This past summer we were forced to make our annual pilgrimage to the Midwest at an inopportune time in order to attend the memorial service for Eric's grandfather. It was a beautiful time and a lovely trip but, since Eric's semester wasn't quite over, we had to return again quickly and we had very little time to visit with Eric's family. They decided to put aside their distaste for Thanksgiving travel and join us on the East Coast this year to make up for some lost visiting time. We were thrilled to host Marga and Larry and even more thrilled that Ben flew all the way from school in LA to join the fun.
I was all in a flurry preparing for their six-day visit and, at one point, Eric said, "So, basically, you want to renovate the whole house before Thanksgiving?" To which I replied, "Yes." I didn't, of course, but those of you with a good eye will see hints of several of the projects that have kept us busy this fall and which will get their own treatment before too long.
I love hosting people and putting together menus and while I certainly don't claim to have any particular expertise in that area, it's something I'm actively working on. My "decoration" budget is pretty much non-existent but I was pleased with the results of working with stuff I mostly had on hand. I sprang for a pot of mums for our sideboard and ransacked the attic for every small mason jar I could find.
|Pumpkin, Apple and Pecan.|
Of course I forgot to take any pictures of the table set for dinner because we were all starving but imagine a darkened room and all those jars behind the pies lit with candles. And then a whole bunch more jars with candles on the table. And food crammed into every square inch. It was sort of amazing to see that candlelight can really overcome a multitude of shortcomings in the Fine China and Table Linens department. The food was delicious, the company was even better, and we enjoyed nice time with all three Tuthills through the weekend.
|The shells make me crazy so these are a real treat around here.|
|Margaret can peel potatoes! And squash!|
|A belated birthday present.|
|This is what my in-laws do when they are here: wash dishes. They can visit anytime. It was like being on vacation.|
|Cranberry-red wine-cinnamon. Note to self: make a triple batch next year.|
|Remember Margaret's chicken apron birthday present? Marga had a matched set made for us. I love them except that they make us both look fat.|
|I had a sinus infection over Thanksgiving which is why I look like death in these pictures. Someone must have snagged the camera and caught me trying to relax with some knitting while the turkey roasted.|
|This is NOT our Thanksgiving table but, rather, our Leftover Tea that the three "girls" had on Friday . We bought that china at an estate sale when we were engaged but we seldom use it because we only have four place settings.|
|Ben, in the Familial Garb. Ten points to anyone not related to Eric who can tell me what the real family name is.|