First Thanksgiving at Heather House

I haven’t been keeping up my journal this fall, but I’m back now. It seems to be the way of things: the semester starts, I get busy and tired, and the journal slips. It has happened again, but even if the journal slips I get back to it.

The biggest event in our lives recently was Thanksgiving. We hosted Thanksgiving dinner in our home for the first time. My mother and father came down from Maine, and Kristin and Dan came up from Virginia. Theo also came down from Maine to be with us, both to join in the eating and to help out in the kitchen, which we appreciated. We postponed our celebration from Thursday to Saturday, so that Kris and Dan could be with Dan’s family on Thursday, and we didn’t mind doing it at all. It gave us more time to prepare and allowed us to do our last-minute shopping on Friday, when the grocery store was just about empty. The act of sitting down together with the people I love is more important to me than the date on which we do it.

We had the usual spread: turkey with stuffing and gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, squash, and salad. For another vegetable we had asparagus with hollandaise sauce. On the side we offered bread with butter and cheese (including a fresh batch of my rye bread) and the usual assortment of pickles and olives. For dessert we had cranberry pie, apple pie, plum pudding, and some ice cream. Kris and Dan brought some wonderful wine. My folks brought some more wine, the cranberry sauce, cranberry pie, and plum pudding. Theo made a delicious hot apple toddy for us to start with. Everyone’s contribution was thoroughly enjoyed and we ended up with plenty of good leftovers. Into this meal went a local turkey as well as local squash, milk, eggs, apples, and honey.

While I was preparing and cooking the food for the day, E. worked on setting up the tables and decorating for the day. We took our dining table and put the old kitchen table next to it. Together they gave us enough room to seat everyone. The tables are of similar size and almost the same height, so they worked well as a place for everyone to gather around. We set up the food buffet style on the sideboard and let everyone serve themselves. Some things could have worked better, I’m sure, but we did well enough and we’ll learn from the experience if we decide to do this again in the future.

Even with all the work that went into it, I had a wonderful time celebrating our first Thanksgiving at Heather House. I hope very much that everyone else enjoyed it as much.


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