house cleaned up and put back together by midnight was a novel concept. Usually I look at it after everyone’s left and go, “eh? Tomorrow”.

Due to the fact that all my Thanksgiving Photos have family faces in them, please enjoy some artsy décor instead

We always potluck our Thanksgivings because there’s just too many people for one person to take on the brunt of the cooking. I got desserts this year so I made our usual Gork, a peach cobbler, and a whole host of pies (I did not scratch make the pies, I worked all week and didn’t have the time or the patience for that). Each family member picked a side or a few dishes to bring, and we always try to break it up so it’s easy, for example, since I am hosting I got desserts because there’s a lot of wiggle room in that job (whoever invented premade freezer pies deserves sainthood). Usually we make sure the new mamas don’t have to bring anything, or if they want to, we set them up to bring drinks and such. Easy peasy things that they can do without cooking. My uncle almost always does the turkey because he likes to fry it, and the rest is sorted out as it comes. A lot of times I’ll get a text beforehand asking me to preheat my oven, and someone will bring a hot dish that needs a little assembly, or stovetop fixings that can be made on site. It’s always so fun to be busy setting up and making food in the kitchen with my cousins, but also it’s super nice because ninety percent of it is done ahead of time so no one is majorly stressed out.

This year we had four youngsters and their dad with us, so they got to be a part of the festivities. I think their dad was a little confused about our non-traditional holiday, but he caught on quickly, and the younger kids thought it was great because they are the perfect ages to hang out with my little cousins. Honestly, it made me so happy to see them laughing and playing out in the yard (it was absolutely freezing, but sunny, and very little stops a little kid from playing in the sun). The older two slot in more with the teenagers, but obviously that’s a little more awkward, because everything is a little more awkward at that age. I was really hoping the oldest girl would find some fun in chatting with my cousins, and I think that might have happened, but everyone in that group is so painfully shy, the world may never know for sure.
The kiddos had the whole week off school for Thanksgiving, and at first I think they had planned to spend a good portion of it here with me while I was working. Thing is, I had a million things to do and I am not against chores for wee ones, so they had some light things to help me with (like sorting out the toys that needed repair, testing some of the lighting decorations, sweeping, nothing major, just little helps) and I think they realized it’s a lot more fun to go hang out with their Dad in town. Totally understandable, I would be the same way. 

My cousin Abby deserves a full knighthood after showing up at my house Wednesday morning while I was working, with mop and vacuum in hand. By the time I got off work my big brick fireplace and floors were cleaner than I’ve ever seen them, she is a wonder worker. I want to find a little something to get her as a thank you, I was thinking maybe a little gift card to a nail salon, or maybe to the coffee shop. She saved me hours of work when I signed off and I was able to get the pre baking done and dinner on the table with none of the pre Thanksgiving stress. She’s amazing!

Well, anyways, I’m going to go have Pumpkin Pie for breakfast and discuss christmas lighting plans with Christopher, as is tradition, so, I’ll talk to you next time.

Until we chat again my friend!

Giving Thanks

Hello friends!
Happy late Thanksgiving! Oh, my goodness what a day it was. Our extended family growing and growing, and I’ve started to joke that we are going to need to have holidays in shifts if we get much bigger. We’ve debated asking to utilize the church’s event space, but it’s not very cozy so I’m never very keen on that idea. And honestly, its heaps of fun to get everyone together for some food and fun, no matter how squished we all are.
We got to meet our newest little family member this Thanksgiving. Kamila joined us a couple days before Thanksgiving, rather unexpectedly, since she was expected to arrive middle of December. We were all a little on edge, but mama and baby are happy and healthy, Kamila just wanted to join in on the Thanksgiving festivities.
She spent a fair amount of Thanksgiving sleeping happily in various family members arms, happily kicking her little feet while dreaming about who knows what. I think everyone had a different idea about what sport she was dreaming of. I personally think she was riding a barrel horse to a new pattern record, but others thought maybe track, soccer, or gymnastics. All fair guesses, but not as cool as mine (can you feel the bias?).
This was the first year I was not terribly stressed about Thanksgiving, and it was actually a very pleasant, chill holiday. This is my third year hosting so I’d like to think I’m getting better at it, or at least as a family we are finding out collective stride. Got everything done fairly early, took a “whatever happens, happens” approach to the food, and even slept in a little (the joys of everyone only needing to bring a dish or two, no one is up at the crack of dawn heating an oven).

This year we had a turkey, a ham, about 7 pounds of carnitas. It was amazingly delicious, but as a family we devoured that fairly quickly. I think next year we are going to need to add a second Turkey back into the equation (we did so last year and had a few more leftovers). We did however have so many pies that I’m freezing a few and my grandma is freezing a few for our Christmas brunch (don’t worry, that happens usually the first full week of December, the pies will hold over). My mom and I attempted homemade pumpkin pie because we couldn’t make it up to Costco this year. I will usually stand fiercely by my Costco pies and say nothing tops them, but as of this holiday that’s a whole lie. These pies were delicious! Our only concern was the recipe we were working from called for two pies, and we ended up with three, so I had to pull in a prebaked pie crust i had planned for something else. No biggie though, my little pudding pie would not have been nearly as good as the pumpkin ones. I was really concerned about sticking a prebaked crust in the oven, but it worked out pretty well. We got lucky.

The night before Thanksgiving, during all the baking and prep work, our houseguest arrived. He’s a childhood friend of my uncles, basically my grandmas fourth son, and a great help around the farm, so I definitely didn’t mind putting him up for the weekend. He’s also just a lovely human in general so he’s always welcome. I do always feel bad though, when a guest comes around a holiday, because they get a couple days of slightly crazy, anxious Amanda, followed by a couple days of comatose, post craziness Amanda. Neither are my finest look. I always tell people to come back in the dog days of summer, when I’m too busy basking in sunshine and summer activities to be crazy or comatose.
After Thanksgiving I cleaned up my house, made an ill-advised attempt at riding in our soggy arena (which is now frozen, joy of joys), and tried to catch up on some sleep. While I love having Joe around (yep, my houseguest shared a name with my dog, yep, it was as confusing as it sounds) weekend visits are hard because they are long enough you need chill out time, but short enough you feel like you’re wasting time if you sleep in. It’s a little bit of a catch-22, and needless to say I’m running on empty this week. Got a pretty busy weekend though, the light parade (and building the float for that), as well as Kamila’s baby shower, which is now a post baby shower, or something.
Anyways, I have so much to chat with you all about, but starting a new topic here might make this post a mammoth, so I’ve started a list of things and can’t wait to start writing the next post (don’t worry, intermixed with the catch up will be stories from float building, baby showers, and of course, the farm updates, got to keep yall up to date).
Until we chat again my friends!