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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Holiday Food & Whine Spectacular

Bring the holiday recipes you can't live without!

Tomorrow, I'll post up two: one for gravy and one for stuffing.

Don't forget to bring a bottle of beaujolais nouveau whine.

71 comments:

kathy a. said...

oooh, gravy and stuffing! those were not features in my home of origin, and i'm still working on how to do them well.

cranberry sauce is so super-easy that it's insane: bring a cup of sugar and a cup of water to a boil, add a bag of cranberries, return to boil, then simmer and stir until the berries are all popped or soft. it thickens as it cools. but i like to add things -- ginger powder, cinnamon, maybe nutmeg; substitute orange juice for the water; and/or add some little seedless tangerine segments toward the end.

i'll try to find the recipe for a savory sweet potato gratin. it came out perfectly once and was the greatest thing on earth. but it's one of those dishes where winging it really doesn't work so well...

kathy a. said...

savory sweet potato gratin
* 2 lbs. sweet potatos, peeled + thinly sliced
* 1/2 lb. italian sausage, cooked + crumbled
* some browned onions/garlic, if desired
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 1/2 cup broth
* bread crumbs
* grated parmesean cheese
* butter

arrange half the sweet potatos in a 9x13 dish; layer on the sausage and onions/garlic;
sprinkle salt, pepper, basil if desired;
layer the rest of the sweet potatos and more salt/pepper;
combine the cream and broth, pour over;
sprinkle on the bread crumbs and parmesean, and dot on some butter;
bake covered at 350 for 30 min.;
remove cover and bake another 15 min.

where i've messed up before:
- not slicing the sweet potatos thinly enough; if your slices are thicker, pre-cook to soften by boiling a few minutes, or 2 minutes in the microwave.
- not using a shallow baking dish.
- trying to cut down on the fat; it just doesn't turn out so good if there is too much broth, or not enough cream.

liz said...

W:Blogger ate my stuffing recipe

liz said...

Kathy, those recipes sound delicious!!

W: this stuffing recipe is my favorite, but my mom likes hers better, so it won't be on the table this year.

Notes about the recipe:
1. The bread needs to be left out overnight.
2. The bread and crackers can be prepared a few days in advance, just store them in a plastic bag.
3. You can mix up the recipe the day before and store overnight (covered) in the fridge.

Ingredients:
1 loaf (1 lb) Pepperidge Farm white bread (or you can use a homemade or bakery loaf)
Oyster crackers (about half as much as you have bread)
2 cups (or more) chicken broth, warmed
3/4 pkg regular flavored Jimmy Dean sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning (or to taste, my MIL, whose recipe this is doesn't like heavy sage)

Cut off top crusts of day-old bread and cube.
Crush or break up crackers.

Put bread & crackers into large bowl and pour over them 1 cup of warmed broth.

Fry and stir to crumble the sausage and add onion. Cook until onion is translucent. Add to bread mix.

Add beaten eggs.

Sprinkle with seasoning and mix with a spoon (not a beater).

Keep adding liquid and stirring until mixture is gloppy, and you can't form cakes with it. It should have the consistency of batter. Gloppy.

Put into GREASED shallow pans.

Bake UNCOVERED at 350F for 45 minutes. Crust should be nice light brown.

liz said...

Mushroom Gravy (From the Herb-rubbed Turkey recipe in the Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving cookbook)

AW: This WILL be on the table this year. As will the turkey it goes with. I'm making them both while my mom makes her famous Tandoori Turkey.

Note about the recipe: You'll need to make this after you've roasted your turkey.

3 and 1/4 cups turkey stock
1/2 cup butter
6 large shallots, chopped
2 lbs fresh cultivated white mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy (double) cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Pour the stock into the roasting pan and place on the stove top. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Remove from the heat. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and stir to coat. Add the mushrooms and thyme and saute until the mushrooms just start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the stock and pan juices and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the cream and boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley.

YUM.

esperanza said...

OK, here's my contribution (not that I'm making it, just here's the "recipe").

Sweet Potato, White Potato, Carrot Mash (or if you want to be fancy, call it a puree)
Equal amounts sweet potato and white potatoes, cubed.
A few less carrots, cut into smaller pieces than the potatoes (they take forever to get soft)
Boil both kinds of potatoes and carrots together till everything gets soft.
Add milk and butter, just like you would for mashed potatoes. Also salt and pepper.
Mash.
Easy enough? Sorry for the imprecision of the recipe...that's how I cook, mostly.

