Friday, November 23, 2012

Family FEAST!

Thanksgiving is the American holiday where we remember our founding colonists who gathered together at a harvest feast with their Indian neighbors in 1621.  We give thanks for our freedom, our families and friends by gathering together for a big feast.  :-)  I'm in! 
OK.. now to back up a bit and give you more details.. :-)  Dayle is our turkey and dressing guy.  My job is to taste it.  We're a good team. :-)  Our dressing is just like our moms used to make.  We use bread cubes, saute chopped celery, onions and parsley in butter, then pour that over the bread cubes, add chicken stock, sage, salt and pepper and mix together.  He stuffs the turkey with what will fit in there and then puts the rest in a baking dish.
Here is our 24 lb. turkey ready to go into the oven, he puts butter, fresh rosemary and sage from our herb garden under the skin on the breast.  He put the giblets in the baking pan too, along with a quart of chicken broth. He puts a tent of foil over the bird so it steams it and holds the moisture in.. removing it 3/4s of the way through to brown the bird.
The kids arrived around 3 pm, dinner was set for 4:30.  I had my 4 adorable grandsons pose for a photo.. aren't they cute?  Hayden had a new jacket on, he looked so dapper! 
You should have smelled the house!!  Here is the turkey when it came out of the oven. 
My sweetie and I.  
I make all the sides.. here is the corn casserole.  It's an old fashioned recipe, using corn, sour cream, butter, Jiffy cornbread and milk, with chilis.   
Green bean casserole, with French fried onions and cream of mushroom soup.  And candied yams!  I make them from scratch, using fresh yams, I peel and cube them and boil them until soft, then put them in a pan, put a cube of butter cut up in little pieces over the top, sprinkle some brown sugar over, then break up whole pecans over, sprinkle cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, then put miniature marshmallows over that, then bake until it's browned.  Everyone loves these! 
I found an easy recipe for homemade cranberry sauce - you use 1 lb of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, 4 tsp Cornstarch, bring those to a boil to dissolve the sugar, then add cranberries and simmer until cranberries pop, then add 1 cup of orange marmalade.  We did add some fresh orange peel grated in, also.
Have you noticed that I brought into service all my Jadeite bowls?  :-)  Here is one of the two bowls of mashed potatoes on the table.  I peeled 5 lbs of Russet potatoes, quartered them and boiled them until done, then I have to whip them in 3 batches in the Kitchenaid mixer - I add milk until they are fluffy (never put too much milk in or you'll have soupy mashed potatoes) - and I add 1/2 a cube of butter while beating.  Put in bowl, add a pat of butter on top and sprinkle with paprika.  That is how my MOM did it. :-)
When Dayle removed the turkey from the pan and cut up the giblets, I mixed flour and water and poured it in the pan, along with a quart of chicken stock, and stirred up the gravy.  Salt and pepper to taste. 
I bet you're wondering what is going on here?  WELL.. Hayden had started to crawl under the table, just when I wanted a photo.. so my son Travis and his wife Kristi pulled him back up and sat him down.  LOL!
And here is said photo.. :-) 
And our older son Shawn, his wife Beth, and Michael and Gabriel.  We're all enjoying the dinner immensely.  Michael said to me.. "Grandma, I look forward all year to coming here for this dinner!"  Awwwww... 
After dinner we all sat around and visited and the boys played and had fun.  When it was time to go, I snapped this photo of Caleb with his tiger hat and mittens.. cute thing.

I want to leave you with a poem I wrote to read to my family around the table years ago, my whole family was here, sisters, brothers, their kids and our parents (23 of us) and we were to dine for the first time on this great table that I'd rescued from my paternal grandparents farmhouse in Oklahoma, where it sat in the old chicken house for years and years.  We brought it home to Oregon and had it restored.  I read this before we dined.  Quite a memory for me.

The Heart of Autumn

Memories -- they roll through my mind.
All the years of Thanksgiving celebrations.
I remember them, with family & friends,
Different places, different faces.

Now, our home is where we gather.
It is because it is so right here.
The big old farmhouse, the barn,
The big oak tree obliges with leaves of red.

The family arrives, Dad brings ice cream.
Mom brings the pies fresh from her oven.
Robert, my only brother, brings his
Family from afar. Thank you brother.

As I open the door to our farmhouse
Welcoming Sister Roberta and her clan.
We all walk into the warm, steamy fragrant room.
Drinking in the smell of roasting turkey and sage.

Baby sister Denise brings her young ones,
What would the day be without them?
Thanksgiving day, we have always come together
The family draws tight as if by an unseen magnet.

The table is set with my finest china,
Napkins are folded like sculptures.
Goblets await cider, candles are alight.
The preparations reach a crescendo.....

Then, Dayle pulls his perfect creation,
The biggest turkey he could find,
From the oven, and the room quiets.
We all gather around, and glory in the scene...

A family, full of love and cheer.
This is the true America, our pilgrim
Ancestors would be proud, of what
Their brave adventure has wrought.
And we are filled with thanks.

