Friday, November 27, 2009


Yesterday was a wonderful holiday for me on so many levels. Mom and Dad in from Florida, Jon joining us as a Dayton resident, Becky Ford in from Colorado and then Sue and Tom, Aunt Dorr, Tom's dad Bob and Bob's wife Jane. A traditional gathering from near and far. It was especially wonderful for me because I actually was able to go. Surgery 16 days ago and lots of hopes and wishes to be able to go. Being able to go was a little iffy from the beginning but particularly so after a grueling day Monday of doctoring, PT and recovery. The rehab PT on Tuesday gave me my marching orders to do nothing but ice my knee, exercise the proscribed number of times and relax and see. So I did just that and was able to go. Going was not so simple and required generous spirits on the side of my precious sister Sue and her husband Tom. They went out of their way to make me comfortable and welcome. For me going was like taking a baby - pillows, cooler with bags of frozen veggies for knee icing , meds and patience. I planted myself in the recliner and iced while the holiday activities unfolded.

My perch on the recliner was the perfect spot to watch all of the activities in the kitchen. It was very hard to sit there and see all of my favorite activities occurring without being in the middle, helping, advising and chatting and admiring. Sue and Tom and Mom and Dad took major leads in preparing the wonderful meal. Sue's meal is always traditional and it really touches the core of what I understand Thanksgiving to be. Yet like many dinners it is a compilation of traditions. The main meal is always pretty much that of the past. Sue does get wild and crazy with appetizers and desserts. So it is very fun and full of surprises. Appetizers were a delicious creamy bleu cheese dip with celery and onion served on crackers and a hot crab and artichoke dip with red peppers, cream and parmesan cheese baked and served with toasts. Oh those yummy chunks of crab were to die for.

The main part of the meal was a beautiful juicy turkey sliced by the engineer and beautifully displayed on the platter. Sides included mashed yukon gold potatoes with gravy, peas and onions, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, rolls and two kinds of stuffing. The sweet potatoes come from niece Becky. They are peeled and steeped in water and baking soda. After that they are drained and poached slowly in a brown sugar, butter and cinnamon syrup. They are so awesome. Each bite has butter and cinnamon. The flavor just permeates through the potatoes. So unlike sweet potato casserole where there are potatoes souffleed and covered with a glaze of nuts and brown sugar and butter. With that you eat through layers of flavors. These potatoes are simple and incredibly delicious.

Our family enjoys simple bread dressing baked in the bird. Tom's family grew up with stuffing balls. Balls of stuffing are scooped on to a cookie tray and baked to crispy goodness in the oven while the turkey rests. So you really have to savor stuffing both ways. Dessert was a cheesecake made by Sue and Tom together. Pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust topped with marshmallow creme glaze. It is so rich you have to have a very slim piece to savor. It is a sneaking up on you dessert - you take a bite and then another, each bite accruing flavor and sweetness and your tummy just leaps with joy at the last bite. This was as Lee described the best cheesecakes she ever ate.

That wonderful food combined with joy and laughter, sharing and stories was the perfect day - the Thanksgiving I dreamed about. We had calls from those not present wishing everyone well so we had more opportunities to share being family. My sister Sue is the person we call Miss Mom and tease her about her energy about the family. It's an energy we all share and treasure because it is what makes each occasion with our family so unique and special. Sue and Tom make their home a gathering place for all and welcome everyone with open hearts and warm spirits. Laughter overflows and loves bounces off the walls from hearts together. Sweet Becky Ford their daughter is a warm heart and spirit who is loving and joyful. They worked together to make a very special holiday for their family and we all say thank you to them from the bottom of our hearts.

I am including Sue's recipe for Bleu Cheese Dip. It is simple and delicious and is a great appetizer.

Bleu Cheese Dip with Celery and Onion

1 8 0z package of room temperature cream cheese
1 C crumbled bleu cheese
1 C sour cream
1 C mayonnaise
1/2 C finely chopped onion
1/2 C finely chopped celery
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Combine chill 1 hour and serve with crackers or veggies.

1 comment:

  1. reading this, i felt as if i was right there. i could picture it as i read. what a wonderful treat to be with family in such a healthy way.

    the bleu cheese dip sounds yummmy and simple to make! i, however, would change ONE thing. nuf said.