My whine: Sweet's head cold is something else this morning. She doesn't want breakfast, has already asked to go back to bed. Great. Thanksgiving roadtrip is not looking so good right now.

margalit said...

Cranberry Orange Relish

2 packages fresh cranberries
4 oranges
1 + cup white sugar

In your food processor, put in 1 pak cranberries, 2 oranges, quartered, and about half the sugar.

Grind until smooth, dump into bowl and repeat.

Note, we like it tangy, other people like it sweet, so taste to make sure your sugar content is to your liking.

kathy a. said...

poor sweet baboo -- hope the snuffles disappear in time for the festivities.

W: i've been having conversations with someone about the TSA body scanners and "enhanced" pat-downs, which i think are terrible. but this person has totally gone over the top -- scouring the internet daily for any bad stories and distributing them to the universe, getting testy with anyone who isn't as fully worked up as she is, even wishing for more bad things to happen to draw more bad attention to TSA. holy cow.

just witnessing this kind of "the sky is falling!" total immersion is exhausting. gentle hints that there are other issues to discuss have not been successful. (see "testy," above.) disengage, disengage, disengage.

esperanza said...

margalit, I think my grandmother makes this. You use the rinds of the oranges, right? I like it tangy, too. Mmm. I hope she makes it this year.

esperanza said...

Sweet Baboo is better. Sniffles still around, but alarming malaise seems to have lifted. She also decided she might drink some milk after all. Snot, I can handle.

Miranda said...

Mmm..Thanksgiving. My favorite food holiday.

I love cranberry sauce. Mine is similar to kathy a's except I decrease the sugar to 3/4 c and add a large diced and peeled granny smith apple. Heaven.

I make some mean rolls as well.

W: I am driving to my new office tomorrow.

W: It is not near my old office.

W: Despite the fact it is near a major shopping mall and the world hq of company most see on the news on a regular basis, there is no coffee shop nearby.

AW: I can go to my old standby which, while out of the way, adds only five minutes to my commute total.

AW: And I no longer pay for parking

W: But no public transit options. My former office had a public transit option.

W/AW? I have Franzen's Freedom and I am kind of undecided about what kind of statement I am making by reading it. And I lack contemporaries with whom I could discuss such matters.

Sue said...

With deepest apologies: I have only one offering.

Live with my husband. He's a really, really good cook.

That is all. :)

kathy a. said...

miranda -- that is shocking, shocking, that they expect you to work in a place with no coffee shops. something must be done!

good twist on the cran sauce. hmm. may have to try that.

sue: how are you about sharing? ;) my beloved is also a good cook, but i've claimed thanksgiving. except the gravy part.

esperanza said...

Sue, you are cracking me up.

Here's a conversation between me and my mom this year:
Me: What can we bring?
Mom: Just the two babies and all their crap.
Me: Ok, then.

I guess I'm washing dishes again.

liz said...

Sue, can you share your favorite dish he makes?

amy said...

Yeah, Sue. Quit holding out on us. I'm trying to plan a menu over here.

kathy a. said...

i'm going to try this recipe for carmelized pearl onions.

and i think i'll roast some garlic bulbs ahead of time, for spreading on bread. this is also insanely easy and delicious, and the roasted garlic is much milder than raw. slice the pointy tops off of the bulbs; remove most of the papery skins; drizzle with a little olive oil. place on aluminum foil in a baking pan; bring up the ends of the foil to seal bulbs in a pouch. bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

esperanza said...

Eep. Poor mini's rash was indeed a yeast infection. (There was also the eczema from a couple weeks ago, but this nether-regions one was hanging around). Damn antibiotics. We have a prescription and some yogurt, so hopefully she will be on the mend soon.

Mini will be having the aforementioned yogurt for Thanksgiving.

I'm looking forward to the pecan pie. And cornbread dressing...similar to someone's above...crumbled corn bread, a bit of white bread, cooked celery and onions, egg, turkey/chicken broth, poultry seasoning...spread in pan and bake till crusty on the outside.

Madeleine said...

esperanza, we got through a couple of years of Thanksgivings by bringing the entertainment. And also coffee beans. (From a place my mom really liked! Not just any beans!)

