As I sit to write this, I am sipping coffee and letting my belly full of goodness settle. It’s been a spectacular day.
The other night, I convinced my boys that a little package I bought for 95 cents at a thrift store was actually “given to mommies once a year. Mommies are required to build this “Star Child” before Thanksgiving and it hides around the house until Christmas Eve and then goes off to tell Santa if boys and girls are good or bad.” I got the idea from my friend, Fay, over at flyonthewall.wordpress.org. She doesn’t do a “Star Child,” but close enough. I am hoping to have a lot of fun with things this year and give them something fun to look forward to.
The supplies look pretty simple but would prove pretty daunting, over the course of the evening. I am not one for hand sewing. I blame part of it on not being interested in learning from my mother when I was small. The other part I blame on my hands not quite working anymore. They tend to cramp and fall asleep when I try to grip small things – like pens/pencils and needles. Things like that. A sewing machine? Easy! It’s big, not gripping. But hand sewing? Well, take a look at my fiasco.
Sewing and stuffing the body.
Trying to make the head. Good lord, my hands are getting to look older all the time. Every time I see them, I am reminded of my father’s hand.
Making the face.
Attach the head to the body.
Attach the hat to the head.
There we go. Star Child all done. I’m not quite sure the makers of this kit had me in mind when they designed this. I’ve got it set out on the counter tonight – I told the boys he disappears on Thanksgiving Night and they have to find him and behave around him until Christmas. Eh. What can I say? I made it up on the fly when they saw the little kit I bought.
On Wednesday, the Nanny facilitated the creation of some Thanksgiving day items for the boys. I was out trying to work on a client site and visiting a friend or two. She sent me this picture and I thought they were gorgeous!
The little hands they made had several things listed on them of things they are thankful for. I’m terribly upset because each hand has daddy written first and mommy written third! I mean, really?
On Wednesday night, I brought a dear friend, Alice, over for a late dinner and snack. She had nothing going on until Thursday morning, so it was a perfect time to get her out and about and having some fun. She ended up playing games with Caiden and she said that he does very well for his age. She’s been playing board games most of her life and she’s very competitive and fun to play with. I watched and she did great with Caiden.
While they were playing with that, Jen and I made our first “Brown Bread in a Can.” My mother had this on our table every Thanksgiving of my recollection. She purchased it in a can and it was “Brown Bread.” I got a hankering to have it for Thanksgiving this year. I’ve bought it in a can and had it occasionally but this year, I had to make it for myself. I did look around and it isn’t sold around these parts. I was going to have one of the originals, in a can, and set it along side whatever I made and see how they compared. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one, so I just made my own.
So far, everyone who has tried it has loved it. I will say that we need to find some finer ground corn meal. It left a little gritty taste in our mouths afterwards. Not a horrible one, just noticeable.
Some of the ingredients. I had Brendan in the kitchen with us so he wouldn’t disturb Alice and Caiden.
The goop. It really does look like and feel like goop. Since we couldn’t find sanitary empty cans, we decided to use the loaf pans.
I just looked and realized, we took no pictures of the completed brown bread. So, I pulled up a picture of our Thanksgiving Day table so you can see it. It’s in the bottom-right of the picture.
Jen and I have decided, we are definitely making more of this and, quite perhaps, not just once a year.
Thursday morning, the boys found the decorations the Nanny put on the front window. I’m not quite sure why we keep getting these $1 Gel Stickers for the windows. All they ever do is terrorize them and destroy them, playing with them constantly.
Or, perhaps, that is the point. They have so much fun with them. To my dismay. However, they are only a dollar. Right?
All day long, Jen and I were in the kitchen – baking and cooking for dinner. We ate a late Thanksgiving Dinner. It was 5:30 p.m. before we all sat down to eat. We made quite a few yummies and they were all done by hand.
First up, we made the “Watergate Salad” that my mom has been serving at Thanksgiving Dinner as long as I can remember. I’m not sure if she still does but I do – every year. Last year was an aberration – we went out of town for Thanksgiving and I didn’t get a chance to make it. I may add the recipe to my file of recipes here. We’ll see. I’ve accumulated quite a few, the last few days.
Actually, at first, we made a pumpkin pie and put it in the oven for it’s hour-long baking and then tackled the “Watergate Salad.”
I really am enjoying the pumpkin that we cooked, smashed and froze. We’re having a great time testing out new recipes for the holidays.
Back to the Watergate Salad. I firmly believe that presentation is everything. After mixing it up and getting it all done, I throw it into a nice clean bowl to serve it.
Brendan is cleaning one of my utensils. We let the boys clean things up, every time we finished – and before we dunked them in soapy water to prep them for the next item.
Here, they are taking off their shirts to clean the bowl I made the Watergate Salad in. Yes, it is that good.
They really got into the eating of the remains.
Next, up, a “Strawberry Kool-Aid Pie.” I found this recipe elsewhere and had a great time making it!
The Nanny fighting with the Saran Wrap, trying to cover the Watergate Salad to stuff it in the fridge. It was hysterical watching her – and of course, reminding her we had a limited amount of the stuff.
Stirring up the pumpkin bread mix. It didn’t like my little hand mixer so much.
The boys eating some snacks around about lunchtime. We, sort of, forgot to feed them lunch in the process of making all of our foods for Thanksgiving and feeding them the bowls and spoons. Do you see Caiden’s shirt? When he put it back on, he did it inside out. It was so cute.
The pumpkin breads are done. One is taller than the other. Amazing. Of course, it is still splitting on the top. I wonder why.
I was doing some research on “how to decorate 1950s style” and didn’t find a lot that I could actually do on my limited budget. Today, I had an idea. The things that the boys and the Nanny made would be perfect to decorate with. So, I put their handiwork on the wall around the prayer.
Their hats graced the table for most of the day.
And, while the turkey was in the oven, getting nice and hot for dinner, we went outside for our “1st Annual Turkey Shoot.” I came up with this idea on the fly and Jen made the Turkey picture that we thumb-tacked to a tree.
The object? Kill us a turkey for dinner – with plastic bows, small wooden dowels and foam arrowheads for arrows.
“Maybe I can hit it if I don’t look. What do you think, Caiden?”
That’s why we can’t hit it! The arrows shift and turn backwards in the air!
I think that one is the closest we ever got. We just couldn’t kill the turkey. If this were for real, we’d all starve. I think we need a lot more practice!
I decided to expose the boys to a new fruit – Pomegranates. They are not fun to prepare by hand. Soak them, peel the little seeds out, soak them again to clean the seeds, then get all the gook off the top of the water so you can eat what falls to the bottom.
Tasty but weird. The boys had fun with them. I think it was a hit.
Cutting up the turkey. We didn’t hardly eat any of it! As unusual as that sounds, we aren’t huge turkey eaters.
The table is ready. We did good. Between Jen and I, we pulled it off. Everything is set and ready. Now to stuff ourselves!
Do you see my phone on the table? We had daddy (ex#1) on the phone while we prepped to eat. The book you’ve been seeing on my plate is a great book for a short story about Thanksgiving Day. I read that and a short poem in the same book and then Brendan said the prayer over the food before we dug in. Daddy was there listening the entire time. Just a little way to make him feel like he was a part of things.
I had them yell out, “Too much food” instead of “cheese.”
And, all done eating and cleaned up. It seemed a lot of work for so little time eating.
We played a few games tonight and then put the boys to bed. I forgot to get pictures of the pies again, but they were delicious! It was a great day, filled with fun eating and baking.
It was an excellent day to remember things we’re thankful for instead of things that are missing. I could write a long-winded post about that but it really is just that simple.