What a Deal!

Husband’s son Mario has come to Winona for a 10-day visit, and brought the whole famdamily! It’s a complicated, blended family with 3 girls: 20 years old, 17, 13; and a 2½-year-old boy and his 3-month-old brother. Their mom is a dream.

Happily, they are staying just around the corner from us, at the home of Mario’s mom. (She bought this house in 2021, having no idea at first that her former boyfriend would be sharing the back yard fence.) What serendipity! We just walked over there this evening with our contribution of salad and fixings, played with a little kid, held a baby, ate, talked with teenagers in front of a (real) fireplace, helped clean up, made plans for tomorrow, and walked back home. I met more of their relatives, and there will be an even bigger crowd for the big Thanksgiving blowout on Friday. If needed, we can “overflow” over to our house, which holds about six.  : )

I was a little nervous about so many of them coming for so long, and of course this is just the first day.   But we’ll all be fine – there can be an easy flow back and forth. Who set this up??

When do you eat your Thanksgiving meal?

53 thoughts on “What a Deal!”

  1. We sort of go nuts on these holidays. We are at son and daughter in law’s this week. Son is an excellent cook. DIL made cranberry/orange sauce from scratch. It was delicious. I contributed pie crusts and homemade broth for gravy, son made cranberry pear pie and pecan praline pumpkin pie. Husband made dressing for the salad, son did turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry salsa. There will be Turkey Chipotle Chowder Saturday,. We have plans for more cooking for Sunday, when Husband will make butternut squash gratin from one of our garden butternuts, and brotchen (German yeast rolls). I have been asked to make Black Bottom Caramel Puddings.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Daughter made the butternut gratin and took it and cranberry salsa to a friend’s family Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. She said she gets requests for both those dishes from her friends. I forgot to list home made French bread as another thing Husband and I brought.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Our drive to Brookings was very stressful. We had to take the pickup since the van was in the shop. It was pretty cramped quarters . The night before we left we took the pickup to the car wash. In the morning, Husband had to pull really hard on the latch on the tailgate to open it, and then it wouldn’t relatch because it was frozen from the car wash so we had to bungee cord it shut. That made me worry all 500 miles that the large cooler we had in the pickup bed would end up on the highway if the bungees gave way. I also broke the hinges on the cooler, so we had to strap the cooler shut so the lid wouldn’t fly off. Half way to Brookings we realized we forgot the 4 pie crusts I had made, as well as some wonderful beef brisket Husband had lovingly barbecued, and he was mad at me for that, and then the passenger window started screaming due to a leaky seal on the window, and Husband had to stuff old receipts in the window to make it stop.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. We usually eat our Thanksgiving meal at a table. 😉 (snort). Seriously, it’s my wife’s favorite holiday, so we usually have it at our house. Haven’t gone to anyone else’s house for many years now (10?). Sometimes it’s just the two of us, 4-6. This year we had ten, and it went smashingly well (as usual with groups at our house). We defy the trope of the dysfunctional family trying not to kill each other with drumsticks and pickle spears. Everyone gets along No one ever gets drunk and starts an argument about politics and/or religion. Having three generations together was nice, and the new faces hit it off immediately.

    I hope you all had similarly pleasant and tasty celebrations yesterday.

    Chris in Owatonna

    *BSP* The wonderfully well-run and enjoyable GSR Fine Art Festival is this weekend, Saturday & Sunday, at the Mayo Civic Center in downtown Mankato MN. Besides dozens of top-quality visual artists displaying their genius, the Book Nook is expanding to some TWENTY AUTHORS–including me, of course. We’ll all be selling and signing our books. We even get our own room across the hall from the artists.

    This is a terrific chance to shop small and support your local artists/authors/small business owners. Original art and books written by local authors make special gifts for you or your friends and family. Food and drink will be available. Various musicians will perform holiday songs and other pieces for your listening enjoyment as you browse.