I can't carry food across the border, so I try to make myself helpful once I arrive. One of our standbys is squash soup for arriving people to drink until other people arrive and dinner is served. One year My Love and I found this great recipe with bacon and leeks. Crazy labor intensive, cleaning the leeks, though. I think that was the year my mom said she'd never host again.

In anti-whines, my cousin offered to host this year, so mom is happy. At his request she is bringing... squash soup. But probably not my annoying-but-delicious recipe.

If any pixies want to slave over dirty leeks, let me know and I'll find the recipe.

kathy a. said...

poor mini!

i got in trouble for cornbread dressing one year, and for also too-gloppy dressing, on accounta someone [probably my husband's long-departed grandma] used toasted bread cubes, lots of onion, celery, and spices [especially sage], broth enough to soften but not totally soak, and probably butter and sausage. but there is no recipe, just the longing memory.

madeleine, the squash soup sounds divine! dirty leeks, not so much. but my pre-dinner standby, a snack platter, has the disadvantage of ending up more like a meal in itself. i will still need to put out the black olives, because they are on the "must have" list for my son.

Days said...

My husband is also the main holiday cook(although I will attempt to weasel some recipes out of him). I am only responsible for pre-dinner snacks(usually fruit skewers with yogurt, baked brie, nachos with salsa) and desserts, specifically some wonderful Maple Pecan Butter Tart Squares that I will attempt to type up a recipe for if anyone so desires.

I would muchly appreciate that soup recipe, Liz.

I am very weary and whiny about cancer this week, mostly on behalf of a friend whose 8 yo DD has end-stage liver cancer and only partially on behalf of myself because this chemo is awful on multiple levels.

I can send the spouse and kids across the border to glut themselves on Thursday and follow that with a second viewing of HP 6 since they all loved it that much.

kathy a. said...

(((( days )))) i am so sorry about your friend's daughter. sending so much love to them and to you and everyone. losing a beloved kid is so terrible.

and also sending big hugs to you personally. chemo sucks! stupid fireplacing cancer. xoxoxoxoxoxo

Miranda said...

Gosh, I feel really needy this week but I wanted to say that I love my new office digs, Also, we find out this week about the specifics for the job in Teh Dirty South that Spouse interviewed for last week. He's the only candidate left. They don't want to reopen the search. They told Headhunter to express how much they liked Spouse and Spouse's vast experience in their industry and that they were having some kind of big meeting today about it. Spouse can barely contain teh anxiety and neither can I!

Sue said...

Okay Pixies, I'll share my mother's world famous, absolutely never-to-be-topped gravy recipe.

Never, ever make the gravy in anything but the same pan that the turkey roasted in. Never.

Turn on two burners side by side on the stove, have flour and the drained potato water handy. Plus salt and pepper to taste. She also used (and I also use) a bit of turnip water as well - adds a special flavour.

Heat on the burners in high. Use a whisk to get all the yummy bits off the bottom, then add flour a bit at a time. When it gets thick enough (you will know) add a bit of potato water at a time, and never stop with the whisking.

Always with the whisking - that's what makes it so good.

Keep this up until all of your potato and turnip water is gone and the gravy is at the perfect consistency.

In our house, we (meaning "I") call this the "A" Gravy. Hubby calls it the "B" Gravy, but we just humour him. See -he goes for volume, where Mom always went for quality. I'm with Mom (may her memory be a blessing) - I much prefer LESS of an excellent gravy than a vat full of nasty stuff made with *shudders* giblets.

Pixies - do not tell hubby i posted this. The "A" Gravy vs. "B" Gravy is an annual....um.....discussion in our home on Christmas day. The boyz have refused to take sides since they were three. At this point, it is unlikely that they will offer an opinion.

However, we ALL know that my "A" gravy is worth the trouble. It's just that good.

Madeleine said...

Sue, I am amused by your gravy "discussion." Your gravy sounds delish!

I am known for standing in the kitchen carefully skimming fat off the gravy. My mom makes great gravy (with the giblets, but I don't have to touch them, so whatev!). But I still like to skim the extra fat off.

My MIL, on the other hand, dumps the pan drippings in a pitcher and calls it gravy. I'm sorry, but if I pour from the pitcher and get nothing but fat, that is not gravy! So I spend part of Christmas day skimming.

kathy a. said...

miranda, hoping things get resolved in an anxiety-reducing way! here, have some pie!

can we agree that giblets are the part of the turkey specially made for pets? that's our tradition.

sue, you have been holding back on your cooking skillz! that is more or less the gravy of my beloved's dreams. he uses chicken stock, wine, and water to get it to the right consistency; we lack exotics like "turnip water."

esperanza said...

