keeping the home | thanksgiving
Setting the scene: We'll be in Ohio with Ryan's family on Thanksgiving this year, so I hosted a little pre-Thanksgiving dinner of my own over the weekend for my side of the family-- partly because I wanted to see if I could actually do it, but mostly because I wanted the comfort of having my mom around on one of my favorite holidays. Prepping for the day took the better part of a week, but just in merry little bits here and there-- buying the turkey, picking up a few more cups to match what I already have, planning the menu, washing the napkins. The air was thick with festivity. I followed Ina's directions and set the whole table the day before, complete with sticky notes in the serving dishes. Linen fabric for a makeshift tablecloth, white dishes, thrifted brass candlesticks, grocery store eucalyptus, and leaves from the backyard. I made the stuffing the day before, nervous that it would turn soggy. (Tragically, it wound up too dry.) My parents arrived with a basket full of pies, and my sisters brought wine and cookies. My mom put her apron on and showed me how to remedy my too-salty gravy. Ryan took drink orders. Ralph and his cousins scattered toys.We sat down to eat and toasted to my sister and her family who live far away. My parents washed the dishes, and my sweet dad put them away in the wrong spots. A fresh pot of coffee was brewed before the pie was served. And when the day was done, a cup of tea, and in bed by nine.
Making this meal: A big, fat turkey soaked in this brine, then rubbed up with butter and herbs. Rosemary and garlic pureed potatoes. Bacon braised brussels sprouts. Stuffing, gravy, buttery corn, rolls. Mom's cranberries. Pie! Whipped cream!!!
Listening to: Sweet, simple, thankful hymns-- because in my mind, that's the closest thing to what the Pilgrims might have enjoyed on their first Thanksgiving. The Little Women soundtrack makes me feel sentimental and happy to be with the ones I love, and long for the ones I love that I can't be with, until it makes me a little too emotional and I cry during the music where Beth dies. On this particular day of the year, I'm happy just listening to "For the Beauty of the Earth" on repeat.
Working on: Dishes. Digestion. Naps. Christmas wish lists. Decking the Halls. Fa la la la la!