    For details, go to https://www.gsrfineartfestival.com/

    *End BSP*

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This was approximately our 45th year of hosting Thanksgiving. The crowd this time included Robin’s three siblings, a husband and an adult son, Robin’s 101-year-old mother, our two daughters and their husbands, our three grandkids and, of course, Robin and I. That’s fifteen in all. Our dining table has a comfortable capacity of about 8, so the dinner is never Norman Rockwell-esque. We spill over into the living room.

    Robin had informed everyone that we would eat about 1:00. I put the 20-pound turkey in the oven about 6 AM but it was still a little frosty after three days defrosting in the refrigerator, so it took a little longer than anticipated to get up to optimal internal temperature and I was just starting to carve it at 12:30.
    That completed, I made the gravy.

    Robin had prepared a big casserole of stuffing (or is it dressing? It was never stuffed anywhere.), plus a dish of succotash and another of steamed broccoli. The various contributors supplied mashed potatoes, a sweet potato dish, a wild rice dish, a green salad, sundry pickles, olives and snacky items. One of my daughters has made gelatin desserts her signature item and has collected many molds. She makes her gelatins from scratch. This year she brought a lemon gelatin in the shape of a chicken and a cherry one in the shape of an armadillo. There were four pies.

    The last guests left about 8:00. Robin and I cleaned up, as we like to do, so that this morning all is back to normal, except for the turkey carcass simmering on the stove, being reduced to stock.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I forgot to add that the gelatin-making daughter also brought her dog, a chihuahua/Japanese chin mix about the size of a small cat. The dog, named Zeke, is a little nervous, as I would be if I were that minuscule, and easily gets underfoot so my daughter comes equipped with a front carrier that lets Zeke ride on her front with his four little legs poking out. He doesn’t seem to mind it.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. Agreed. It also paints a picture—the family gathered for the occasion. Great-grandparent, grandparents, parents, kids, and a tiny dog in a front-facing pouch. I see it as a New Yorker cover.

          Liked by 4 people

  5. Daughter is coming home for Christmas and expects to be waited on hand and foot while she lies on the sofa and knits an afghan for us. She has already submitted her menu requests.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I used to offer to work on the holidays. It was an effective way to stay busy and not have to be alone while thinking about all the fun everyone else was having. And I really cared about the individuals at the home and I wanted them to have a great holiday too. This is the first year that I didn’t work the holidays, in *like* forever…

    I was kind of dreading the holiday, but my youngest brother and his family invited me to their house. It was so nice. My nephew has started at Alexandria technical college in their welding program. He chose that instead of going to a 4-year college. My brother and s-i-l cooked a delicious traditional turkey dinner and I brought apple crisp. Our dogs played in the living room and Pippin got to experience a large fenced backyard where he could just go out and smell all the smells and pee on all the trees. It was quiet and relaxing and my s-i-l is a fantastic cook, I mean really good! My nephew hugged me and told me he loves me. So did my brother and even my s-i-l. I’m SO grateful.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Rise and Waddle off to the Gym, Baboons,

    We had a terrific day that was stressless. I loved it. We cooked and hosted after deciding that this year we would not go to Iowa, in order to avoid our unvaccinated family member, as well as a family rift that has developed this year around this person. We also wanted to avoid too much exposure to the various viruses around at this time, so we planned for a 6 person gathering, then my DIL could not come after getting food poisoning the day before.

    The menu was traditional and pretty easy. The gravy this year was a Blue Ribbon Masterpiece!YUM. The games afterwards (Cards Against Humanity and Sequence) were fun. It was a good day and I.Am.Thankful.

    And the Vikings won but I could not watch the game because our digital antenna will not received NBC. WAAAA.

