Thanksgiving 2011


The “big” cottage in our family “compound” at Lester Beach is co-owned by my Mom and my oldest brother and his wife.  They graciously organized the space for us all to assemble for dinner.  This is no little feat, as this year there were 37 of us and that did not include three nieces and a nephew who could not attend (the latter travelling Europe).  We also welcomed back international student Priscilla from Beijing and a new attendee-Gabby from Quebec.

This year was so mild that one family entourage hiked the forest before dinner and another bunch headed to the beach for sunset.  The balmy weather also meant that the beverage table could be set up outside and there were a number of tables available on the huge back deck for people who opted to dine el fresco.

Everyone pitches in with a food responsibility.  Some are automatic and don’t have to be assigned like Sister #2’s peppercorn meatballs, Sister #3’s roasted root vegetables and my candied yams.  Someone always gets assigned a green bean casserole with crispy onions and  potatoes mashed with cream cheese. There were also two huge salads (I had mine after my entree),  turkey with two kinds of stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce and roasted ham with mustard sauce.

A fresh fruit platter was served with pumpkin pie and the hit once again this year was the Pumpkin Crunch dessert that I posted after last Thanksgiving dinner.  You can use the search function on the top right of the blog or go to the dessert recipe category.

Fall is beautiful on the prairies but we are acutely reminded of the circle of life when the ferns and rushes die away and an entire tree can be bared by a single gust.  So too, we were reminded how precious life is as we gathered this year, because one of our brothers was not with us.  Tom lived his life bursting with gratitude.  He loved family traditions and so Thanksgiving was one of his favourites.  I thought of him feasting at another banquet table as we gave thanks.

Kath’s quote: “The king and high priest of all the festivals was the autumn Thanksgiving. When the apples were all gathered and the cider was all made, and the yellow pumpkins were rolled in from many a hill in billows of gold, and the corn was husked, and the labors of the season were done, and the warm, late days of Indian Summer came in, dreamy, and calm, and still, with just enough frost to crisp the ground of a morning, but with warm traces of benignant, sunny hours at noon, there came over the community a sort of genial repose of spirit – a sense of something accomplished.”-Harriet Beecher Stowe

posted under Food Celebrations

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