We were thankful this year to have our friend Bethani join us for Thanksgiving — from Wednesday night’s LATE viewing of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (an unconventional Thanksgiving Eve tradition of ours), to a Black Friday trip to Target and a Friday afternoon visit to Busch Gardens. (And Congratulations, Bethani, for surviving a holiday with the crazy LeFebvres!)
Lefty played in the kids’ game of flag football
Thanksgiving morning was warm and breezy — the perfect day for the annual neighborhood football game in the park. (Kids’ game first, then the infamous teen vs. adult, where, for the second year in a row, scrawny 120 lb “Gator” was trucked by a grown neighbor who outweighs him by at least double — he is still limping and sore 4 days later. [The line "It's just a game, Focker!" kept coming to mind.])
But the rest of us had fun. Chatting with neighbors, munching on donuts and muffins, and watching the younger kids while they played on the playground, before heading home to get dinner in the oven.
The meal…It went off without a hitch.
Truthfully, I was really dreading Thanksgiving this year. Every year it is so chaotic! And with l-o-n-g daily rehearsals this year during Thanksgiving week it was even more so, because we lacked the time needed to prepare ahead of time. (Our grocery shopping for the meal was done during the play rehearsal on Wednesday night). I am very “type A”. I have to have everything planned out and ready. Needless to say, I was stressed. Very stressed. Sooo much to do!
Because we don’t have extended family to meet with to do a potluck, it’s just us — preparing the whole meal in a house with one oven — for the 12 of us. I am very thankful for the many blessings in my life, I don’t feel the need to mess up the whole house and spend so much time in that house on such a beautiful day, just for one big meal. I can be thankful without that meal. ;)
My plan: have our Thanksgiving meal at Cracker Barrel, then head to the beach for a nice relaxing day in the sun. Too late — Rob had already bought the turkey…so, since he wanted the home-cooked meal, he took the reigns. He prepared almost everything. (Whew).
Bethani joined in our Thanksgiving tradition of writing on the tablecloth
We actually had to buy a new tablecloth this year! Our last one was full.
You may recall that I toyed with the idea of replacing our more traditional menu with a “fancier” one. Well, since Rob was chef for the day, he made the call. Some dishes were nixed (noodles, some desserts), some dishes were replaced (the turkey), and some were added (the crostata and the squash) — and the homemade rolls were replaced with store-bought ones. Our 2010 menu ended up looking like this:
Malt-Beer-Brined Turkey with Malt Glaze
Maple-Braised Butternut Squash with Fresh Thyme
Pear Crostata with Figs and Honey
Sage Cornbread Dressing
Alabama Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Dinner Rolls, butter, preserves
Cranberry Sauce (canned)
Sugar Cream Pie
Rey’s attempt at writing his name. Isn’t it cute?
Everything was delicious! And it was a lovely day for dinner on the patio (have I mentioned that I LOVE living in Florida?) Again, much to be thankful for! A very blessed day with some pretty awesome little people. :)