I'm not sure I can even type "giblets" Ew, ew, ew.

But I think the potato water idea is genius. I may have to try that sometime. Sue, clearly the A gravy is a winner.

Sue said...

I'll be sure to let hubby know that all of the Pixies are believers in the "A" gravy (as in MY gravy!).

The trick is not to use *too* much of the turnip water, as it is pretty strong. Just the right amount adds a really nice flavour though.

I left out the number of years I have forgotten to save the turnip water when I drained them from the pot, however. Ya. There have been a few of those years. And yes, the whole family thinks it's hilarious every time I do it.

kathy a. said...

i traditionally forget to serve one of the dishes planned. usually, it's cooked and everything, although in the case of wild rice mix, sometimes i don't start it in time and so it is ready right when everyone declares themselves stuffed.

Madeleine said...

kathy a., that sounds like a venerable tradition, especially because it enhances the quantity of leftovers.

liz said...

Am at my mom's house and have made the spicy cranberry relish that goes with her tandoori turkey (cooked on a charcoal grill).

I am not personally fond of the spicy cranberry relish, but Uncle Paul won't consider Thanksgiving complete without it.

Also made Spicy ginger peanut sauce on somen noodles for tonight's dinner.

My legs is very tie-tie.

Spicy Cranberry Relish (from the NYT, God only knows when):

3 cups cranberries, rinsed and stemmed.
1.5 lbs granny smith or other tart apples, peeled and diced.
1/4 cup shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
1.25 cups sugar
1 inch long stick cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ginger, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon allspice

salt and fresh lemon juice to taste,

In a small skillet, heat oil and saute the shallots and garlic until limp and faintly golden.

In a stainless steal or enamelware pan, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add the shallots and garlic, and the lemon juice, apples, ginger, pepper flakes, and cinnamon.
Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or perhaps a little longer until the apples soften.

Add cranberries and allspice and simmer until the cranberries pop (happens very fast, within about 5 minutes).

Add lemon zest and allow to cool.

Add salt and more lemon juice to taste if needed.

This benefits from being made a couple of days in advance. Store in the Fridge, and then serve at room temperature.

kathy a. said...

ooh, liz's crew is very gourmet! now i'm curious about the tandoori turkey....

i spent a couple of thanksgivings with my friend donna's extended family in south carolina. her mom and dad had dueling turkeys: oven-baked with lots of butter, and deep-fried. there were endless side-dishes and desserts. everyone went home with abundant leftovers. this was not the place to be watching cholesterol, sugar, or salt, but my, it was grand.

my dad hated homemade cranberry sauce [called it "sticks and stones"], and always insisted on slices of the canned stuff. yuck.

Sue said...

Food Whine:

I am being taunted by Chocolate Marshmallow Santas. We bought them yesterday for the boys' stockings, plus a few extra. :)

I have to avert my eyes every time I walk into the office.

Halp!

Sarah at ratatat said...

Sue - team Gravy A all the way.

Hugs for Days

We had no internet after 11am today. Hate that.

I have no recipes to contribute because as my husband put it "we have the same regular stuff every year." I do have a suggestion, which I stole from Rachel Ray: put your stuffing in muffin tins. My husband and kids are not stuffing fans, but the crispy novelty of the little stuffing muffins is irresistible.

Happy turkey and shopping to you all.

Name Under Development said...

Thanksgiving isn't the same at my house without my husband's godmother's Squash Casserole. Dancing Girl actually called us from Mexico on Thanksgiving 2 years ago (while she was doing a semester abroad) just to get the recipe.

Squash Casserole
25 minutes at 350° Serves 6-8

•2 ½ lb squash (zucchini or yellow crookneck) cut into thick slices. Do not peel.
•1 medium onion, chopped
•I large grated carrot
•½ c. water
•Salt to taste
Place in pan, cover & cook until vegetables are tender. Drain. Place in baking dish while still hot.
Add :
1 stick margarine, 1 8 oz carton sour cream (may substitute yogurt,) and 1 10 oz can cream of chicken or cream of celery soup (use celery for vegetarian option). Mix well & add 1 c. packaged stuffing mix and 1 c. grated medium sharp cheddar cheese. Top with ¼ c. stuffing mix. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Serves 6-8.

