Friday, November 27, 2009
I am flopped on the sofa right now, slowly recovering from the effects of a long day of cooking and entertaining, and indulging in waaaaaay too much turkey, ham, and fixin's. We shall not mention the pie. Pie and I are still not on speaking terms.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here. We usually have a crowd of family and friends, but for various reasons, they were mostly otherwise occupied this year. When we learned we were only going to have seven people for our dinner, we contacted the USO and offered to host some sailors. (The "adopt a sailor" program has been around for decades--it allows local families to host sailors who are away from home for the holidays and would like to celebrate with a family instead of in the barracks.) They sent us five young--and I mean young--sailors who are currently in training in San Diego. There were three girls and two boys. I can't really call them women and men. The youngest was 19 and the oldest was only 22. They were almost all from small towns and away from home for the first time. They were all good kids and really polite and nice. And they were so darned grateful to be at our house instead of on base. They played video games with our kids and talked about their families and their home towns and some of their experiences in the Navy. And they ate. No one can eat like a 20 year old guy. It was heartwarming to see how much they all enjoyed having home-cooked food. We sent them all back to the base with leftovers and pie and cookies.
We still have a ton of leftovers. We don't like to run short of food here, so we always make way too much. We had a large turkey, a large ham, three types of potatoes, pounds of stuffing, a vat of cranberries (courtesy of my mom, who makes the most amazing cranberry sauce), enough appetizers for an NFL team, and at least six different desserts, including three pies--about which we still will not speak.
The preparation went mostly smoothly, despite the fact that we only have one not-so-big oven, which makes for interesting planning--and the fact that my husband cut his finger halfway off chopping apples for the stuffing and had to go to urgent care to get it sewn up, leaving me to finish stuffing and cooking the turkey and making the side dishes. I know this is hard to believe, but I've somehow managed to go 40 years without roasting a turkey. The simple explanation is that my husband loves cooking Thanksgiving dinner, so he always does it. I was a little concerned (and more than a little grossed out--you have to put the stuffing where?), but it turned out beautifully, thanks to DH's preparations. And he did return in time to pick up the sailors and make the mashed potatoes and gravy. Apparently the urgent care had it down to a system--he was the fourth such injury of the day! I had no idea Thanksgiving was such a dangerous holiday.
I hope those of you who celebrate the holiday had an equally lovely day and were able to spend it with friends and family. I am truly thankful for all of you!