A little over a week ago I had over three dozen people in my cozy home, ranging from the age of 84 years to 2 and a half months old. While some people may balk at having to host that many people, I fight for the chance to do it. I love family and I enjoy having everyone over at once. It’s always loud, full of commotion and laughter, as well as a few tears. The tears came this year when my four year old grandaughter smashed her fingers in the door. Poor little girl cried so hard she could hardly catch her breath. The second near tear situation came when my five year old Godson bit my ten year old grandaughter. I don’t think he broke the skin but his dad fussed at him good, none the less. Percentage wise, the tears were minor compared to the laughter and feelings of absolute joy at being with family members seldom seen.
What can I say about the menu? My bird in a bag (oven bag, that is) was succulent and juicy, the spiral cut ham, sweet and scrumptious. My sister and her husband brought a venison stew, whose main ingredient had been walking around minding its own business three days earlier, if my brother in law is to be believed. Absolutely delicious. I lucked out with my rice dressing – one of my best, by far, and it’s hard to screw up apple pies from Schwan’s. Throw in two different versions of cornbread dressing, two versions of green bean casserole, spinach casserole, cabbage, pecan and pumpkin pies, not to mention a huge bowl of disappearing cherry delight dessert, and you’ve got a veritable feast.
Sounds like alot of food, doesn’t it? It had all the makings of a bonanza of left overs crowding my refrigerator for a week. Fortunately, when all was said and done, the turkey was nothing but a stripped carcass, and the ham bone had just enough meat left on it to throw in a pot of dried black eyes the next day. We had a partial apple and pumpkin chiffon pies left, along with some rice and cornbread dressings, but that was it.
During the day, I passed around crossword and word search puzzles I’d created using clues about members of my rather large family. I had door prizes for those who finished the puzzles first. I half expected it to go over like a lead kite with my family thinking it was a lame attempt at having them learn things about each other. Surprise of all surprises, they actually got into it and had fun. It turned out to be a total success and I’m already working on one for my family’s get together at Chicot Lake Park for an early Christmas.
Even though some family members had to leave earlier to go home, a good majority of them stayed to watch the New Orleans Saints beat the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas that afternoon. It wasn’t a pretty game, and our boys in black and gold performed far from their best-but it was good enough to beat Dallas that day and that’s all that counts at the end of the last quarter.
It made for a wonderful ending to a blessed day with the family members I love and cherish.
Now…it’s on to Christmas!