One of the wonderful things about Living in Place is hosting the Destination Thanksgiving every year. My nearest and dearest arrive by train, plane and automobile while I strategize arrival times, sleeping arrangements, and menus.
Of all the menus, Thanksgiving dinner is the easiest: Turkey and everything that goes with it. The Thanksgiving dinner challenge has to do with quantity: easy the years we’re just ten; Herculean the years we’re twenty. Our record to date is twenty-eight.
Regardless of numbers, we’ve always had plenty of pies – once as many as thirteen pies for fifteen diners, meaning we had enough to enjoy for breakfast the following day. This year, I know of only three pies so far (two sour cherries from our first-ever harvest and an apple my cousin is making with fruit from her orchard). I’ve already made pumpkin custard for the gluten-free. This is plenty of pie for the eighteen expected tomorrow, but it’s uncertain if there will be any leftover, even for early risers.
I’m an early riser, especially so during hunting season. This morning, I saw an eight-point buck, so I’m heading out again, leaving tonight’s dinner arrangements to one of my kids and her partner. The real challenge of hosting the Destination Thanksgiving is that people want to eat more than just dinner on Thursday. They need dinner from Sunday to Sunday, and breakfasts and lunches, as well.
So I make menus for each dinner, with planned leftovers for the next day’s lunch. Breakfast is self-serve, and the laying flock always obliges with fresh eggs. Tim keeps the bread machine baking, turning out a couple of loaves daily, and I’m the mistress of keeping things simple and delegating.
Those who don’t want to help prepare meals generally pitch in to clean up. And those who want to be useful, work on the woodpile with Tim. Currently, we’re cutting and splitting wood for Winter 2018-19.
This year, most of the nearest and dearest who arrived last Sunday will depart Friday morning, and a new cast of loved ones will arrive for part or all of the weekend. All together, we’ll have twenty-six guests in the course of the week – and more if unexpected visitors stop by.
I’m so grateful for their visits. I’d so much rather cook than drive.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.