Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgivukkah & family

After lighting the menorah for the second night of Chanukah we enjoyed a wonderful holiday dinner for Thanksgivukkah – my daughter deep-fried a turkey to combine the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner and the celebration of the miracle of the Hanukkah oil. She served several other “cross-over” dishes as well. The meal began with matzoh ball soup, followed by tossed salad, sweet potato flavored noodle kugel, mashed sweet potatoes with horseradish, green beans almondine, corn, challah-bread stuffing, potato latkes, and mixed cranberry and apple tzimmes. It was delicious.
What was most spectacular was the evening’s company. It was just eight of us (my daughter and son-in-law, son and future daughter-in-law, my daughter and her husband, and his sister and brother-in-law), a perfect family dinner and the first Thanksgiving in my daughter and son-in-law’s new home. Seated at the long table in the newly decorated dining room with the table full of steaming dishes – we all wanted a picture. My son set up a tripod with his camera and set it on timer so we would all be in the photo. The timer worked - repeatedly. By the time the camera flashed five or six times we were all laughing hysterically as my son slow-mo’d  around the table to stop the photography.
Dinner done, we sat around the table for desserts, coffee and conversation. It was an evening of fun, warmth, laughter and, of course, good food. Thanksgivukkah, the combined observance of Chanukah and Thanksgiving, won’t happen for another 77-thousand years – long after we will all be around.
And what am I so thankful for this Thanksgiving (and actually every day)? So glad that you asked. I’m thankful for my family and the wonderful memories and laughter we share every day. the way, this Sunday my son and future daughter-in-law will be hosting "Turkey-Done Day" (my family will do anything for a party, lol)!

In my novel Courage of the Heart, Davie Prescott comes from a big and close family and every holiday was celebrated in grandiose style:

Thanksgiving dinners were always a monumental event in her family and especially since her cousin and her new husband had just gotten back from their honeymoon, the family went all out this year. She seemed to remember that last year they had some special reason to go all out then too, just like the year before.
When she was little, she remembered helping her mother prepare wonderfully delicious Thanksgiving dishes. She loved the baking most of all, fresh apple pies, delicious cornbread and pumpkin muffins – her mouth watered just thinking about it. Her mom and all her aunts, and sometimes even her uncles, helped to make a cooperative feast that she was sure rivaled any that the Pilgrims might have even dreamed of. Even now, long after her mom was no longer around to make any contributions, the dinner was still a huge ceremony. Everyone agreed though that the sweet potato pie was never as good as Laura used to make.
She was put on the bus for the trip back home with a carton of plastic containers filled with leftovers. Luckily the bus was near empty, so the cardboard box had its own seat for the ride.

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