Thursday, November 26, 2009

I trust that everyone had a great day, filled with the love of family and friends.  We shared a great meal and did some catching up with the Perkins family today.

This is the gang (above) that was there for dinner.  I'm right there behind the camera, as usual.  I didn't want to take the time to take the picture with the timer while the food was getting cold.  I'm not sure why Terry looks so puzzled.  Oh well.

There were 11 of us all together, which is a small group for our family, but since our kids live out of state and weren't able to come this year, that reduces our numbers by 3. Both my sisters'other kids were out of state too and Dustin was at his girlfriend's house, which reduced the numbers even more.  Left to right around the table: Terry, my brother - Pat, my oldest sister - Diane, Russell's friend - Sharon, my mom - Jaye, my sister Sharon's son - Russell, Diane's daughter - Lisa, Diane's ex-husband - Steve, my sister Sharon's husband - Steve, and my middle sister Sharon.   Kind of funny - 2 Sharons and 2 Steves in that small group.  Steves kind of run in our family for some reason.  None of them are Perkins', they just joined the family one way or another.

Here are the girls in the kitchen getting things ready. I was kind of surprised that we 3 sisters have so many different ideas about cooking the traditional Thanksgiving foods.  You would think that we would have all learned the same way, but I guess over the years we've discovered new recipes.  I did realize that we never really all cooked meals together with my mom when we were young.  I guess it's because when I was getting to be old enough to be interested in cooking my sisters were both already out of the house.  So now we get the chance at least once or twice a year to spend a little time in the kitchen together.

Doesn't this look like the refrigerator of a Grandma?  I think it's sweet that bits of Kassidy, Jacob and Josh's names can be seen in the alphabet soup there.
Our family never seems to be short on desserts.  In fact, we had 6 different desserts for 11 of us!  That works out to more than a half a pie each.  I think that's a bit of overkill, but we divided up the leftovers and managed to send it all home with someone.
Nothing significant about these peppers.  I just like the way they coordinated with the plate they were on.  Aren't they lovely?


This is a little bit of the fresh cranberry orange relish that I made.  I'm not a big fan of the canned stuff so thought it would be fun to try a recipe with fresh cranberries.  It was so easy!  Here's how to do it.

1 bag fresh cranberries (washed and bad ones discarded)
1 orange with the peel left on (washed)
1 apple with the peel left on (washed and cored)
1 cup sugar
Cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger (optional - to taste)

Throw everything but the sugar and spices in a food processor and chop.  Place in bowl and add sugar and spices.  That's it!  This can be made 3 - 5 days ahead and it tastes even better.

I also added some of this same mixture to raspberry jello to make a cranberry jello salad.  I think that was even a little better than the relish by itself.  But both of them turned out pretty good, I think.  They're not nearly as sweet as the traditional canned or cooked cranberry sauce.  The orange rind gives it a citrus tang, which I personally prefer over the ultra-sweet of the other kind.  Try it sometime with ham too!

This last photo is a little centerpiece that I put together to transition from fall to Christmas.  Fall items with Christmas colors.  The green apples are faux, but there are two huge fresh pomegranates in the jar as well.  I hope they stay fresh for a while.  I love the deep red color of them.

Well, I'm planning to do a little bit of Christmas shopping on Black Friday.  Terry has to work, so I have the day to myself.  Not sure if I'll go out or if it will be online.  I never go out early...usually sometime mid-morning.  As are most people, we're cutting back some on Christmas this year, so I have to be more selective in what I buy.  It's hard for me because I like to show love by giving gifts.  It's also tricky because Kevin will have to carry everything back on the plane and A & A are in a tiny studio apartment so don't have much room for anything of any size.

I just realized that this is getting pretty long so I'll close for now.  I'm thinking about trying to journal about Christmas every day in December, but we'll see how that goes.  Be sure to check back again soon.  There's lots going on in the coming weeks.

1 comment:

linda t said...

Oh Nancy, I love your center piece! Great color, shapes and designs.
Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. Emolyn was well enough to come... nice to have all the Thompson's together.
And today Randy does all the baseboards and then we begin painting. Lots of priming and painting.
But it sure will look nice when we're done.
Have a fun day shopping. So many have free online shopping this year :)