Four Years of Turkey

Christmas used to be the biggest Holiday in my family. Over the past few years, that has changed to Thanksgiving. It has become a tradition to hold this Holiday at my parents home every year. Every year our group of family and friends has also grown. This year we are at a current head count of 25, our biggest yet!

I am currently trying to figure out the table and seating arrangements. And the decor for the table of course. This has been my job for many years.. my youngest brother was always in charge of cutting the fresh green beans and rolling the sausage balls. My dad gets the house in order, polishes the silverware and sets up the bar as well as make our now famous bloody mary mix for my Bloody Mary Bar.  This has become a big favorite that gets talked about all year long. My oldest brother.. well I still don’t really know what his responsibilities are, hah. He mostly talks about stories of events he has encountered throughout the past year and comes up with a speech to share over the dinner table. All while smoking cuban cigars he carts up from Florida.

My mom and I prepare in advance, naturally, we are women. We do most of the cooking the day before and I start the tables, headcount and centerpieces weeks in advance. Her rule is the table must be fully set by the night before Thanksgiving (she stresses out otherwise).

I am usually an organized person and I love lists and post-its. This is what my normal routine is.

  • I set all of the place settings and make sure the silverware is polished and china and crystal is clean from sitting in the cabinet all year long.
  • I set out all of the serving bowls, trays and utensils for the main course and label each with post its.
  • In the kitchen, our kitchen table is used for the appetizers (punch bowl, spinach dip, cheese plates, etc.) The theme for this table is a silver tablecloth and all of the dishes are vintage milk glass.

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  • Also in the kitchen I bring in a small table and use it as the wine bar. We have pumpkin wine glasses and everyone usually brings a bottle of red wine or two. (My mom’s favorite is Apothic Red) everyone walking through our front door knows that so they usually have two hands full of it.
  • Another sideboard in the kitchen is set up with my Bloody Mary Bar. I started this tradition a few years back and it has been quite the hit. I love an ENTIRE day filled with family, food and drinks. Red wine and beer just isn’t appealing first thing in the morning so we start with bloody’s.
  • The kitchen counters and island we keep as cleared off as possible because this is where all of the prepping and cooking happens. All of the women hang in the kitchen of course. The men wander between watching football and playing with the kids outside while smoking their cigars and drinking pumpkin beers and whisky.

I honestly don’t know the full set up for this year because of the amount of people. My goal is always to have everyone at one table. We never do buffet style because there is something to be said about passing dishes around and going around the table sharing what we are thankful for. My mother insists on this every year as well. We have learned the hard way that we cannot all share what we are thankful for before we start eating because the food gets too cold. So now we share while we eat and pass food around and listen to stories when we all get sidetracked.

I can’t tell you all how excited I am to share this special day with an even larger party of loved ones this year. With this being said, I need to get to work and start organizing and planning! Stay tuned for this year’s festivities!

A look back…

2012

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2013

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2014

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2015

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I am thankful for my family, friends and the wonderful community I am surrounded with. I am thankful for each and every one of you and my past journey that has led me to where I am today. I am thankful all of the beautiful photos I have captured to remember who I am and where I came from. I am thankful for being able to share my journey with you  No matter where I am or who I am with I will hold these memories dear to my heart.

xoxoxo

Lauren

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