So Much To Be Thankful For

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I’ve been married for 24 years and made it this far before having to cook Thanksgiving dinner all by myself. Yep, we’ve always celebrated with family so at most I’ve brought a few sides and pies so this was a big adventure. No, we were not asked to leave the family but all the celebrations were in our hometown of Carrollton this year and with all three boys home we decided to stay here in Augusta so that they could catch up with their friends.

Now the four of you who read this may or may not know that I am a notoriously bad cook. It’s not that I don’t have the intelligence to follow a recipe it’s that I simply don’t pay attention to the details like I should (OOPS!) But this year is going to be the year that I master cooking. And people, so far so good. The food turned out amazing (I swear my family kept raving about how good it was…seriously, I’m not kidding!) Between my mom and google I found easy to follow recipes for everything I fixed from sides to pies to dressing to turkey. I didn’t even freak when Matt’s five friends spent the night… found a breakfast casserole recipe for that!!

Truly it just may have been the best Thanksgiving ever for a lot of different reasons. For the first time, Tim and I decided to live on the boy’s schedule and all I can say is there is nothing like starting a three hour movie at midnight… it helps knowing you can sleep as late as you want the next day. What a week! Of course there was wrestling (told you it would happen), but also tiddly winks, back porch sessions, good food, great conversations, incredible football games and more late night movies than any of us can remember. It’s funny, just when your kids become enjoyable human beings, you ship them off to college. Thank goodness for college breaks!! Now, on to Christmas…

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Shaking My Head…

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The clock on our mantel died last night. It’s not like it’s an expensive clock… less than $25.00 from Target but it’s the main clock in our den so I rely on it quite heavily. The problem? It died at 9:03 and even after Tim pointed out that it was dead I continued to look at it to see what time it was. Yep, for one hour and 52 minutes I thought it was still 9:03pm… When my husband said he was tired and going to bed I found myself looking at the clock, shaking my head and thinking, “Boy is he getting old! First day of break and heading to bed at 9:03pm.” I really kind of felt sorry for him that he couldn’t stay up any later… it was almost embarrassing.

It gets worse… I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open as I tried to watch the Redskins play the 49ers but I kept looking at the clock and thinking I am not going to bed this early!! That is ridiculous. Then my phone buzzed and as I picked it up to read the message I… about… died… Yep, it was 10:55pm and here I sat trying not to be an old fuddy and go to bed before sunset. It was not until that very moment that I realized I’d been looking at the stopped clock for almost two hours NEVER NOTICING THAT THE TIME WASN’T CHANGING!!! Nope, thought Matt’s friend left at 9:03pm, thought halftime started at 9:03pm, thought halftime was over at 9:03pm, thought Tim headed to bed at 9:03pm.

It’s obvious that I am either way too excited about having my boys home for Thanksgiving or way too tired from getting ready for them. Either way my friends, it’s going to be a long day… but a really good week!!

Food For Thought

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Yes I grew up in the South, yes I am a southern girl by the grace of God but I can promise you my culinary palette is not southern by any means. My dad, while southern born, was raised in New Jersey with a Yankee dad and Southern mom. My mom, an adventurous southerner belle. So add one tour of duty in Vietnam, three kids in three years and you have nothing close to normal!

Take regular week night meals for example, most people grew up eating a meat, one to two veggies, bread and maybe dessert. Me? My mom and dad are AMAZING cooks, so one night we’d have Hungarian goulash the next night Lo Mein then Swedish meatballs followed by Chile Rellenos ending with Meatloaf. That truly was a typical week in my house. (Don’t even get me started on my paternal grandfather’s specialty, Spanish Dish. YUM!!) So you can understand my intrigue with the traditional “meat & three” meal served by my mother-in-law the first time I ate with them. (Silly me, I thought she cooked different!)

Holiday meals in my family? Amazing! Since both sets of grandparents lived within an hour of each other we’d get two feasts per holiday. At Granny’s we’d have a straight up traditional southern meal: turkey, cornbread dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, Le Sueur peas, green beans, cranberry sauce and hot yeast rolls. At Mom Weber’s house? Yankee all the way: standing rib roast with au jus, stuffing, creamed onions, mashed rutabagas and carrots, Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding. But the best holidays occurred once we got to be adults and both families would come to my parents’ house where we’d mix both Southern and Yankee. It was the BEST!

Once I married, I began to realize how blessed I was to grow up with parents who can best be described as culinary adventurist. Me? Didn’t really rub off on me…. I’m cooking more and getting better in the kitchen but let’s be honest, I still have a long way to go!!