Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving at home

happy thanksgiving flag tradition

or Norman Rockwell's Holiday Traditions 2008
starring my favorite guy, Keith.

This year Thanksgiving in Manassas was fun and full of delicious food and small traditions we have developed over the the years. A while back Mom got in a bad way and had to be in the hospital during Thanksgiving. Dad and the rest of us needed to have a holiday meal, so Keith stepped up with an offer to cook a turkey and bring it out to Manassas for the whole family. Jenny, my sister visiting from Texas,  prepared the kitchen for cooking a big meal and watched over Dad and Dave that year while Keith collected all the feastly fixings to create Thanksgiving dinner in Mom's absence. Now the tradition continues with Keith's help this year. At some point we also began getting out the Christmas tree and putting it up with decorations and lights because this time of year is very busy for floral designers, like Keith... therefore Christmas comes a little early to Manassas.  

Keith and I got Mom's Christmas tree up quickly Wednesday evening including a string of bubbling lights that I adore. We decided to go to Target for some replacement bubbling bulbs and found they have no more bubblers this year. We settled for a string of the new LED lights in all red faceted globes they are much more energy efficient. I chose red because the red and green of the bubble light fixtures adds warmth and we needed a little more warmth on this year's tree than just the seven bubbling lights. This is our first holiday without my Dad who was the reason these meals became so important in our family even with Mom in hospital. I know he was a big part of the drive to have a family celebrations. This year the table was set with brother Dave's favorite brown patterned plates, I requested the good sterling silverware, Mom chose to match the new drapes with a cranberry red table cloth and her new matching seat covers. The sparkling apple cider was served in lead crystal wine glasses from my dearly departed friend Harry Power's estate.  They ring clear and sweet like bells when clicked together for holiday toasts. Napkins of cloth, to save trees from the paper mills, were held in ceramic turkey napkin rings that were a gift from dear Aunt Beth many years ago. At the appointed time we all bowed our heads while Mom gave a blessing and shed a tear for all the loved ones missing from our holiday table. Then we filled our selves up with all our favorite Thanksgivings day's traditional foods. Beginning with turkey meat: light and dark, fully juicy and flavored with herbs from our garden, topped off with a side of pecan bread dressing, buttery golden Yukon mashed potatoes, green bean casserole with onion rings and creamy sauce, oven baked dinner rolls buttered and two kinds of cranberry dressing one tangy and the other sweet. Home made gravy from the turkey broth with mushrooms for earthy flavoring. It was all so good. Then after the main course and a small plate of salad  we had Keith's spicy sweet pumpkin pie with whipped cream.  Earlier in the day we saw most of the New York City Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. This year I enjoyed it more than usual for some reason, maybe the new flat screen TV showed if off better? Also we watched as the terrible terrorists in Mumbai, India continued their terrors on CNN live. This day giving thanks for our blessings was easy after seeing how uncertain security really is in this world. 
After our Thanksgiving day dinner, Dave went straight to bed, Keith and I helped Mom cleaning up then we had to pack up and come home to DC right away. Luckily traffic was light, we unloaded  left overs and clean laundry then we ate dinner again and watched a animated Pixar film The Incredibles on TV and went to bed happy and full of good food and thanks for all of our blessings. 

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