I have a lot for which I am thankful. A husband who is so perfectly suited to me. He is so smart and funny and nice. Marriage isn't easy, but I know he works just as hard as I do to nurture our relationship. Two happy and healthy sons who make me smile whether they are cracking me up, being sweet to each other, or just being naturally adorable. A nice, comfortable home and the potential for an even larger home to fill with love, family, and friends. I feel truly blessed and thank God for all that He has given me. Even the hard stuff. Some times I struggle to decipher what is the lesson I am supposed to be learning from my pain, but I know there is a lesson in there somewhere, even if it is as simple as re-learning compassion and empathy.
I am also thankful for a husband who enjoys entertaining as much as I do. Because Mr. W takes such an active roll in preparing the dinner, I can enjoy my share because I am not totally overwhelmed. After so many years of hosting Thanksgiving I feel we really have our routine down. Adding two little boys underfoot is only a minor challenge to getting the house and the meal together.
This year Mr. W's birthday fell on Thanksgiving so I decided that after years of procrastinating, I needed to make him one of his favorite pies: banana cream or cocoanut cream. I've never made a custard pie, so I've always been reluctant because it looks hard. Plus since he likes them so much I'd hate to make a bad one. I was totally going to do it last year when my Aunt R hosted Thanksgiving because I was pregnant. But, I was 8+ months pregnant and wimped out at the last minute and bought one at a local bakery instead. It wasn't good so I had to redeem myself this year. I used this banana cream pie recipe from MS, including the crust. Hello, butter! I thought having to strain the custard before adding the butter and bananas was a little over-the-top-Martha, but Mr.W assured me it would be quite worth it. Other than that, the recipe and process wasn't that hard. I'd only had one cup of tea and measured out cornmeal instead of cornstarch, but that catastrophe was averted when I realized my mistake just in time.
Not all my cousins were joining us this year, but I did still need to set a second table. I keep track of the seating arrangements and rotate who sits at the auxiliary table. I set it for 3 this year and used this Irish linen tablecloth and the blue china.The dining room table I set with a green linen tablecloth and the Moss Rose china. Mr. W found a special "Happy Birthday" plate with similar flowers years ago when we were antiquing. HE thought it would be a sweet tradition to start. (See, perfectly suited to me!) So I set his place with the birthday plate.I also decorated with pumpkins we brought home from the pumpkin patch. While looking through a PB catalog at my mom's I noticed they used antlers as centerpieces. I thought to myself, I have an antler! Yes, when I was in 7th grade we went on a field trip to the Ape Caves and as we were hiking along I found an antler. This was before I knew it was poor form to take souvenirs from the forest. And since we are hoarders, I knew exactly where I kept it so I made sure to pull it out before we loaded the POD. Admittedly, one more antler would look better for balance. The funny thing about the antler is that it wasn't just ornamental, but it was educational too. It sparked a conversation which lead to a great debate about whether or not deer, moose, elk etc shed their antlers every year, and how could they possibly grow that big every year. Iphones were consulted, answers were shared, and we all were a little more informed after the meal.
Our Little Helper enjoying his turkey leg.
For dessert we had a selection of 4 pies and sang Happy birthday to Mr. W.We also attempted some photos for our Christmas card since we were all dressed up. I had to bribe Our Little Helper with chocolates to sit and smile for 4 good photos.