As an homage to the soup Nazi, there will be “no recipes for you!” this week. That’s right, I’m going to do an entire week of non-recipe posts. I love posting recipes and usually give them first priority, but I have several non-recipe posts to share and I thought I’d get through them before I get to all the December goodies I want to share with you. (Oh goodness, now I’m wondering if I can really handle this. I might have to cop out but I’m going to try!)
Let’s start with the Miller family Thanksgiving!
As we have every year since we started dating, Dennis and I headed north to spend the holiday with his family in Abilene, Kansas (Eisenhower’s birth place, the end of the Oregon trail, and the original “sin city” back in cowboy days*). Usually we stay over the night before so I’m there to help Phyllis, my mother-in-law, with all the cooking, but I couldn’t this year due to my work schedule. She still pulled off an amazing dinner, with some side-dishes and desserts help from everyone who came!
*You know, a long time ago, when the original cowboys freely roamed the Earth.
When I first started coming to Thanksgiving in Abilene, all of the extended family came to the Miller house for lunch, but the count has now dwindled as each family has decided to have their own separate celebration. What used to be utter insanity in the Miller house is now manageable thanks to smaller numbers. See our happy hostess below? That’s my MIL, Phyllis.
Dennis got his sense of humor from her. Here’s what I found when I went to reach for a plate. Bob is her brother, our Uncle.
Only a candy mouse for you!
The Thanksgiving ritual at the Miller home is to wait until everyone arrives, doing the final food preparations (cutting the pies, putting servings spoons in all the dishes, etc.) & chatting with one another while trying to pretend we’re not starving and ready to eat the person’s head off that we’re talking to. When everyone is present, including those that told us not to wait, Uncle Robert, of the mouse plate fame, leads us in a prayer of thanksgiving. This is Robert and his wife, Becky (they are parents to the four beautiful young women throughout my photos, three of them in the background of this one):
We then let the elderly and the youngest go through the kitchen first to fill their plates. The rest of us continue to play nice and pretend we’re not eying the forearms of our family members and envisioning them as turkey legs.
And then the glorious moment arrives when we all sit down and eat!
This year I brought praline sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie…
pumpkin pie truffles…
and broccoli-cauliflower bake, which I didn’t photograph separately, but there’s a bit of it on the back center-left of my loaded plate.
I forgot to take a picture of my dessert plate, but I was overjoyed that cousin Jessica (the one helping her two little boys with their plates above) brought pecan pie. It’s my favorite but I never make it for that reason, so I always hope to find it at Thanksgiving, the one time a year I allow myself to eat this evil, but delicious, pie. I also didn’t photograph the Thanksgiving staples (turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, creamed corn) except the ones that made it to my plate, but I did get the other side dishes:
Jessica brought this rad turkey vegetable tray!
After we eat, the men continue watching their football game…
the children divide and conquer playing fields of their own creating…
and the adults continue to chat. Katerina amused us for a while with her Smartphone as we looked up music videos on it.
Loved this photo of Katerina, Tessa, and their nephew Greyson! He’s such a cutie!
While most of the young adults eventually moved outside to do sports-like activities, I followed them outdoors and exercised my forefinger taking pictures instead. I’m pretty sure if I had tried to join them in volleying balls and whatever other sports-like nonsense they were up to, I would have broken my eyebrow or something, and I’m kind of fond of my eyebrows.
Here’s a photo I shot outside of Robert and Becky’s girls while they weren’t busy flinging balls or Frisbees or other various and sundry things in the air. Left to right: Andrea, Tessa, Katerina, and Jessica. Andrea and Jessica are responsible for all the kiddos at our gathering.
I loved this photo so much I had a little Thanksgiving-themed fun with it!
I managed to pass the camera off to get a photo with my TALL and handsome nephews, Carson (left) and Lance:
and with their Mom, the best sister-in-law in the world, Joan:
You can tell how much fun she is by her smile! :) Oh, and if you’re wondering about my shirt, the front says “How do you mail a turkey?”
“Bird” class mail, of course! Hardy har har! :) Working for the postal service, I couldn’t resist, even if it is super lame.
I took this photo right inside the door at an Abilene restaurant called Joe Snuffy’s the day after Thanksgiving. I thought it quite fitting for this holiday, which is mainly spent with family around a table.
I know that we love to use Thanksgiving as an excuse to pig out, but when it comes down to it, most of us aren’t thinking about food when we think of what we’re truly thankful for. Usually it’s the people surrounding us during this holiday that we’re most thankful for.
I happened to catch the Thanksgiving episode of “The Middle” where the wife was flipping because everyone was cancelling their travel plans to join hers on Thanksgiving. “Thanksgiving without family is just overeating!” she exclaimed, and I had to laugh. It’s so true. We love Thanksgiving because of the plentiful food, but we love it even more because it gives us a reason to gather together with the ones we love.
Thank God for so many reasons to be thankful. :)
Dennis with 92-year-old Grandma Joy. She truly is a joy and I’m so glad she has passed her sense of humor down through her daughter to my husband. :)
I hope your Thanksgivings were wonderful, and that whether you celebrate the holiday or not, you have many things to be thankful for!