Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving with the Keddies!

As I mentioned last week, David and I decided to host Thanksgiving for his family this year. I'm not quite far enough along to be officially restricted from traveling, but I'm starting to get to the uncomfortably large stage, so I'm thankful we decided not to travel for any of the holidays this year. And David's family very graciously agreed to come out to our neck of the woods to spend Thanksgiving with us!

Since we were already hosting a holiday dinner, we decided we'd throw it open to PEF students who live too far from home to go back for the short Thanksgiving break. We ended up having 7 students (including one alumna!) join us for dinner -- it was SO much fun having everyone over, and introducing these friends to our family!

So with 13 for dinner, the OCD planner in me borrowed a page from Jamie Rankin's book -- whenever he does his amazing 10-course Titanic dinners, he always has a schedule that lays out preparation, cooking and serving times for each course. Now, I'm certainly not saying I'm any kind of gourmet chef, or that this simple holiday dinner was anything as elaborate as Jamie's dinners -- but I love lists and schedules, and having this basic schedule posted on our fridge was a lifesaver!

Even with as much advance prep and planning as I could muster, everything was scheduled to sort of pile up at around 12:30 on Thursday... Good thing I had a faithful army of student sous-chefs to help out! Katrina and Victoria came over a few hours early to help peel and chop potatoes and put the finishing touches on other dishes, and then when the rest of the students arrived at around 1, we put a whole group of them to work plucking thyme leaves for the roasted carrots. I wish I'd gotten a photo of this particular assembly line -- Katrina, Victoria, Natalie, and Daniel crowded around the counter, coming up with ever more efficient ways to strip thyme... Thanks for all your help!

All told, we had way too much food... But that's a good problem to have, right? On the menu were the roasted turkey, a honey-baked ham (a panic buy on Tuesday evening, when we thought we might have as many as 18 people over), mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, wild rice and sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, sweet potato casserole, green beans, and brussels sprouts (the last three brought down by David's brother Iain). Again, I wish I'd thought to get individual shots of the dishes -- but I'm afraid we were all too busy serving, eating and talking to even think of photos. And if I'm not thinking about photos, you know it had to have been good dinner conversation. :)

Eventually, I pulled out the camera and took a few shots of the dinner...

And then for dessert -- two pumpkin pies, two apple pies (one made by David's mom, the other by Iain's girlfriend Erin), and a cheesecake!

Yeah, so David and I have been living on leftovers for the last several days... It's all just as good reheated!

We're so thankful to have had the opportunity to host so many friends and loved ones. It's always so much fun to spend time with David's family -- and we love introducing PEFers to the stars of all the great stories David tells about his childhood and his family. :)

So thankful for each and every one of you!