We had a very quiet Thanksgiving this year. Originally, I signed up to work, since I expect to be on maternity leave for both Christmas and New Years. However, they ended up being over staffed and gave me the opportunity to have the day off to spend with the family. My mother in law was cooking a small feast for Lyn and Liam, so I joined them, bringing our gathering to a boisterous 5 in number.
Since I was a last minute crasher, I managed to have no really obligations to contribute to the meal. That of course is completely against my nature, but was exactly what the doctor ordered. It certainly kept the pressure off and allowed me to enjoy the morning.
I invited Liam to help me in the kitchen in the morning. I really think that this is one of his favorite things to do with me. It was so nice to not be trying to set a meal on the table, so we could enjoy the process together without stressing about a timetable or another dish on the stove top. He helped me measure and combine all the cranberry sauce makings. Homemade cranberry sauce is the one thing I really insist on for Thanksgiving. It's so simple and quick to make, with such better results that I really have difficulties accepting any reason not have it. I don't think anybody else in the family cares that much, but it does seem to be enjoyed and disappears rather quickly.
Since my mother in law is normally very set on getting her pies from a place called Upper Crust Bakery and I didn't even offer to bring one. However, she decided to get one from Central Market instead this year and it was much better. She got a pecan pie, which is both her husband and Lyn's favorite. It was packed with pecans and not overly sweet as pecan pies can get, definitely the best store bought pie I recall.
I knew none of the pie would make it home, so I made a pumpkin pie to extend the holiday with. Liam was very excited about making pie and had a lot of difficulties accepting that we had to wait to eat it. He very thoroughly measured and combined ingredients with me and kept everything as neat as can be. The condensed milk can briefly challenged us. It seems all of my can openers were either not cooperating or MIA. So we called upon our friendliest neighbor, Betty Lou, to help us and she came through with a church key close at hand. Liam, my social butterfly really enjoyed visiting her. He walked himself right into their house, before we were invited, chatted at length to her 20 something son about motorcycles, after a close up look at the one in their driveway. We discovered their dog had the same name as ours, an item he found fascinating. He exuberated all the charm a three year old can them promply tried to throw a fit when I insisted he hold my hand to cross the street back home, but we made it back to finish making our pie without any love lost. Pie making was definitely one of my favorite parts of the day.
After an early lunch we made up the vegetables together, just a nice simple roasted carrots, cauliflower and broccoli blend. He peeled the carrots for me and then wanted to cut them up. After somehow forcing himself through the tip of a thin carrot with a dull plastic knife I was able to get him excited about slicing bananas instead, which we of course had to pretend were carrots as we muched them.
I was exhausted by the time we arrived at my mother in law's house, as was Lyn. However, Liam always loves to visit with his Mimi which gave us a few minutes to sit down. We use to dine at their house very regularly, but I really can't even remember when the last time was. It was long enough for me to have forgotten where many things were in the kitchen. Liam had some wonderful time exploring talking a playing with his Mimi. It's always such a pleasure to sit back and watch somebody take delight in your child as you wish you always had the patients and energy to do.
Lyn was mainly quiet while at his mothers, but perked up just as I was beginng to fade. When we got home I got to rest and recuperate from what turned out to be a much busier day than I expected.