Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful Holiday.  Families and friends gathering for wonderful, sumptuous food and in theory, remembering what they are most thankful for.  Counting their blessings.  Preparing to spread the Holiday cheer!
Andrew trying to prevent Ellie from getting into sharp objects


Most of the people have the day off of work or school which is ever-needed as the United States seems very fond of working long hours and having stores open 24/7.  For a time, I worked the night-shift as a floor nurse in the pediatric ICU.  I always chose to work Thanksgiving night as I had no family within a couple thousand miles so why not let those with family have the night off?  I remember families sneaking cookies to us and staff members' spouses bringing turkey into the staff room.  I recall Thanksgivings spent in the dorms where Megan would whip up an entire feast fit for the Queen of England where as I could only contribute macaroni and cheese.  Before all of that, I experienced the traditional Thanksgiving involving football on the TV and family members gathering in warm sweaters and laughter.

Oh yes, that stone wall really is inside of our house and it is awesome.

A Texas Thanksgiving is another Holiday entity entirely.  Yes, there is turkey.  Deep-fried.  Stuffed with crawfish (I avoided and kept the expired EpiPen nearby).  There are sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.  Papa Charles and Mama Dunja drove down from Plano with their famous pecan and apple pies.  Yet, we cannot imagine Thanksgiving without the BBQ sause from Rudy's or the smoked brisket.  Andrew smoked a 16 lb brisket throughout the night and morning to serve to 30 people.    Friends, family, friends' family.  It is such a joy because you never know just who to expect and who you will meet.

Brisket Prep a la Andrew

Wine, BBQ Sauce, and a huge yummy plate of Thanksgiving food!

Crawfish-stuffed Deep Fried Turkey

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is served outside at our dear friends Rico's and Michelle's house.  This year, Rico labored intensively over a beautiful wooden pergola covering the entire patio.  Thanksgiving was to be served under this gorgeous pergola.  After all, in Texas we serve the Thanksgiving meal outside.  Right next to the blooming roses.  Remember me complaining about the heat?  Hmmm. . . .well, in a 30 minute time period, just before serving the meal, the winds picked up and the temperatures dropped a good 30 degrees.
Baby Train!  After which Ellie will use Graham-Bam to pull to a stand.  After all, isn't that what people and babies are for?

Grandma Kisses
We have very clever and innovative friends.  It brings me great pleasure that this year we experience our first Thanksgiving in a workshop/garage.  It was awesome.  Surrounded by power tools and plywood.  It felt just like home :-)  All of the tables and chairs fit and we were protected from the chilling wind as temps dropped into the 40s.

Spoons!

Doesn't Rico have the best workshop? The tables continue back, around to the right.


Andrew and I feasted until we would pop.  Ellie enjoyed some of the food along with her styrofoam, I mean, rice crackers.**  Another fantastic Thanksgiving.  Now it is time for me to research flour and come up with some Christmas goodies that Ellie can eat without requiring her EpiPen.
Papa Charles with Chunky Ham
Amelie taking up residence in Charles' briefcase


Now somebody mentioned something about covering the water pipes and plants? . . .

**The Bear-Bear has an anaphylactic allergic reaction to oats (think throat swelling, hives, and wheezing).  Bizarre, I know.  Scary to be sure when she tried infant oatmeal for the first time.   While she is not allergic to wheat, we must avoid all baked goods and flour products that might have cross-contamination with oats.  Many oat, barley, and wheat flours are processed in the same plants and many restaurants serve oatmeal or whole grain dishes.  Hence, the Baby and Toddler Rice Mum-Mums that we carry everywhere for snacks.

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