Thanksgiving Eve & Day -- 11/25/11

A number of years ago we took to renting a parish hall (at Nancy's church) to hold our Thanksgiving gathering. As regular readers know, my wife is from a family of ten children -- all of whom have from one to four offspring of their own -- and significant numbers of that generation have also produced offspring, the eldest of whom are becoming teenagers and showing up on . Thanksgiving is the big family gathering with lots of people coming in from out of town. So, Nancy and I began to host a Thanksgiving Eve gathering at our house

Because of a family wedding this summer up in Vermont (just before Irene hit) followed by another one a week later in New York, a lot of families that are not in the New England area exhausted their travel time and budgets, so this year's Thanksgiving gathering was the smallest I've seen in many years. However, that still meant there were about twenty of us sharing food and drink on Wednesday evening.

Jill made cookies (see below) -- big yummy chocolate chip cookies -- Nancy baked a cake -- and I supplied hors d'oeuvres (such as the asparagus with a bit of mozzarella cheese wrapped in Prosciutto and then oven baked -- shown on the right below).

Jeremy held forth in the kitchen for hours, turning out gourmet pizzas, one after another. Here he is below with his Aunt Cathy.

And here he is slicing a fresh out of the oven pizza while his Aunt Karen and his grandmother wait to get a slice.

Nancy's mother with five of her daughters: Cathy, Clara, Karen, Nancy, and Janet. (Sue drove up on Thursday.)

This is a shaved steak pizza with pieces of red onion and cheddar & mozzarella.

Later in the evening, Jeremy began making dessert pizzas with fresh fruit. The picture is of some fresh cranberries being cooked in water to soften them up before adding them to a pizza.

That was our Wednesday night.

Thursday morning was the 26th annual Newport Pie Run -- a five mile race that Jill and I first ran together in 1995. We have run it most years -- and various family members sometimes run it with us. Jeremy has taken up running as a way of adding some relaxing cardio workouts to his intense schedule of Muay Thai workouts (Thai kick-boxing). So Jill and Jeremy ran the five mile race, along with their cousin Mike. And as we did last year, my niece Melissa and I elected to walk the three mile walking course, rather than run the five miles. (This is not the same niece Melissa who biked Death Valley last month -- that niece Melissa is my brother Charlie's daughter; this niece Melissa is Nancy's sister Karen's daughter.) I just slacked off on running after I got through the CVS 5k race back in September. Next year I will have be more diligent.

Thursday afternoon brought our Thanksgiving dinner. That is Jeremy on the right -- yeah, he dresses up nicely these days -- even shaved his beard and wore a necktie!

And here are some of the desserts lined up waiting -- cupcakes, cookies, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, apple pie, coffee cake, etc. So many desserts...

Here we are, gathered for our Thanksgiving dinner (not counting the three of us up in the balcony taking pictures).

If all of those who were missing this year are able to make it next year (and this year's crowd returned) we would easily have more than fifty people gathered for Thanksgiving dinner.

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