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Thanksgiving Eve [Nov. 23rd, 2011|06:01 pm]
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free...cloudless sky, light breeze has died.  It was lovely all day.  But...it's Thanksgiving Eve and I have wonderful friends coming tomorrow, so my day was not spent lounging about the yard enjoying the cool, crisp air and sunshine.   Instead, it was spent inside, frantically trying to cram two days' work into one, because along with time lost to Messiah rehearsals in the middle of my planned T-day prep, there were other complications.  One falls under Miss Manners' heading of what one never discusses and even Suzette Hayden Elgin considered a guaranteed bad topic.  The other was merely...interesting.

One of the two non-matching dining room tables that we put end to end to make a long one is the dining table of my childhood--it's over 60 years old.  I flipped off its protective sheet and discovered that sometime in the past year it had delaminated on the underside of the leaf, leaving a flap of veneer hanging down ready to hit a guest's knee.   Spouse's trip to the city allowed him to pick up some Gorilla Glue (tm) and yesterday evening we glued & clamped it in place.  This picture was taken after removing some of the clamps, this morning.  Yardsticks were used to brace the clamps on the end, and catalogs on the side.

The other table presented a different problem. It, too, is made of two tables placed end to end.  But I made those tables out of 3/4 inch plywood (42 inches wide, 48 inches long)  with metal folding legs screwed on below, and painted on top.   I had at one time two additional tablecloths long enough for the dual-table coverage (on either pair)--a light green and an autumny rust-orange.   I really liked using a dark blue on one table and the burnt-rust-orange color on the other for Thanksgiving, and white on one and green on the other for spring parties.  I couldn't find either this week. Finally spouse recalled that he had moved various things down to the storage unit (mostly books, but also other things) while I was finishing a book last year....and thinks he may have put them in a box because they were just sitting folded on the tables.   The only other tablecloth remotely long enough is a beige one that lacks an inch of reaching end to end.  We didn't have time to drive to the storage unit (in another city) and dig through all the boxes "in case" they were there.   So...I made a design out of not having a tablecloth long enough.   Two similarly light-colored plaid tablecloths, folded in half, to cover the ends and hang down the right amount, and another tablecloth folded and placed in the middle to set off the center decoration.

The center decorations this year are little bitty herb gardens that were at the grocery store I like--I'll plant the herbs in larger post, but meanwhile they look interesting on the tables.   With the other table back together and its cloth on, this is what the whole thing looks like at the moment.

Once everything's laid out, plates and serving dishes and so on, it'll be quite festive, and the 19 or 20 we expect to show up tomorrow will have better chairs than last year.  (No folding chairs anymore--got rid of the collection of old, non-matching, creaky, about-to-break folding chairs we'd used for years.  This year everyone gets a real chair.  With a cushion on the library chairs.

And now--the pumpkin pie's about ready to come out of the oven and there's lots more to do.  (Already baked today:  brownie pie, two apple-gingerbread upside-down cakes,  a gingerbread/apple/walnut loaf.)


[User Picture]From: fluidsparkles
2011-11-24 12:41 am (UTC)
Would love the recipie for the apple gingerbread upside down cake? But its not a request for now.

The tables look great and the baking is well awesome.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-11-24 01:08 am (UTC)
Easy way (not ggmother's recipe) is to get a gingerbread mix and spice it up with more ginger + allspice, cloves, cinnamon. I use 1/2 tsp ginger, scant 1/2 tsp. allspice, 1/4 tsp. cloves, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. That suits me, but adjust to your own taste. This makes it markedly spicier than the mix but not overwhelming. Stir spices into dry mix, before adding egg and water.

Then in square 8x8x2 inch buttered pan, lay down a pattern of apple slices. Use a crisp, tart-sweet apple (I like Braeburn, Gala, Fuji, better than Granny Smith for this.) Put some cinnamon and sugar on the apple slices. Then make the gingerbread batter, and pour it gently over the apple slices (if they turn up, you'll have embedded slices, not flat ones on a surface.

Bake according to package directions. I usually cut the slices (after it's cooled) and flip them apple-side-up one piece at a time. Serve with real whipped cream, if you can. It's amazing that way.
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[User Picture]From: fluidsparkles
2011-11-24 02:10 am (UTC)
THank you so much will christen the oven with it, once I get my place in Morwell.
Moving to the country to escape MCS Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. *smiles am Glad its not a family recipie cos I'd not want upset anyones ggmother. Think mom has a recipe for the spongy or cakey gingerbread. :)
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[User Picture]From: dirtwitch
2011-11-24 01:57 am (UTC)
*Happy sigh*
Is exactly how I grew up having TG, and how my fambly still do it on the East Coast, everyone gathering in NH. This year was going to be a big 'un, many of the 17 cousins going to be there... (I'm the eldest.) But, we could not make it, Cypher having lost his job. Eh. I'll make the next one!
Everyone brings a fav dish, (I made sushi 7 years ago!) a complicated dance of arriving Wed, hanging and talking, and the next morning; cooking, and helping, and laughing and wine drinking, is followed by a leisurely eating time, followed by more wine, and games, and more laughing, till the wee hours, then, we all have a wonderful breakfast and all go do fun things till it is time to give hugs and love and go home.

The Mom In Law ordered out for tomorrow, some turkey and whatever comes with. I will be noble, and gracious, and go, and eat. They'll all sigh about how hard and stressful holidays are, eat in 15 mins, and leave to do Other Stuff.
I find it interesting how different folks' family traditions can both vary so widely, and be so similar.

Someday, maybe next year? I will have my first ever Thanksgiving in my home. I have carefully, over the years, slowly collected from here and there; a lovely table cloth, place mats, napkins, and more, all in my fav warm reds, ochre's, tans, golds... Fall colors. All still pristine, and waiting waiting waiting... (By then we should have propane, and a working stove, lol!)
Good things come, yes?

I hope you and yours have a lovely, warm and wonderful time, sharing food, and being with good folks!

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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2011-11-24 03:35 am (UTC)
I'm sorry it's not working out for you to go home to the cousins this year, DW. Sucks. I hope your day goes better than you fear.

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[User Picture]From: nmissi
2011-11-24 05:35 am (UTC)
I wanna eat at YOUR house; that gingerbread/apple/walnut thingie sounds divine! The tables look great, I really love that blue brocade.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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[User Picture]From: teriegarrison
2011-11-24 09:33 am (UTC)
Happy Thanksgiving to you and all the USians here. Me? If my D&D game is on tonight, it'll probably be burger or pizza takeaway, or maybe chicken. If my D&D game is called off, I'll probably make a batch of spaghetti sauce and have that. If I'd planned enough in advance, I could've bought a pumpkin at Halloween and hoped it stayed good 'til now (about a 50-50 chance of that in general). Unfortunately, I'm not nearly so good as you at that whole meal-planning thing. Good thing no one is relying on me for it, eh? :-D

Anyway, once again, all the best of the holidays to everyone here!
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From: (Anonymous)
2011-11-24 10:00 am (UTC)

happy thanksgiving

Your table looks really great. I'm enjoying somewhat processed turkey and fixings but real(YES!!!) roast beef here in Kabul and missing my kids.
Also enjoying the blue brocade -- stunning -- though in an emergency I used a cowhide rug as a table cloth with sheet underneath. Worked pretty well too...
And really looking forward to the next book, especially now that e-books mean I don't have to wait an extra couple of weeks.
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