Monday, December 1, 2014

So Much To Be Thankful For

Aaaah! Today I am finally able to sit down long enough to write about the last four days and the great Thanksgiving holiday that we had out here on the farm.

Because of the early snow and cold temperatures last week, all of our fall decorations were taken down. Only a few of the Christmas things were up. I had put up the inside store decorations last week and Rich had put up a few of the outside lights. The pumpkins that had frozen and then thawed, were beginning to collapse so Rich hauled them out to the woods where they will become food for the animals. That included the red/orange and white pumpkins that I had purchased for use as table decorations and left on the back deck. They look pretty pathetic laying out in the field right now.

I went to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving to pick up a few last minute things for our dinner. While there I bought a couple of gourds in the produce department and two paper turkeys off of an end cap display. Combined with my grandmother's antique blue willow patterned china and some yellow napkins, I think the "table scape" didn't look half bad.

This year our gathering was a small but entertaining bunch. Daughter, Amy; son-in-law, Steve; grandchildren, Olivia and Max; and Steve's grandmother, Treva all joined us for the afternoon. Treva always makes for a lively gathering. She is probably the funniest 80++ year old person ever.

Son-in-law, Steve, and his grandma Treva

Max, Treva and Olivia
In spite of the frigid temperatures and gusty winds Treva wanted to go out to visit with the alpacas. I took her out to the barn to introduce her to our girls and little baby Mocha and the kids tagged along. We fed the animals handfuls of sweet feed and because of their natural curiosity and a craving for treats they were very entertaining. Treva was enchanted by them.

Treva feeding Mango
I am always proud of my grandson, Max. But this day, as I observed how attentive he was to his great grandmother, taking her arm as she walked down the back steps and across the gravel drive, my eyes teared up with pride. (something I hid from him for fear of embarrassing him) Max isn't a fan of the animals; he has a "take 'em or leave 'em" attitude. That afternoon he went into the pasture and actually got a nose kiss from Took.

Max about to get a nose kiss from Took

Max freezing in the barnyard.
Olivia, on the other hand, is quite comfortable around the animals as she has often helped us handle them and lead them around the field. She even chose the name for Mango, who is about to eat out of her hand in this picture, when Mango arrived on the farm as a six-month-old.

Took, baby Mocha, Leezza and Mango with Olivia
Olivia made two of the pies: the traditional pecan and a chocolate s'mores pie. They were so yummy! Treva made her famous lemon meringue pie, using fresh squeezed lemons. I think everyone there had a taste of each pie for dessert.

I am an uber-planner and always have the table set the day before and all of the prep for the cooking done. My biggest shortcoming is that I am too hard on myself and I really stress out before an event like this. Although I had a couple of  stressed out "moments" before our guests arrived (for which I apologized to Rich who is usually the beneficiary of my rants) I think that the meal went well overall. Everything tasted somewhere in a range from OK to excellent. The pies put a great exclamation point on the event. Most of all, I enjoy those few and far between times when I get to cook with my daughter and granddaughter. In the end, Amy and I toasted the day with a fine wine brought to us direct from Italy by some good friends this summer.

Amy and I

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