Copyright 1995 by Teresa Kasner

Thanks for visiting today, and again, I count you all as one of my blessings.  Let the holidays begin!  Now I start decorating for Christmas!!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. Wow, what an incredible spread! I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time with your family. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    Abi xx

  2. Thank you for sharing this with us. It all looks fantastic. You have many many reasons to be truly thankful. xxx

  3. What a lovely post Teresa. Your photo with Dayle is precious. Such a made my mouth water. Family times are treasured times as every year our lives change. Jane x

  4. Lovely post, a poem to remember. And you're lucky with your Dayle!! it all looks very deliciuos, and cosy. Family time is precious. Groetjes, Gerda

  5. Everything looks so lovely Teresa! I Love the photos of you and are so pretty! Oh and the mouth is watering all over again even though I have had my fair share! My mom and my sisters came so we also had a house full. I cooked everything and had it all prepared and ready by the time they arrived....what a day but the best day this year! Now I am ready for the Christmas Holiday and started decorating my tree today! It's raining like crazy and getting colder so I will be spending time relaxing until it all passes and just decorating the inside for now. Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving feast with us and I love your poem.....what a precious memory!
    Much love.....Shari!

  6. Teresa, a perfect day with family and love oh and yummy food. The pictures are all terrific but the one of you and Dayle is my favorite one. You two are so adorable and full of love, you can see it on your faces. I did not know you were a poet too! Beautiful poem to remember beautiful times.
    Hugs to you,

  7. Teresa,
    What a lovely day! Your descriptions of your food were very much the way I make these things. Comforting dishes that our mothers and Grandmothers before us made! Hoping that one day, our children will carry the torch.
    Your poem was so wonderful! I loved reading it. I do a fair bit of writing myself. Lots of poetry, and some short stories.
    Have a great weekend.
    xo Kris

  8. Oh, that was fun seeing all your food and "hearing" you tell how you made it. That's one BIG bird! I don't think I've ever made one that big before. So sweet your grandson saying how he looks forward to your meal every year. You are making sweet memories for them!

    I was just saying to hubby that I had to take down the fall decorations and put up the Christmas ones now. Guess we'll all be doing that next week!

  9. It looks like you had a wonderful celebration! I enjoyed reading through all of your comments. And I just might have to try your cranberry sauce recipe .... sounds very good.

  10. As one who has moved many times and spent many years too far from family to always gather for holidays, I especially appreciate all you have shared with us, Teresa. This is my second Thanksgiving with you, and Michael's affirmation echoes the pleasure I know in being involved in your life through your posts, and face to face :) Thanks for posting. xx from Gracie

  11. Happy that you had such a great Thanksgiving--everything looks SO yummy I feel that I should lick my laptop screen:) But my fav photo of all of them is the photo of you and your hubby Dayle--I LOVE it!
    Have fun with your Christmas decorating...I am waiting till December, mostly because our kitchen, dining and family rooms are now filled with furniture and stuff from our living room. Ah, the price one must pay when they want new flooring:)

  12. My goodness. Ya'll did have a feast. Thanksgiving at my Mammaw's house in Mississippi when I was growing up was always big! With all the aunts and uncles and cousins, we would have at least 30 people or more. Lots of food. One table for the adults and another for us cousins. You share a lovely poem of Thanksgiving past. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Tammy

  13. What a feast! So good to see your family gathering, happy faces, good food, cozy house. God bless it all, and give many more such blissful days:)
    I miss my parents a lot and wish I could go and be with them during all the winter holidays.
    Happy winter and looking forward to see your Christmas decorations, Teresa.

  14. Happy Thanks giving...looks like a wonderful day for you all hugs from across the pond xx

  15. What a wonderful day you had with your loved ones! i love all the photos, but have to agree with Meredith - the photo of you and your DH is just lovely.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend!


  16. Happy thanksgiving to you too!!! What a loving and amazing family you have!

  17. This looks like a wonderful family time at your home!!!!

  18. Delightful post...full of love and family, warmth and happiness. You are blessed, Teresa. And I am grateful to have found you in the world of internet...where I can experience your warm and loving family through your words and photos. Thanks for giving us a view of your special world. Hugs, Annette

  19. What a beautiful family you have, Teresa! And how lovely to see a photo of you and your husband. Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours.


  20. I love your poem, it's beautiful. :)

    I always enjoy coming to your blog because I know that I will see beautiful pictures and such smiling happy faces full of love. You are all so blessed to have such a lovely family. :)

    Hugs and blessings always

  21. Such a wonderful gathering and oh my that food, makes me hungry lol

  22. Your celebrations looked wonderful Teresa and the food was amazing. I cannot imagine dealing with a turkey that size!! The biggest I've ever prepared and cooked for Christmas has been about 12lbs :-)x Love Anne x

  23. What a wonderful Thanksgiving you had! Lots of food and family and that is what its all about. Thank you for sharing your festivities with us. Have a good week!

  24. What a lovely Thanksgiving you had. I always love coming here and seeing what is new with you. Your photos are so pretty and I really loved the first one of the house all lit up for the holidays. Your poem was a beautiful conclusion to a busy day full of heartfelt feelings for family.
    (((HUGS))) Susanne :)

  25. OK, so I made the mistake of looking at this and I haven't had lunch yet. It all looks amazing! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!


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