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About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen, the baby of our family.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Family Holiday Dinner and Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Good morning,

Families are wonderful, aren't they?  Since we travel a great deal we see each other and celebrate holidays when and where we can.  This is our Thanksgiving-Christmas dinner at our home with my brother, his wife, his son just home from Kuwait, his daughter, his son-in-law, and granddaughter all of whom traveled from Central Ohio to be with us.  Also here were our son and his four children.  If you've lost count, we had a total of 14 people including us, so another table was also set for this dinner.

Our daughter lives with us and was the major contributor to the turkey dinner we enjoyed.
For appetizers Catherine made liver wrapped in bacon and prepared them quickly in the broiler.  You either love 'em or you hate 'em. 
I made my liver pate (recipe here) and served it with my honey egg bread (recipe here).  Needless to say, our gang loves liver.
 I made my whole cranberry sauce.  This one is so simple and always so good.  We buy several extra pounds of fresh cranberries during the holidays and keep a supply in the freezer so we can make fresh batches of cranberry sauce throughout the year.  The is one of those dishes you can make a day ahead.  Once you make it yourself, you'll never buy another can of cranberry sauce.  Here is the simple recipe:

1 pound fresh cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Rinse the cranberries, then combine with water in a saucepan.  Gently boil until cranberries pop open.  Turn heat very low and add sugar.  Dissolve sugar and continue to cook on very low heat until thickened.  Pour into bowl and refrigerate until serving.  Some of our relatives like cranberry sauce served warm;  when they are here I warm some and serve some cold.

On this particular day, I made a double batch of cranberry sauce.  Oh, so good.

Catherine made two turkeys:  one roasted in the oven, another outside on the grill.  Oh, yum!  We also made all the trimmings:  spinach salad, sweet and mashed potatoes, squash, green bean casserole (have to have that!), and more.  For dessert we had pumpkin and cherry pie and my sister-in-law brought her famous fudge cake that was the featured item in her family restaurant for many years as well as pumpkin rolls.  Oh, the food!

Also for the dinner I made my braided egg bread (recipe part 1 here;  recipe part 2 here) and cornbread.

We got so busy serving and eating that I didn't get more pictures of the meal.

While the adults caught up on old times, the children played with the Barbie Cruise Ship and had art work projects going on the coffee table.  It was the first time some of the younger cousins from Central Ohio met the younger cousins from Cincinnati and they all had a grand time together.

The Blues Brothers?

Throughout the afternoon and evening Catherine had a continuous trilogy of Toy Story movies running at the end of the living room where the kids big and small were gathered around.  Grandson Alex had a new pair of sunglasses he wore most of the day even though it was cloudy outside and not terribly bright inside.

Grandpa got his sunglasses out of the car and sat behind Alex to see how long it would be before he would notice that Grandpa, too, was wearing sunglasses in the house.  They look like two of the Blues Brothers to me.  ;)

The movie had everyone's complete attention so it took a long time, but Alex finally noticed and we all had a good chuckle.

It was wonderful to sit by the fire with family and catch up on old times, but eventually the fire died down and it was time for our guests to go home.

 I hope your holidays are as warm and wonderful as this day was for us.

Very best,



Jo said...

The Thanksgiving/Christmas Holidays are such special times for making memories. Not to mention for drawing on long ago memories already made. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.

Montanagirl said...

Lois, that sounds like such a lovely day! Family is just wonderful. I wish our daughter lived closer. She's expecting her first baby and she and her husband live near North Pole, Alaska. And here I am, with none of your knitting skills! Wish I had learned it when I was younger - I'd make her a baby blanket! LOL. Maybe I should commission you to make one for me, heehee.

Wanda..... said...

Thanksgiving is such a great family time. Your day was similar to ours, Lois...filled with good food, sweet children and the watching of family movies by the fire. Loved the sunglasses.

Are you enjoying the snow today?

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

This looks like a wonderful happy Thanksgiving, Lois. Do have a wonderful and happy month of December too!
Sending some sweet snowflakes your way ***x***x***

Cheryl said...

How lovely your holiday table is! It sounds as if everyone had a wonderful, happy day together. That is the best kind of day to have.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Lois, thanks for sharing your holiday get-gether with all your fellow bloggers. The food and family gathering looked wonderful.

Diana said...

I'm so glad that you were able to be with your family for Thanksgiving Lois! I love liver unfortunately no one else in my family does! Everything looked so beautiful. It sounded like the perfect family day! By the way, that's exactly how I make my cranberries! Love Di ♥

Ann Nichols said...

Absolutely lovely table! Yes, families...well, they make it all worthwhile, don't they?! So glad your day was everything you wished it to be and more!

Elaine said...

Looks like you had a perfect day! A family get-together is always nice, but there's something special about a holiday gathering.

Lois Evensen said...

Good morning,

Yes, that was a great day having everyone together. We will have to get the extended family together more often.

Montanagirl, I should have an Etsy shop for all the things that we make, but we travel so much I wouldn't be able to service it. Back when the kids were tiny I sold crocheted items (purses, afghans, baby items, etc.) I had quite a little business going and a Schedule C on my tax return. I was buying the groceries every week and put storm windows on our four bed room home (not where we live now) out of the crochet profits.

Thank you so much, everyone, for stopping by and your very kind words.

Very best,

Tanya said...

Oh I love the bacon wrapped liver or'deurves (I don't know how to spell that). My mother used to put water chestnuts inside for a crunch!