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October 2017

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A Thanksgiving Dinner That Couldn't Be Beat.

I decided to make Thanksgiving Dinner for my parents with Song's help. My mother was worried that I would come over and make a mess for her to clean up. But I assured her that we would clean before we left.

Mother was also concerned that I wouldn't make the right kind of cranberry sauce. I have been known to make raw cranberry relish or cranberry chutney. Mom prefers the classic whole cranberries boiled with a cup of sugar and a cup of water. So she made that. She also mentioned that candied sweet potatoes are her favorite, so I got her recipe and made those. (Another recipe to put in the Family cookbook.)

I went down to Song's on Wednesday and made the pumpkin pies. My recipe is just the one off the Libby's pumpkin can, with half brown sugar, and I add ground cardamon. I also roasted the sweet potatoes, peeled and cut them, and covered them with the sugar glaze. I added some of the pie spices too. That wasn't in the recipe but I don't think it hurt.

Song brined a 20 pound turkey. I did talk her into letting me cut up the turkey before we cooking it this year. That turned out to have more complications that I realized. The aromatic herbs and apples for her recipe were suposed to go into the bird. But since there is no "into" in a cut up bird, I convinced her they could go into the brine.

Unfortunately my Bi-PAP machine decide not to work Wednesday night and I got very little sleep. It started working at 8am. We were suposed to go over to my parents' house at 10. But we pushed that back until noon so I could get a couple of hours of sleep.

With a 20 pound turkey we didn't think dinner would be ready until 4 or 5. But, because I cut it up into pieces it was done in less than an hour and half. Song and I had everything under control but mom insisted on helping so I let her clean the green beans.

Song peeled the potatoes. I made the stuffing. I added some cornbread to my usual recipe this year. With the turkey cut into pieces we had two racks in the oven so the stuffing and the sweet potatoes could bake at the same time as the turkey.

I got out my iPod and played "Alice's Restaurant" while we worked.

Once the food was all set, I kept suggesting the Song and kids set the table and she kept suggesting that I take break. But I really can't relax when there are still things that need to be done. It's one of the reasons that appointments stress me out. Anyway, The Teenager helped set the table. He was very good about being careful with the good china. And the Cuteness helped me with the napkins and silverware. Ever since I was a teenager I have folded the napkins in a special way for special occasions.

Mom had two nice bottles of white wine to go with our meal. And I brought a gallon of apple cider.

We ended up eating at around 2. After dinner I needed break, and Song needed a nap. But I soon recovered and managed to move everything from the dinning room table to the kitchen counter. Mom insisted on putting the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and hand washing a few of the bigger pans even though I told her that I would do that. I had mom pack up what food she wanted to keep. Then I split up everything else for me and Song. By the time I had done that, Song got up and helped dry and put away the rest of the dishes as I washed them.

We did dirty a few more dishes with the pumpkin pie and whipped cream. But they can go in the dishwasher. I also brought a package of Stroopwafels and a bag of Katjes Kinder (Licorice Cats), that I just found at Wegmans. Stroopwafels are made to go with tea (or coffee) they are just the right size to cover your cup. And the heat from the drink softens the syrup.

I think it was a good dinner. Song kept me from going overboard. I paced myself. I made lists. And I didn't stress out. Everything that was necessary for a Thanksgiving dinner was there. And the kitchen was mostly clean before we left. (Just the dessert dishes and one pan that needed to soak.) So I'm calling this a success.

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