We only had twenty-three people this year–twenty-five including us. The crew is shrinking now that so many of the kids are adults and doing their own thing instead of being dragged to family functions. But the new generation is coming along. Two of our siblings are new grandparents, and they made sure the latest additions came for the obligatory ooohs and aaahs, auntie hugs and uncle tummy-tickles.
I had cut prep-time down to the wire, thinking I would have Thursday afternoon, all of Friday, and Saturday morning to cook and bake and clean, but the food bank was swamped Thursday morning and I went home exhausted. All I did was eat lunch and crash. Whacked Thursday out of my cooking schedule entirely.
It’s amazing what I got done in the time I had left: Pinto beans, Boston baked beans, Hoppin’ John (black-eyed pea dish), okra Creole, corn on the cob, rolls; lemonade, tea–both sweetened and un; one cake, one blueberry cobbler, one buttermilk pie, one pan of brownies; a bowl of salsa and another of veggie dip. Whew!
MSB went to work at two a.m. Saturday: briskets, pork roasts, chickens, sausage, bacon-wrapped duck. Believe me, we had plenty, but bless their hearts, our family came through with even more. Roasted potatoes, mac and cheese, Italian cream cake, coconut meringue pie, Key-lime pie, coconut cake; cantaloupe, watermelon, fresh peaches and tomatoes. Goodness, we could’ve fed the bulk of the town and still have a fridge full of leftovers. There isn’t enough room in our refrigerator to shove a stick of butter!
We are so blessed–all the way around. We live in a country of plenty where a variety of everything is available. We have a home large enough to accommodate so many people (as long as they don’t all spend the night). We have a family who loves us enough to make the trek to the forest every year. There is so much to be thankful for, including a jam-packed fridge.