Late night snacks
Group photo for posterity
People That Were Not There, Sadly
Barbara (work trip)
Alex (Angie's oldest boy, better things to do)
Emily, Martin & Molly
My first family
We were supposed to be 21 people but ended up 20 after Camilla called last minute to say she was sick. I took Friday off in order to be able to deal with shopping and cleaning and preparations and it really helped make things less stressful. Karin had the day off too, so we even got some practice driving in as she drove me to the florist and the liquor store and the grocery store. When we got home I baked three spaghetti squashes in a row and did the last of the cleaning. Karin helped me with tidying up the front garden bed. Anders picked up the rental tables and chairs and fixed the Advent lights when he got home from work (despite it being still another week until Advent).
On Saturday, I even slept in. Then we organized the tables and set them and decorated. Anders did the turkeys, then the gravy and then the mashed potatoes. Just after noon, it started snowing...just corn snow at first but then it started getting fatter and flakier and by the time guests were arriving it was a nearly a blizzard. Martin and I went and picked up his friend Claudia and Karin's two friends Alice and Wilma, as she was just home from refereeing all afternoon and had to shower. Karin lit all the candles and she and Martin helped greet and put coats away.
Thankfully, even though Camilla couldn't come, Kelly had outdone herself and brought 2 side dishes AND three pumpkin pies, so we didn't miss the green veggie side dish that Camilla was supposed to bring.
What We All Made & Served & Enjoyed
Sage & onion stuffing
Green bean casserole
Tossed green salad with cranberries and walnuts
Southern sweet potatoes with baked pecans
Canadian mashed sweet potatoes
Pumpkin pies with whipped cream
Chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies
I found the unopened jar of black olives on the kitchen counter when we were cleaning up. And the chips and popcorn I had thought to serve later in the evening never even got put out, because everyone left pretty early thanks to the snow. Karin and her friends went for a long evening walk in the snow, and then took Angie's dog out. The men watched a Lions-Packers football game on Apple TV while we women cleaned up and then sat and chatted in the kitchen. The kids came in and out, and most of them watched a movie. It was just as if we were in America! It flashed by, quite frankly...all that lead-up and preparation and anticipation and just like that, it's over and now it's nearly December. One more week and it's here, along with winter.
I give thanks every year that we send out the invites for this dinner and our friends are so thrilled to respond. The ones who can't come are so sad and the ones that can are so happy. Everyone's excited to make things and cook things and bring them. We've been hosting this Thanksgiving potluck every year for 18 years and I hope it never gets old. I hope our friends are always looking forward to it, just like we do.