My precious friend, who lives 30 minutes away, went out of her way to drop by one night this week just to make sure we are still alive. Because I haven't posted in way too long. For the record we are alive. Over the course of our conversation she mentioned she was waiting to see Thanksgiving photos. Yes, I know. Believe me, I really do love you all. And I really am thinking about you and praying for you. And I am so very thankful for your texts and emails and letters. They make me smile on days when smiling seems like a challenge. I compose answers in my head but with a crazy schedule and difficult health issues somehow I never quite manage writing the replies. I very much want to post. Not just for you, but for me. I have lists of posts I want to write and half written drafts. But, alas, no real opportunity to sit down and do it.
And time is passing so very fast. Around here things are in full swing for Christmas. The decorations are looking more beautiful than ever. The stockings are hung. The lights are ablaze. We made our first batch of Christmas cookies yesterday. And this weekend is our annual Cantata at Victory. If we aren't already in the Christmas spirit, this always puts us over the top. The children have been diligently practicing their music pieces and Carmella sings, "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly" as she dresses her dolls in Christmas outfits.
Even though it is late and seems a bit out of season I can't let Thanksgiving go unacknowledged. I have so much to be thankful for. And this year, especially, we need to focus on those things for strength and for courage.
After my savior I can think of nothing I am more grateful for than my husband and my family. We have faced so many hard things this year but we have faced those sleepless nights, scary diagnoses, and unknown futures together.
We always have a crowd for the holidays and Thanksgiving more than any other. This year we had 24 for dinner. When our family is entertaining we rarely get time to eat as we all keep busy with preparations, serving and cleaning up for our guests. Nathaniel fixed us a snack to have some quiet time together before our company started to arrive.
We made these frosted cranberries last year. I love them! We love them. Our guests love them. And they are really that easy.
Put cranberries in a bowl. Heat maple syrup to just under a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the cranberries. Refrigerate for 12 hours or more. Put the cranberries in a fine mesh strainer. Allow to drain. Use the syrup for another recipe. Roll the cranberries a few at a time in sugar. Allow to dry on wax paper. We have made these a day ahead of time. I let them sit at room temperature until ready to serve. Hint... store them out of site (like in the school room closet) or there will be none left for company.
I found the fabric for the red table cloth in Sicily some years ago. We've used it every Thanksgiving since. And yet I don't think the table has ever looked the same. The bark came from the trees the power company took down a few years ago. We cut some of them up for firewood this fall. The bark that had peeled away looked so beautiful we decided we wanted to work it into our table setting. The moss and woodland animals were leftover from Addison's first birthday party. And the pumpkins are ones we've had around for sometime. I love the look of the rustic pieces and burlap with the more elegant gold flatware, crystal stemware and china.
They requested brown craft paper and crayons so they could draw pictures. Which they did. Samuel had the great idea of cutting the kids drawings out so they could take them home.
And then there are friends who are so dear to our hearts they have become the family we look forward to seeing on our doorstep for any occasion.
So good, Steven decided to take over as bartender.
With all that being said, let's just get down to the centerpiece of Thanksgiving... the menu.
Cranberry Lime Cocktails
Smoked Turkey Breast with Herb Rub
Sausage and Cranberry Dressing
Aunt Helen's Holiday Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Carrots with Harrissa
Sour Cream Apple Pie
Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tart
Pear-Cheddar Pie with Rosemary
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chili Chocolate Ganache
Followed by air hockey
And ditto for Aedan and Pascal