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Thanksgiving – What a Difference a Year Makes!

Hi there and welcome to my kitchen! As I was preparing to launch this site, I was not sure how I wanted to approach my very first blog post. I decided that since Thanksgiving was just a few days ago, I would share with you what this Thanksgiving was like at our house. Thanksgiving 2020 was definitely a year like no other.

Who would have ever thought!

I am sure that like us, for many of you , Thanksgiving this year was not typical. This has been a very “different ” year in many ways. The pandemic has forced us into a lifestyle that we had never dreamed of! Who would have ever believed that we would be wearing a mask every time we went out in public, or that there would have been a shortage of toilet paper! I mean really…toilet paper? Our kids are attending school virtually, many of us are working remotely, and social distancing is now a common “term”.

This awful pandemic has separated us and forced us to live our lives much differently then we are used to. But I am very thankful for the fact that my family and friends have remained safe, and by and large we have not been touched by this decease. Not being able to get together has made me appreciate my family and friends even more. I am also grateful for Zoom and Facetime (another thing I can’t believe I am saying!), which has allowed us to see each other even when we could not be together.

Family reunion

This year we did not have the family reunion that we have had every year for as long as I can remember. Much of our family has moved away. Normally my brother’s family, my sister’s family, my cousins and aunt and uncle would all come to my town for the weekend and we would have a four day long reunion! There would be 28 of us celebrating Thanksgiving and an early Christmas. Kids running around, dogs barking…it is crazy, hectic, loud and wonderful!

Everyone stayed home this year and we all gathered together by zoom to catch up and share our Thanksgiving stories. One turkey was prepared in a pizza oven, one was completely deboned, stuffed and rolled into a jelly roll, one was not a turkey at all but a chicken, and others tried to make the traditional version! Where we would usually have two large tables set up , we only had one and I did not even have to put a leaf in it! Where there would normally be chaos, there was quiet, but at the same time it was actually really nice.

Different can still be great

I spent the day cooking with my mom, which was so much fun! Normally I would not have the opportunity to do that so this was a real treat for me. We prepared all of the traditional dishes that we usually do, but in much smaller quantities. The turkey was only 14 pounds this year. We still had more then 2 pounds of bird per person, because it would not be Thanksgiving without a lot of leftovers! It is amazing to me that it still took us 2 days to prepare dinner and we used every pot and pan in the house even though there were only 6 of us eating.

My son Alex and and daughter in law, Hannah came over for the day ( with their bernese mountain dog, Aurora). They watched football with my husband and younger son Matthew. Aurora played with our dog Riley. Our other dog Jackson, tried to maintain order by insisting that they stop their madness. According to Jackson there should be no playing in the house! We ate and talked and reminisced. So although it was not our normal holiday, it was a beautiful day and my heart is full. So I am thankful that I was able to have this Thanksgiving day to look back on.

Good try

Okay so now that I got through all of the sentimental stuff I have to tell you about my table. I love to set my table for the holidays. I always do it a day or two ahead of time so I can take my time and have fun with it.

This year with everything that has been going on I got a late start. I had not planned what I was going to do for a centerpiece at all. While I was in HomeGoods (my favorite store!) on Tuesday, I noticed that they had a bunch of eucalyptus and other greens on sale. I decided to buy them and figured that some how I could use them on the table. When I got home I started to create what I thought would be a beautiful center piece. It looked so bad that I pulled it all apart and put the greenery away for Christmas. But that meant that I had to start over again.

Then I remembered that I had some pines cones from last year in the basement. As I was looking for the pine cones, I found some decorative pheasants that I bought a few years ago. I thought , surely I can do something beautiful with these! My creative justices were flowing! So I made a simple center piece with a couple of candles and put the pheasants on the table as accents. Well you should have heard my sons’ reaction when they saw it. “Holy cow I thought that bird was real!” “Why do we have birds on the table?” “Those are the smallest turkeys I have ever seen!” Oh well I tried! Maybe next time I will leave the birds in the bin. Not everyone appreciates my creativity! HAHA! Here are a couple of pictures my birds!

thanksgiving table et for 6

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