Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Wrap-Up

I'm afraid my Thanksgiving was a bit on the grumpy side. Mom says you couldn't tell -that my "grumpy" presented as calm in the midst of chaos. Well, I'm glad I had everyone fooled!

We spent a couple of days cleaning house. If you don't stay on top of it, it can degenerate pretty quickly when you have kid, two dogs and four cats - one of which sheds hair profusely. I got the livingroom all clean on Wednesday, and when I went down on Thursday it was covered in hair again! Perhaps if I shaved her...

I was the first one up, pulled the turkey out and got it all cleaned and ready to be done by Darling Man. Then I cleaned some more. The diningroom was left for last since it was the easiest - then I got it ready for people by putting the leaf in the table, dragging out the card table and setting both. I don't really believe much in centerpieces.

They get in the way when there's food to be passed or faces to see. And when the tables are empty, I have cats that fulfill that function.

So a simple table of silverware (fancy stainless I keep for such occasions, hidden so they don't go to work, dig in the garden, or get used to pry things open), placemats and paper napkins.

After that task was completed, I started peeling potatoes. LOTS of potatoes. Coming to my house were my parents, two brothers (one with a reputation for putting away a lot of food), my stepson (similar reputation) and his family... A lot of mashed potatoes would be needed. I also made a green bean casserole. Mom brought corn casserole and macaroni & cheese and an apple danish of some kind that she made up. There were rolls and two pies that were baked the day before - and that 20lb turkey with stuffing. LOTS of food.

Everyone showed up, visited and ate. And I kind of felt like I missed it. I was busy doing stuff in the kitchen while they visited, and clearing plates and putting them into the dishwasher, and during the meal, the guys did almost all of the talking. My family is loud. And I have discovered recently that my hearing is going the way of my grandfather's... if there's more than one voice going at a time, I can't understand anything that's being said. It's just a wall of noise. So I had a wall of noise (loud noise) that I couldn't respond to because I had no idea what was being said.

Yeah. That made me a little grumpy. That and the darned hot flashes that decided to show up in the middle of dinner. I had to go out on the back porch to cool off (and regroup). It was warm and muggy, but cool under the fans. The dogs kept me quiet company and after a while, much more composed me went back to rejoin the party.

Jerry left right after dinner. He had two more dinners to go to! Heck, if I'd known that, I would have scaled back on the potatoes (there are now three containers of the stuff in the fridge). Kurt, Patty and Kylee left not long after. K & P had worked the night shifts the day before (hospital and Michael's) and they were exhausted. Mom and Dad stuck around a bit, toddling off to home and recliners around 7, leaving Andy behind. That was really nice. I got to talk to him a little without all the others around. I don't see him nearly enough and usually there are so many people that an actual conversation is hard to come by. He left a while later to go see a movie - and it was back to me and my guys at a relatively early hour. Which was very nice. We were tired and retired not long after everyone left!

I need to organize things a bit differently next time, I think. I was very happy to have everyone here but was too tired to really enjoy it.


Faye said...

I know what you mean about the noise/loud conversations. That sends me home ready to start sucking my thumb again. My friends are all very loud. Hard for there to be any give and take in conversations. Last week i didn't dinner and netflix with two friends--that was nice.

Re all those leftover spuds--make potato cakes.

ari_1965 said...

I'm sorry you got worn out. The traditional T-Day dinner is a lot of work. Perhaps next year you can assign each person to bring a specific item, plus anything else they'd like to.

Sandcastle Momma said...

That's the problem with hosting. You clean for days, cook for days, stay busy serving and making sure everyone has what they need and then by the time dinner is over you realize you missed visiting, are exhausted and just want everyone to go home!
I've done it many times and have never found a way to do it so I could enjoy the day.
If in hindsight you come up with any ideas please share.

I have friends who always go out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving and I used to think that was kind of a sad way to spend the day but after hosting a couple of times I completely understand why they do it LOL

Island Rider said...

We could not figure out why my dad was not participating in any conversations. In the past, he dominated the table. Then, we found out, his new hearings aids were bothering him so he turned them off. He couldn't hear a thing!

Gattina said...

Sounds like a eating orgy just like the old romans, lol !
the first part of your post fits on me with my 4 cats and always one on the table. I learned to clean AFTER the visitors and not before I just watch that it LOOKS clean, except the toilet there it has to be real clean becaue people have time to look in the corners.
All other cleaning before guests is double work !

Mom said...

I'll send you my new recipe for shepherd's pie==it is just like being in a pub in Barmouth--yummy. I also have Mrs. Bridges recipe for cottage pie--both use lots of mashed potatoes, and are really good.

We all had a wonderful time, and you did a beautiful job of hosting. I'm so proud of you. Thank you again.

Jill said...

The cleaning is always the worst part, before and after. My mom has a recipe for 'refrigerator mashed potatoes' or some such stuff, you make them ahead of time and bake them that day I think. We use leftover potatoes on top of casseroles and also as 'potato pancakes' (think hashbrown patties, but made of mashed potato not shredded). Cook bacon and then toss the 'patties' in the grease. No need to drain, the potatoes will soak it up and get golden. Yum!