This year has been absolutely insane. I keep thinking that time will slow down, but it keeps marching on . . . full speed ahead! Our family continues to grow and change. The two youngest members of our family (on my side) were at our Thanksgiving feast.
Let me back up a little. I am the oldest of five; Mark is the oldest of two. As a blended family with parents and siblings that live out-of-state and other family dynamics at play, we’ve carved out a few family traditions that we’ve been able to enjoy pretty consistently over the last 10+ years.
Thanksgiving at my house with my sister Kerri and her family is one of them. When we started this tradition, her oldest boys were in their teens and her youngest, a set of twins, were seven. Fast forward, the twins are 15, my older nephews are 24 and 26. One has a two-year-old and the other brought his week-old daughter! Yup, you heard correctly. A WEEK OLD BABY!!!!
So we had three generations on my side all together. But, wait. There’s more.
Our Thanksgiving starts on Wednesday. The night before Thanksgiving everyone arrives and Mark’s oldest daughter and her family (she has twins too!) join us.
Lots of fun and LOTS OF FOOD!
We made a big dinner on Wednesday, had a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner and had two delicious breakfasts.
- Wild Rice & Broccoli Casserole from The Pioneer Woman
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin (two with an Asian-inspired marinade; two with a southwest marinade)
- Salad greens with apples, dried cranberries, red peppers, scallions and blue cheese
- Brownies & Ice Cream
- Pound Cake
- Sour cream coffee cake
- Pumpkin Pie
- Apple Pie
- Turkey (duh!)
- Sausage Stuffing using my favorite recipe
- Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Syrup and a bit of heat from cayenne pepper
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Apples
- Home made cranberry sauce
- Bagels, cream cheese, lox, capers, scallions
- Egg strata (breakfast casserole – one vegetarian and one meat lovers)
And our new favorite simple syrup for cocktails from Nancy Fuller’s Farmhouse Rules made with cranberries and served up with bourbon or prosecco at our house. Also was great in seltzer for a festive alcohol-free option.
Sounds like a lot of cooking, right? Trust me I didn’t do it all myself. I couldn’t have been prouder of Justin. He graduated from college in May and has a job at a local restaurant while he’s searching for his ‘real job’.
He made just about everything for Wednesday night’s dinner (marinated and grilled the pork, mac and cheese, pound cake, coffee cake and brownies). My niece Chloe was sous chef extraordinaire and made the apple pie and assisted with pumpkin pie.
I guess it’s not surprising that he fell asleep on the couch Thursday night with his pie plate on his lap!
It was honestly the most relaxing Thanksgiving I think I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s because everyone’s all grown up now or maybe it’s because I now realize that the most important thing about the holiday isn’t how clean my house is or how good the food is but that we’re all together.
The cousins enjoying Cards Against Humanity (I HATE this game but, hey, if it gets the young guys to talk and hang out, then I guess I’ll suck it up!).
As our family continues to grow and change, I don’t know how long we’ll be able to continue these traditions but I will take what I can get for now and be grateful.
How has your family adjusted it’s traditions as time goes by and your family changes?