Leaving @ 2 pm straight from work for MIL's. All going well, should arrive ~ midnight. Note: it is now 11:30 pm here, and I am not yet in bed (stoopid nite class).

Whine in next post.
NUD

Name Under Development said...

Yummy recipes all, pixies. I'd be hungry if I had not spent all afternoon at going away party for boss. His departure is both whine and antiwhine--great guy, not so great boss.

Whine: Saw my name in local paper this p.m. in reference to minor fender-bender I had Friday. Local paper notes I hit the other vehicle and lists my age. Sigh.

AW: My car undamaged.
Whine: Hit parked car b/c it was parked on narrow street immediately opposite my driveway--garage sale across street WAY more important than letting others exit their home. Was distracted, so didn't notice til too late.

AW: Reason for distraction-- on way to job interview.


Whine--that interview not for the job I REALLY want.

Antiwhine- interview 12/3 for current leading contender for "job I really want" UNLESS

Something comes of draft file on my thumb drive, applying to succeed my boss.

Safe travels to all who are doing so.

NUD

Sue said...

Thanks Sarah - I told hubby I was going to have "Team A Gravy" shirts made up for all of the fambly. He didn't say much until I asked him what size he wanted for his. *snicker*

kathy a. said...

oy, NUD, about the accident. crossed fingers for good job luck! the squash sounds nummers. that long drive, not so much.

sarah, putting the dressing in muffin tins is a great idea!

Madeleine said...

Murphy's Law of Family Holidays: Your child, hyped up from traveling all day, will show her worst behavior in front of the most judgmental relatives. (That would be my brother and even-more-so my SIL.)

kathy a. said...

madeleine, oy. but then again, so what? if relatives have to get all judgmental about kids in the family when the kids are bouncing off of predictable hypers [or get started on parenting criticism, which you didn't mention but i bet it's there], they are sad, sad humans. i nominate them and their ilk for cluesticks.

Anonymous said...

Passing around festive, sparkly, holiday cluesticks--just in case...
:) Neighbor Lady

Sarah at ratatat said...

Oh Madeleine - how frustrating. She can be an angel the rest of the holiday and they'll still have that look. Cluestick them.

Enormous whine - brother and his dog have arrived. Dog will be in my house for 4 days. I am allergic to dogs. He will be confined to one room. Blah blah. Divorce and sadness. Blah blah. Did I mention my bronchitis became pneumonia officially. I am feeling good (now). Argh.

kathy a. said...

NL ftw! festive cluesticks!

oh, sarah. yikes! i hope the room has a door to outside, so there aren't opportunities to track dog through the house. and also hope you have a lot of DVD's or what have you, for distraction purposes in this time of brother's sorrow. oy. please feel free to "take a walk" or "run an errand" or whatever you need.

kathy a. said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

amy said...

O!M!G! I KNOW I told my mother-in-law about Tater's hernia back in September after Tater was hospitalized for the asthma attack, but she swears no one ever told her. She made a big dang deal about it the day of his surgery, but I shook it off because I didn't think it was worth engaging on a day when I needed to be available for Tater and the Tot. So, I guess my anti-whine is that we made it 2/3 of the way through our visit before she started slipping in passive-aggressive jabs about it? FML.

Grumble. I TOLD HER! I know I did!

Sue said...

Amy - I'm sorry about the passive-aggressive family dynamic. They must have picked up some kind of Family Dysfunction Virus from my family. Srsly.

Just remember - the holidays are not a time to spend with people you like. It's a time to spend with family. (kidding!!!)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

kathy a. said...

ugh, amy! can you refer comments to her son, who after all is also her grandbaby's parent -- the one she knows better?

we are stuffed to the gills, and my fridge is still full. son will be going home with lots of leftovers.

daughter did not come home because she is in end-of-term college madness. but she cooked her very own first thanksgiving dinner, featuring turkey slices and etc.!

liz said...

W: I knew I was knitting the hat for the baby too big 3 days ago. Finally ripped it last night. It had the circumference of a baby sweater. When will I learn to rip the first time I think I should and not 3 days later?

kathy a. said...

3 days of knitting! sigh.

well, this is kind of funny. daughter cooked a LOT for herself. "it will last me until i come home," she said. her flight is 12/9. we had a little discussion about food going bad, dangers thereof.

i'm pretty sure i didn't skip this part of the life training program -- but maybe it just didn't register, because food either didn't last that long around here, or the food fairy tossed it in the night.