    We don’t do much for Christmas. Bah. Humbug. I don’t love it like I love Thanksgiving, although I do love many activities during December.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. 25 of us yesterday at Alan’s oldest’s house up in Maple Grove. I’m not even sure I can start naming all the foods and it’s complicated even more by the fact that 10 of the 25 attendees are vegetarians so there are a couple of dishes that have two versions, the meat version and the non-meat version. And a lot of desserts: gooey pumpkin bars, cherry pie, apple crisp, pumpkin pie, chocolate peppermint pudding pie and tiramisu. Along with the obligatory ice cream, whipped cream and caramel sauce on the side.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Julie and Alan are dear dear friends.. we do Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and the world’s most over-engineered Easter egg hunt with them. A few baboons may have met them at The Great Gift Exchange.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Thanksgiving is a gift that just keeps giving for us. After the meal has settled a bit and the kids start asking about dessert, everybody brings out their to-go containers and we divvy up all the leftovers. What this means is that YA and I have meals for today and for tomorrow and maybe even some for Sunday!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Once again, we were five people, plus a miniature grey poodle, celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday together at Ann’s humongous old house on Crocus Hill.

    Mina and Will had cooked and carved the turkey and homemade gravy at their house. Mina had also prepared a really nice platter of mixed olives, miniature pickles, and peppers.

    At our house, Hans had baked dinner rolls, and I had made garlicky mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes with rosemary, and balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts with red onion. And, of course, Mama Stamberg’s cranberry relish.

    In addition to the hospitality, Ann provided a salad, pecan pie, and wine.

    It was a 5 to 7 PM affair. Ann is 88 years old, extremely hard of hearing, and her short term memory is failing. I think we’re all very mindful that each of our gatherings could be our last. The rest of us are no spring chicks either, Hans being the youngest at 73.

    Afterwards, on our way home, Hans and I stopped by with Thanksgiving dinner for Philip and his PCA on duty for the evening.

    Today I’ll be making my simplified version of Renee’s Turkey Chipotle Chowder.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. My Mom comes from a large family and most of them lived within easy travel distance during my growing up years. We usually had between 18 and 20 for Thanksgiving. Mom’s oldest sister hosted for several years until her house became too small. At that point Mom took over. The most we ever had was 30. Mom always did the turkey(s), stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. My aunts provided the rest of the meal. Those large gatherings lasted until my college years – as cousins got married and had their own families, the numbers dwindled until it was mainly our own family.
    Yesterday I celebrated a quiet Thanksgiving with my sister and brother in law. Their two daughters came over later in the day for dessert and to watch the Vikings game. I provided cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie. The game wasn’t very relaxing but the time with family was lovely.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. We brought lots of non-Thanksgiving foods to Brookings to restock the freezer there, like Bolognese sauce I made last weekend, banana bread, a leg of lamb, lefse, and several jars of our home made pesto.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Afternoon. There was 24 of us at my moms senior place so we had a big room with a kitchen and lots of room to spread out. The usual foods, and I’m not a big fan of turkey so I took just enough to be polite. Mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean salad, and our daughter-in-law made cranberry torte cookies that were very good. I asked Kelly if that was ketchup in them and she elbowed me. Apparently son had just asked if that was ketchup and his wife gave him a stern talking to. Mom enjoyed having everyone there.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I think it’s great that senior residences provide these kinds of amenities to their clients. I know your mom is now blind, Ben, but can she still distinguish and keep track of who her visitors are?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Not really, she confuses me with my brother a lot so I just tell her it’s me when I get there. She kinda remembered who all was there, and held a lot of hands. Sure wore her out; she slept well last night instead of asking Alexa what day it was or what time it was. She got new hearing aides last week so that helped too.

        Liked by 3 people

  14. Had a great feast, met a couple of new people I really like, and Husband even got to tell, with just a little help, one of his “hippie farm” stories to a couple of people. Came home and fell asleep in our chairs.

    We also got to visit friend W today, and he was in better form than he’s been in a while. A mutual friend also showed up while we were there, so it felt like a little party.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. We had fifteen people in the party room at the building where my older niece and her husband live. Nice big kitchen, but everyone went a little overbeard with bringing food, so the packing up of the leftovers was a real undertaking. Also the kitchen has a dishwasher, but it’s not working, so the dishes were piled into a shopping cart and wheeled to the elevator to be taken to my niece’s condo.

    We had appetizers at 3 and the full dinner with the turkey and the mashed potatoes and the sweet potatoes and the stuffing and everything.

    I made two pumpkin pies, and others brought pecan and apple.

    Liked by 4 people

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