Monday, December 1, 2008

Echoes of Family Bliss

There's something almost eerie about waking up and walking through a home that, just yesterday, was filled to the brim (and I mean this quite literally) with loved ones. Over the weekend, 19 of my favorite people in the world were packed into rooms that now stand empty; and this morning, I can definitely hear the echoes.

The echoes include raucous laughter, (mostly) happy tears, and the intermingled (loud) voices of close family members talking simultaneously and still being understood. They also include loving words spoken softly, the shouts and squeals of children, and various other soundtracks, most of which were music to my ears. 

We did it all, from eating anything and everything in sight, to just lounging around, to watching movies, to hiking in the nearby mountains, to going to San Francisco's new California Academy of Sciences, to checking out the Christmas tree and lights at Union Square. We even filled up a couple of restaurants, one where we were given our own room! On the more spiritual side, we spent a beautiful Thanksgiving evening talking to each other about the things and people we "hold onto." We also filled two pews on Sunday morning...though I can't explain how we managed to get everyone washed and dressed (with only two showers) and still arrive on time, or relatively so.

To say we had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend would be an understatement. Oh, true, I spent two solid days in the kitchen cooking and cleaning, but even those had their moments. And by the way, my mom made the best pies and Parker House rolls ever, even in my crazy almost-brand-new-and-distressingly-unpredictable oven (which turned out to be about 25 degrees too cold, thus explaining the issues I've been having with my baking). Yes, it takes an expert to figure these things out...and my mom does qualify.

Here's another amazing thing: Due to the heartwarming response of family members to my recent blog about hating to cook Thanksgiving dinner, my niece completely took over the stuffing, which turned out far better than anything I've ever produced and is now a gourmet legend to be repeated every other year. My daughter-in-law also earned herself a new job by creating the best mashed potatoes I or anyone else had ever tasted, using new potatoes (skins on) and heavy cream. (Like the dressing, these were above and beyond delicious!)

Even my own efforts, including the turkey itself, turned out great. My candied yams were delectable, if I do say so myself, and Susie's Favorite Jello was top-notch as well. The whipped cream salad (though almost forgotten in the mayhem that was my kitchen) was off the charts...and my mom made loaves-and-fishes amounts of gravy (i.e. more than the drippings should have allowed) that was simply perfection. Even the infamous grapefruit stuff turned out well. In fact, I'm getting hungry all over again just thinking of it.

Which is probably not a good idea, as the leftovers (not surprisingly) are completely gone! Fortunately, the leftover good feelings are not. 

Onward and Christmas!!!

(P.S. Picture to be posted at the top of this blog tomorrow, courtesy of my daughter-in-law, who is way more on-the-ball about such things than I am!)

1 comment:

Heather Anderson said...

sorry the pic is slow to come as I am not as on the ball as you give me credit for. We are consumed by illness at the moment. I am currently downloading the photos and if I can get it done before the kids return from gym you will have a photo for your blog:)

I LOVED every monet of our visit and cannot wait to return.

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