Thanksgiving Birthday Jamboree!December 1, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Tags: cooking, family, photos, thanksgiving
What better way to celebrate my Thanksgiving birthday than to host Turkey Day at our house! We settled on a Cajun theme, ordering a Turducken Roll from the Cajun Grocer, cooking up our famous gumbo, adding corn bread stuffing to the menu, and of course we had to bake a pecan pie. The cooking commenced on Wednesday when my mom, dad, sister and niece descended. The kids took to tearing apart the downstairs while we grownups tore apart the kitchen.
So, yeah, this is what unsupervised four-and six-year-olds do to each other. Actually, I think Evie did all the doing. It took Jill half an hour to untangle him from all the beads. At one point she asked Liam if he could shrink his head. She said, “Close your eyes and think real hard.” And of course my son tried his darndest. Adorable.
I’d made most of the gumbo before they arrived, so all that was left was to make the pies. And drink wine. And those who were still sober made the inevitable trip to the store for more ingredients (mom and James). We made two pecan pies, one sweet potato and one peanut butter pie. And the kids helped with chocolate chip cookies. Then it was time for dinner, a Tuscan Ragu that had been simmering in the crock pot since nine that morning. Scrumptious! After cleaning up, Jill graciously offered to stay with the kids while mom, dad and I dashed off to the movies. Jill had already seen Catching Fire with Camden that week, and since screening The Hunger Games for my parents the last time they visited, they couldn’t wait to see the sequel. I couldn’t either. Another excellent movie for the franchise! We didn’t make it home until 1 AM, and we were glad to see the house more or less tidied up and the children (and adults) fast asleep. Thanks, James and Jill, for holding down the fort!
The next morning it was bread baking time! Evie loves to help Grandpa Mark with the dough. We tried to get Liam in on the fun, but he was feeling a bit overwhelmed with Doug, Cam and Milo’s arrival. So he stayed in the bedroom watching Planes while Milo disassembled Liam’s play room and Cam played Xbox Kinect with James. After the movie, the kids blew off some steam in the backyard, enjoying the warmer temperatures. We tucked the Turducken in the oven for awhile, then prepared the fixins: green bean casserole, corn bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. By 3:30 we sat down to eat, minus Evie and Liam, who’d already had their chicken fingers and mac n’ cheese when they decided they were hungry.
The turducken was decent, though not fantastic. I wish I’d thought to pour the juice from the basting bag over the meat when we transferred it to the serving platter. We have another roll in the freezer for Christmas, so hopefully we can improve upon our technique then. The gumbo was a bit over-chicken-stocked (my fault – James wasn’t there to supervise), but everything else was incredible.
Proof that Doug was there >>
Tummies full and dishes washed (and washed and washed! Sheesh, this is unglamorous side of hosting the holiday), the Shavers and Liam and I headed to their hotel for a swim in the indoor pool. I didn’t feel like digging out my swim suit, which turned out to be a big mistake. Liam whined and complained that I wasn’t getting in the pool, so our swim outing stayed brief. Just as well – he was seriously hungry. So we Fletchers headed back to my house for some dinner (for Liam) and pie and wine (for mommy).
Friday we very purposely avoided shopping. We’re more Cyber Monday people. Mom, dad and Evie stayed for the afternoon, and after a lunch at Liam’s favorite restaurant (BJ’s of course!), we enjoyed a free day at the Wichita Art Museum. The kids had a great time running around, hardly looking at the art. I think Evie might have slowed down to take it in, but Liam had no patience for slow-poker-y. Art appreciation at age four is probably too much to ask.
Once the last of our guests were on the road, Liam and I rolled up our sleeves and picked up the house. Which took forever. I don’t know how people do this with three kids full time. And then Liam begged me to set up the Christmas tree. So with that, Thanksgiving was over.