Thanksgiving Dinner

(Damn Blogger! I was almost done with a wonderful, long post, and was adding the pictures, when it ERASED the entire text with the second picture. And would not offer me an undo. Grrrrrrrrrrr.)

Yes, it is that time of year again. Thanksgiving. Okay, I'm a week late - we don't get the day off in Germany, so it has to be on a weekend. And I was gone the weekend after Thanksgiving, so we just did it a week later. The main thing is the food, not the exact date.

I started in Friday evening: Apple pie, Cranberry relish (with oranges, raisins soaked in rum and walnuts added, yum yum yum), stuffing. Saturday morning I got the pre-ordered bird from the open-air market place, almost 8 kilograms (17 pounds for you non-metric types). I did the cornbread and pre-cooked the yams before the bird went in, to attract my undivided attention for 6 hours or so. Basting every 20-30 minutes (no, no self-basting turkeys to be had here), in between working on mashed potatos, succotash, raw veggies, Grandms'a cloverleaf rolls, pickles, what have you.

My friend from the wrong end of the state brought the pumpkin pie and the creamed carrots. Pumpkin is always a pain. The recipes start "Take a can of pumpkin". We have to start with "Take a pumpkin" and cook it down in order to have the puree to start the pie. Another Stateside friend brought the coleslaw.

The only worry was: how many people were there be? Okay, the teenager is not reliable, but I rather wanted a general ballpark figure. I had tried inviting all sorts of people, but they already had prior engagements for this first weekend of Advent. I had 14 definites and 7 maybes on my list, a bit too wide a margin, especially seeing as I have 17 chairs and could only beg 2 from a neighbor. I called one guy, oh yes, he forgot to tell me he couldn't come. Okay, great, we are down to the number of chairs.

I set the table with Grandma's table cloths and the bits of silver I salvaged when selling off my parent's stuff, there were 4 tables in various sizes to fit everyone, and it looked nice.

Eventually, only 13 showed up, 2 of them late (the one had said so in advance, she was on-duty up until just before dinner, and then she parked on the wrong end of our 3km street....). One couple got into a fight in the afternoon and he refused to come. Hey guy, I have lots of chairs, you don't have to sit next to your Significant Other. You can come sit next to me and entertain me! And enjoy the food I made for you!!

But the folks who were there did a marvelous job - no one was shy about having seconds, so they pretty well polished off the bird (I heard reports today that no one ate much Sunday....). There was enough left over for a microwaved plate Sunday evening and Turkey Noodle Soup this evening. And I will sneak the last of the cranberry relish before going to bed, it is like dessert.

But why do people treat an invitation to a sit-down dinner as a "drop in if you feel like it" thing? I am sure that I could have found others to come, if they would have let me know in time, even if many people already had other engagements.

So one thing is sure: I'm not doing a sit-down dinner for my 50th. That would be much too horrible to have food and people not come. I'm currently thinking pot luck......

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