The days leading up to Thanksgiving were warm – like need to turn on the air-conditioner warm. Jes and I went to WF early Wed to do some grocery shopping, pick up tamales, and start baking pies. My sister and her family joined us just after lunch. My sister brought all sorts of goodies to do some decorating for the big meal. The decorations turned out really nice, but it was the putting the decorations together that was the most fun. The little trees started out looking like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, but were soon very Martha Stewart Living worthy. It was warm enough to sit outside and work on the decorations. Besides, the kitchen was hot from baking pies. At one point I went inside to put a glaze (cream and sugar brushed on the crust) on Jesse’s pear pie. It was in the back of the oven with pecan pies in front. I was in a hurry to get the glaze on the pie before it got too brown, but I could not find a pastry brush in Mom’s kitchen. After looking around for a while, I gave up and reached into the fridge to get the cream. I ended up pulling an entire shelf of stuff out onto the floor. Fortunately nothing spilled or broke, but it put me into more of a rush to get the glaze ready. That is when I realized the pear pie had bubbled out and over the pan and was making a mess in the oven. I pulled the pie out as best I could, put the glaze on, and slid everything back in place. I sloshed one of the pecan pies out of its pan and onto the oven while putting the pear pie back in place - another mess. It was while wiping the pecan pie mess that I noticed the pear mess had caught fire – like burning on the bottom of the oven. It was kind of an "I Love Lucy" moment, but I did turn the oven off and calmly call my brother-in-law into the kitchen. He was not worried and said it would burn itself out. Great.
Wed night we ate the tamales that I had picked up from the tamale/crack house. I also bought some fat homemade tortillas and pan de polvo (wedding cookies). Now, Toby, Jesse and I can put away some tamales – so I bought four dozen thinking the family would certainly chow down, but they didn’t. Since we did not eat very many regular tamales on Wed. night, I took most of them home with us. Yeha! Toby, Jes and I finished them off before the weekend was over.
My brother brought the "odd tamales" from Austin as his contribution toward the Thanksgiving meal. He brought bean tamales, vegetable tamales, tofu tamales, and some sort of cinnamon tamale for dessert. I like the bean tamale and the vegetable tamale, but would not try the tofu – something is just wrong with tofu tamales. Toby didn’t know he was getting the "odd tamales" and got cinnamon tamale at dinner. He was not happy with it – it was kind of a surprise.
Thursday morning the big cold front hit. The temps dropped and the wind howled. Still, the sun came out, and it was not the worst weather I have experienced on a Thanksgiving. We made breakfast stuff and then Toby and I left to do a little shopping - that's right - the border collie left the sheep in charge. Here is a photo of our breakfast - I made a Martha Stewart yogurt/granola parfait. Notice the tree decor.
Pete brought a portable patio fireplace to Mom’s where they sat outside and fried the turkeys. They drank a few beers. Bo had picked up a Samuel Adams holiday pack. He handed me some sort of winter lager, but I traded him for the Old Fezziwig Ale. I tried a taste of the Chocolate Bock – interesting, but kind of like tofu tamales.
We also played games like Buzz Word and had a leg wrestling championship (too bad I cannot get my video to download here). I am the champion. It amazes my nephews that I can flip everyone, but I am short, stocky, and strong – something they are not. We also had some just plain ol’ "wrassling matches". The GGs loved it.
We took a family photo, although it took several attempts to get us to all smile at the same time due to the constant teasing going on. You will notice the rat pack was there.
We did not get to play our traditional Barker Football game. Everyone was content to stay indoors. Jes and her cousins did take some funny photos outside. Later the younger cousins headed to the movies while the rest of us watched football. Speaking of watching TV, Toby and I bought a new Toshiba 40" TV at Sears on Thursday morning. We had been needing a new TV (we borrowed an old TV when ours bit the dust earlier this summer) and the prices were good. It is a bit large for our little house, but someday soon, I’m gonna have a big living room. In fact, we worked on the house the rest of the weekend. My arms are sore from hammering and my hands are raw from the chicken wire – for the stucco ya know.