The Thanksgiving weekend has come to a close. Looking back on it, I have to say that it has been one of the happiest I can remember. The days were filled with family, food, shopping, and most of all love. Love, you know, makes everything better. You can see it and you can definitely feel it. The holidays are resplendent in love. I’ve had five days to bask in the sunshine of love and I must say that glow does wonders for me inside and out.
Family was at the center of the weekend. Thanksgiving dinner was a delightfully blended affair that was centered on the newest addition. We all gathered at Jakob’s house to share a dinner that everyone contributed to. Turkey and Ham were the stars each prepared by a grandma. The sides were everything that tradition demands and then some. Mashed Potatoes and Green Bean Casserole shared the table with Italian Green Bean Salad and Sour Dough and Artichoke Stuffing.
Yes, Mama D (aka Nonna) brought the California inspired stuffing that had more than a little Italian influence. The recipe actually was born during our time in California. Loosely based on recipes from Sunset Magazine and Weight Watchers it has developed over the years to become the family stuffing of choice.
Everything came together in a health conscious manner (turkey sausage, low sodium chicken, etc). until it donned its gay holiday apparel of some grated Asiago Cheese
before being bathed in olive oil and butter.The stuffing (I should call it dressing as it never saw the inside of the bird) was a huge success; gone before a photo of the finished dish could be taken. Trust me, it looked beautiful and tasted amazing.
For the first time I was in a position to begin Christmas shopping early (this IS very early for me). I was also in the pleasant position of being on the paying side of the cash register and that did change my perspective. Visits to the nearby mini mall and lovely downtown Geneva gave me what feels like an early jump on the whole shopping experience. Not a single long line at the mall, and the knowledge that I was supporting small businesses in Geneva while finding some unique little gifts began to fill me with Holiday spirit.
That holiday spirit reached its peak when I got to spend some quality time with my grandsons.We just bought a futon for the second bedroom and I invited Dylan over to take it for its maiden voyage. All that was just an excuse to have lots of time with him. We ( I should say Dylan), baked Peanut Butter Blossoms with a little good- natured hassling from Grampa. In spite of it all, they were perfect.A walk around the grounds of our apartment complex became an adventure of sorts. I got us on the wrong path in the woods, but thanks to Dylan’s kindness and keen eye we made it out in one piece and eventually got back home. He’s become such a fine young man and I’m so proud of him.
Jakob brought his parents over for dinner on Saturday. Again, this was just my way of getting more time with my new Grand Boy. While the Lychee Bellini and Three Treasure Fried Rice were delicious, they couldn’t hold a candle to the delicious sweetness of holding Jakob and marveling at his wide-eyed wonder at our new home. I know the lights and the glow of the flickering candles had something to do with that wonderment, but it didn’t diminish the joy I felt.
December is here and the path to Christmas is always shorter than I imagine. Thanksgiving has given me a glimpse into the real gifts to come. The decorations will start appearing today and the baking will start soon. All of that is just the trappings of a time filled with love. I plan to relish the journey to Christmas and treasure the time spent with my family. I hope your holiday journey is filled with the same kind of joy.