Miranda said...

Can I please have a holiday where my mother drops her passive-agressive routine and Spouse can go the whole time without a debilitating depressive episode? Both ended up as sneak attacks after I felt relieved they would be absent.

I would also like for my mother to treat her youngest grandchild with more love and respect. No, a sixty year old woman should not tell a nine year old little boy with asberger type tendencies that he is "annoying" and "bad" while refusing to engage with him at his level and calling all his gift suggestions "stupid". Cue today's major trip downtown just him and I so he could get some lovies in from Mama while practicing more appropriate public behavior. He's a sweet kid but he struggles with social situations.


AW: I was also proud of him for wanting to go to the high school state football final game and knowing he needed to sit away from most of the crowds to avoid overstimulation.

AW: I make wonderful rolls. I could eat them by the panful and so could everyone in my family.

Sarah at ratatat said...

Amy - hang in there.

Oh Miranda, that's heartbreaking.

KathyA - I hope she got the message. If nothing else, it won't taste good after a few days.

Thanksgiving weekend already feels like it has been going on for 3 weeks. On top of my brother being sad, which makes my mom sad, my grandmother (my mom's mom) is going to be busy tomorrow when we had planned to visit. She stretches the truth as convenient, so who knows if she will be busy or not? I hope she will be. But it is making my mom sad too.

Antiwhine: the dog has not escaped (he is only restricted by a couch, so this is good) Stupid open concept houses.

Anonymous said...

((Miranda))--It sounds like your son is very sweet and your mother is the one who struggles with social situations.
So sorry you have to deal with that.
--Neighbor Lady

kathy a. said...

oh ((( miranda ))) -- you are a good mama, very good. and wtf with your mom? 60 is not old; that behavior is somewhere on the inconsiderate-to-mean scale, and i'm leaning toward she needs a cluesticking.

((( sarah ))) wow, you are carrying a lot of other people's sadness. i think grandma found the easy way out, but hope you and yours find some fun things to do. really, almost anything else sounds like it would be fun... also, good dog.

xoxo

Miranda said...

It's my mom's normal behavior. It is how she is with me. What really drives me nuts is when she starts and Spouse joins in and then the Bigs feel like they can pile on. Then Younger Son feels threatened and escalates the undesirable behavior until I have a Situation. Then everyone yells at me for "babying" Younger Son when all I am trying to do is de-escalate the Situation to the point where I am dealing with people on more reasonable ground. Where I come from, children are little burdens that must be reminded of that status wherever possible.

While my children are not the most compliant, as understood by adults, they also are incredibly polite, resourceful, and witty. I also have a huge family of friends that model more appropriate interpersonal skills. I only have a few more years until Younger Son develops his social filters and then we will all be beyond my relatives' emotional sabotage.

I will, however, accept any visits by the Cluestick Brigage on behalf of Younger Son.

esperanza said...

Oh, Pixies, how I have missed you. Thanksgiving Adventures 2010 did not include any time on the computer. Eleven people, one house, five days.

An inventory from the week...
Sweet Baboo:
head cold, recuperating
head cold-induced asthma symptoms, worsening
urinary tract infection, beginning and worsening

antibiotic-induced tummy troubles, beginning and holding steady

Mini Baboo:
head cold, lingering
four first teeth, simultaneously emerging
yeast infection, improving

Totals: two poorly-sleeping Baboos, one severely sleep-deprived mama. I feel like I have a newborn again, and that's with going to bed at 9 pm most nights. Also, with the grumpy relatives.

I think we'll volunteer ourselves for one of those psychology experiments on overcrowded conditions.

AW: a pediatrician who tracked us down so that we could get the prescription before the pharmacies closed for the holiday.

Looming whine: after this round of antibiotics, he says Sweet has to have a catheter to get a urine sample that we are sure is uncontaminated. She has had three completely different, all "unusual" bacteria.

AW: pecan pie

esperanza said...

I forgot my road trip antiwhine...in two stops for lunch (one each way), both places had Caffeine Free Diet Coke in the fountain. It's my nursing-mama drink of choice and is almost impossible to find in the fountain. Made my day. Well, not really, but it helped.

Sarah at ratatat said...

