Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving in the Kitchen

I made bread from scratch. I made stuffing, garlic bread, apple pie, prepared a huge turkey for a day late Thanksgiving dinner. There will be mashed potatoes and my Mother's gravy and creamed onions and green beans and butternut squash, pumpkin pie and apple pie and chocolate cheese cake. There will be the same friends we have shared Thanksgiving with for 25 years, and our niece from Boston.

My Thanksgiving is always absent one very important person: my daughter Jessica, and now her family. From the earliest age she has spent this day with her father. And now my Mother no longer comes to my house for the occasion: JB and I had dinner with her at her rest home yesterday and it was fine. And my brother and sister-in-law have given up all holidays since their only son died three years ago.

That leaves JB and me and it is not the same as my memory of family gatherings, but it is fine.

The season has begun.

this photo taken from my parent's house. This is my grandfather and my father's mother, she died when he was two. I can feel the threads of time weaving from one generation to another. We just hung this picture yesterday, to fill a spot on the wall after we moved the hutch.
Eerie seeing my grandfather here.

Table's set for dinner last night, the night before we will celebrate our turkey dinner (today) and (again) count our blessings. Friends as Family counts. It's a new and revised kitchen here at # 9. Last night I looked around and felt like I was in a cozy cabin in the snowy woods. This feels like the kitchen of my dreams. Another blessing.

Thanksgiving is an American tradition and I think it should be worldwide. It is good to stop and count blessings.

love kj


  1. Your table looks lovely KJ. Yes, we should count friends as family and every blessing taken into account. Yet there is so much loss in your post. Always two sides to everything and every occasion. I hope it was a wonderful meal dear friend.

  2. oh kj, my heart is with you, i do know what your feeling. i read your words and felt that sense of loss like wine and words said (i feel it too), but at the same time i looked at your photos and saw hope.

    in every photo, there is life and growth and history and love. i love that your carrying on the tradition and making a new 'normal', i hope you have a wonderful day with your long time friends and all your lovely homemade food.

    happy thanksgiving dear,
    love, lori

  3. It looks like a lovely day will be shared by good friends - who definitely are - FAMILY! Love the photo of your the dining table the the bread.....

    Enjoy your day!


    ♥ Robin ♥

  4. KJ your kitchen looks great after the makeover and the whole atmosphere breaths love.
    I agree it should be celebrated worldwide.
    We follow the USA in so many things Halloween (which I still have little affection with) and Valentine's Day. Why not this one?!
    Hope your evening was wonderful!

  5. Well the holes created by the missing people is sad indeed, but glad you fill them with friends and love. All your photos ESPECIALLY that amazing banner photo of colorful trees blaze with light and beauty. Wishing you many blessings and a full tummy of good food and more love. Hi to your sweetheart too!

  6. I think its a lovely tradition. Much like our Christmas except for the temperature! Is that one of Mim's paintings on your wall? The Tuscan house? Things do change don't they? Our Christmas posse will be small this year and it isn't quite the same but we'll make the best of it.

  7. KJ - your house looks so warm and inviting. I love it. :) I know what you mean about things changing. I am trying hard to accept the now, and enjoy the moments that I get with whoever I am with. :) I hope you had a great time with your friends (I am betting you did!)
    xox, prudie2! Pam

  8. Snowy? SNOWY? I'm in Florida - please don't say snow!

    Seriously - I know what you mean. Out family is actually stretching but with the loss of the older folks it feels like it is shrinking. Well I hope you had a lovely NON snowy day

  9. Do you ship leftovers??? :-D
    I always found we had more fun when we had LESS family and other friends pop in.
    I am thankful for so much, especially my blog-family, who can't be trumped.


  10. looks like a lovely day. families change and fluctuate, eh? Living alone for so many years, I "learned" long ago that friends are family. A chosen family.

    blessings, suki

  11. Your home is always so welcoming. I'm sorry for those you must do without, but glad for those who join you at the table.
    I hope that your brother and sis-in-law can see their way to bringing this stuff back into their lives one day.
    My mother just doesn't like the holidays since my dad died, and this year she didn't come to Thanksgiving at my sister's place, so it was just me , my sister, my niece and her son, my great nephew. Small, but I am so thankful for each of them.

  12. Wish I could wriggle my nose and be over there with you honey...have a wonderful day...
    ps that photo looks fabulous

  13. I believe friends do indeed count as family. They are the family you choose.

  14. Loss is the hardest aspect of life for me. It is constant ... either in anticipation (which we all try NOT to do), in the event ... and in the aftermath. It's hard, all of it.

    The earth keeps spinning regardless of our concerns. The leaves fall, the sun rises and sets, the stars twinkle.

    Looking for things to be thankful for is not all that hard but sometimes it can turn into an exercise in beating ourselves over the head for not BEING thankful enough.

    I guess even trying to be thankful is better than not making the effort. Sometimes "showing up" is enough in itself to lighten our hearts ... and then we realise that we are being thankful after all.

    Big sqwooshy hug to you KJ. xx Jos

  15. I agree! Hopw your Thanksgiving was wonderful kj! xx

  16. I felt like I was there :)

    I love warm butter slathered in butter. Mmmm, a piece of heaven.

    I'm wanting more quiet time on my holidays now. I was just fine to spend it with Bri, but having friends over would have been nice too.

    Happy belated PP♥♥

  17. annie xo, loss but this time around not sadness. we've had a very fun time of it all around and i know my jess was happy. :^)

    lori ♥, yes hope! compared to my last couple of years, i'm holding on to a mountain of hope. we had so much great food and conversation, walked in the park, shopped, shared. :^)

    robin, i never knew my grandmother. i don't even think of her as my grandmother. i've been staring at her....

    marianne, the change in the kitchen is unbelievable. there is room, open space, ease to talk while cooking. i am in love with my kitchen! it's my favorite kitchen of all time :^)

    thank you lynn. i like your image of filling holes. xoxo

    hells, no that is a ptown artist named chet jones. he's pretty successful, he paints mostly houses. mim's tuscany villa, same colors, is on my mantle xoxo

    pam, "I am trying hard to accept the now, and enjoy the moments that I get with whoever I am with. :)" i love you, pam. you totally get it, and you say it with the best words. ♥

    mim, NO SNOW!! i was just being literary creating an atmosphere :^)
    how are you? i miss you. how will we find time before christmas?

  18. anne! anne! oh so wonderful to see your avatar and !!! stay thankful for your blog family: here we are, here we stay! mwah!

    suki, yes, like you, certain friends do indeed become my family.i am so grateful for that. still, i'll never forget thanksgiving at my Mom and Dad's. it will always be special in my memory

    hi barbara, i keep thinking what pam said. who ever's here is supposed to be and who ever's not isn't.... xo

    chrisy, wriggle your nose anyway, let's see what happens :^)

    cs, yes, and easier to love, like adopted children! hee hee

    my beloved jos,
    you are too hard on yourself
    you are too hard on yourself
    you are too hard on yourself
    you are too hard on yourself
    !!!!!! (♥)

    caroline, did you celebrate it? what is your version of a holiday meal? i am curious. ♥

    now how am i going to see my dear friend during the holidays? hmmm...

  19. Your photos are like comfort food and feed the soul!