Sunday, November 30, 2008


On my table were two favorite dishes that my family feels deprived if I don't serve them on both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The first is the jello salad that my Mom always made, served in the bowl she always used. The bowl is over 65 years old. It's one of those dishes that you know how to make by osmosis; orange jello with pineapple, carrots and celery. The second dish is Upside-Down Pumpkin Cake. This is a fairly new recipe for me, the last 5 or 6 years. I decided to serve my apple cake last Christmas and my grandson, Oden, was very disappointed; not that he didn't like the apple cake, but he REALLY wanted the Upside-Down Pumpkin Cake. This year I introduced a new recipe, Corn Casserole, I believe we have a new favorite. It was a real hit.

This year my table is pretty plain. We started with only 4 planned for dinner, Bob and I, and Sharon and her son, Oden; then my oldest daughter flew in from NC, for a surprise visit; then my Mom cancelled her plans so she could join us, too. She hadn't seen Carrie for 4 years! So we became 6; Jan, Bob, Carrie, Sharon, Oden

Jan, Oden, Carrie, my Mom, Bob

Jan, Carrie, my Mom, Bob, Sharon

My favorite memory of Thanksgiving is from the first Thanksgiving dinner I cooked after I was married, I was 21. I invited my sister and her husband, my parents, Bob's parents and sisters, and my sisters' in-laws. So there were 12 of us for dinner in our small one bedroom apartment. Every thing was going well; I made my pies, both pumpkin and apple the night before, and done most of the prep work. The turkey was roasting, about half-done, when the heating element on our electric oven stopped working; (and I'm having 12 for dinner). I knocked on a couple of neighbor's doors, until I found some one home, who would loan me their oven to finish cooking the turkey and cook the yams. Good neighbors are truly priceless.

I'm actually thankful for many things. If I had to pick one thing it would be my family, I'm very lucky, we're a unit. When my daughters grew-up and spread their wings, they never left us behind, we're still part of their lives and I'm very thankful for that.


gina said...

i'm sure you were in a panic at the time, but things worked out well and i bet you think back to this every year. family is very important to me too...and the older i get, the more important they all are to me.

Wammy said...

The family looks great! All happy and smilimng. The pics must have been taken after a big dinner. The dishes are beautiful too. You table is so elegant.

Allie said...

Everything looks fabulous Jan! I wouldn't want the jello though. Not a fan of ANYTHING in my jello. I love the table and the settings. Mine was so boring and everyday-ish, not to mention we set everything up in the living room because our kitchen is too small.