Yay for small favors, Esperanza! Caff free Diet Coke is awesome to find in the fountain. And I hope the docs figure out the mystery UTI. I can't only say that compared to my pneumonia bout, the UTI I had 2 weeks earlier (sorry TMI) was so much worse. Hope Sweet gets better, you get some sleep and relief from the overly full house.

The dog is gone. My kids are all sad, but the rhythm of normal life has returned. Phew.

esperanza said...

thanks, Sarah. The overly full house wasn't mine, thank goodness. I join you in giving thanks for the rhythm of normal life. And I'm also thankful that you typed "rhythm" first so I didn't have to figure out how to spell it.

Sarah at ratatat said...

And Miranda, that's just terrible. I'm glad you can help him (I've edited and incredibly long story to boil down to, he'll be glad you stood up for him). Hugs for the time being. Any chance you can de-escalate by removing yourself and him for a while?

Miranda said...

Oh esperanza, that sounds horrible with the sleep deprivation and the relatives and driving and the UTIs. Hoping this is something that will pass quickly.

Sarah - I had a long chat with Spouse, the SAHP these days, about helping Younger Son find situations where he can excel. For instance, he was in charge of serving dessert on Thursday which he did a very nice job with especially since being gracious and thinking of others not his mama does not come easily for him. He also completely rocked this party game we were playing that is a cross between charades and Taboo. Playing games as a family is the single most helpful way to get both his older sister to recognize his strengths and get Younger Son to learn collaboration and turn taking. As I stated above, I have tried to get him to recognize when he is overstimulated before he has a meltdown. It's a bit time consuming but he no longer hides under tables when we go out or screams when he can't get away immediately. I would like my family to recognize and encourage his growth which will continue to happen albeit on my little man's timetable and not theirs.

Thanks for listening and I would also like to say I am grateful that my mother didn't share her usual "if any of you kids tried that, you would have been spanked" crap. I also love (not) her "I admire your daughter's spirit even though in my day, I would have been slapped for that."

Thanks for listening, Pixies.

kathy a. said...

oh, miranda, esperanza, sarah. glad y'all got through this festiveness. xoxo

miranda, i'm definitely clue-sticking your mom, even if she tucked the very worst away this time, and spouse is a little slow on the uptake, too.

sarah -- so long, dog!

esperanza -- here's to defeating the various germies!

kathy a. said...

all i wanted for the new year was blessed menopause, which would have been official on 1/8. except now i'm spotting -- and that sets the clock back an entire. fireplacing. year. i have no supplies. and yes, now i will still be worrying about birth control when i turn 54, which if you ask me is extremely unfair.

Sarah at ratatat said...

Kathy A - that's cosmically unfair.

Miranda - love that games bring out the best. Patience and strength to making the best for the rest of the year.

liz said...

Awards coming tonight. Sorry for my absence over the weekend.

Madeleine said...

Liz, no need to apologize for spending Thanksgiving weekend offline!

Anonymous said...

It's been so long since I've been here that I've forgotten my Blogger password!

I have missed you all, and been crazy busy.

My aunt with brain cancer lost her fight on November 7th. She was in a lot of pain there at the end, and I'm glad that she didn't suffer too much before she quietly slipped away.

The funeral was awful and heart-breaking. My uncle is so lost without her. He paused for a minute outside of the church by the limo, and then shook his head, and climbed in. He later told one of my other aunts that he was waiting for Auntie B to come out of the church, and he was holding the door for her. So sad.

Thanksgiving was really hard without her. It was good to have my immediate family together, but it was flavored with sadness that she's not with us.

Work has been crazy-busy. Don't have time to stop.

Girl Scouts is nuts, too. Offspring's troop (with me included!) are going to London and Paris in July, and I've been busy raising money for it -- raised $1000 so far! Very grateful for the generosity of our family and friends.

Miss you all -- I HAVE to remember to come back here every week!

KLee

kathy a. said...

(((( KLee )))) i'm so sorry about the loss of your beloved aunt. sending love to you and yours, especially your uncle. xoxox

Sarah at ratatat said...

So sorry KLee. What a terrible loss to your family.

On the anti-whine front - I got the job. Thank you for all of the support as I whined my way here.

kathy a. said...

woooot, sarah!!!

Madeleine said...

Hugs to KLee, I'm so very sorry. It's hard to watch that happen, and hard on those left behind.

Sarah! Congratulations! That's the second person I know with good job news today. Who wants to make it three?

Days said...

((KLee)) Welcome back. So sorry to hear about your aunt.